The "It Factor!" They've Got It, I Want It.
Jessica Denomme, Associate Editor
Jessica Stam, Coco Rocha and Daria Werbowy. What do these three top Canadian models
have in common? Other than ridiculously long legs that put the rest of us to shame, they have
the "It Factor". That certain je ne sais quoi that has brought them international success and to
the runways of the world's top fashion designers. While the "It Factor" is often spoken of, few
people can in reality explain the meaning of the expression. According to Wikipedia (Yes, I am
sourcing Wikipedia. Don't make fun - I really enjoyed their definition!), the "It Factor" refers to an
indefinable quality a person has that makes them charismatic or attractive in some way. While
the term is generally used in the entertainment industry, politicians, religious leaders, and job-
seekers could all be described to have the "It factor".
While there are several traits in professional models that we have come to expect (height,
fitness and individuality), it is often the unexplainable that catapults a model's career from
stagnant to superstardom. The most obvious example of a fashion model with this rare
character trait is Kate Moss; fashion's most renowned, petite, bowlegged Brit! While Kate is
obviously a gorgeous woman, it was her 'Sassy Cathy' attitude and charisma that made her a
household name. In later years, her indiscretions with men and other extracurricular activities
would supersede her killer strut, but that's neither here nor there.
Let's face it; the "It Factor" is rare. If you have it, congratulations! Your life
as a model just got considerably more effortless than the average bear. But what about the
other 99% of the modelling industry that is aspiring to be one of the top names in the game?
We have all heard it before at an audition or a casting: "You were great, but that Ashley - she
just had that certain 'It Factor'. We chose her for the job!" Do not fret! As your in-fashion Guru,
it is my responsibility to remind you that whether or not you possess "It", you can still have a
victorious career for many years to come. Sure, some of your competition may have that special
something that draws in the crowd the moment they walk onto the runway, but you're amazing
too! In my opinion, while the "It Factor" cannot generally be learned, it CAN be learned from.
Look at these lucky individuals as demonstrators of an extraordinary art form - kind of like
Bikram Yogi's or Vince, the Slap Chop guy.
Whether you are new to the industry or you consider yourself to be a veteran, there are always
ways to improve. I highly recommend, regardless of where you are in your career that you
search out another model that you respect and aspire to follow in their footsteps. Perhaps you
envy their fiery swagger or you yearn to command a casting just like them. Whatever your goal,
make use of your network and ask for advice. Chances are that by spending time with other
models that you look up to, some of their professional traits will rub off on you! Think of this
exercise as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the modelling industry. Most people are honoured
to be asked for advice and are humbled to know that you look up to them. So go on and create
your own "It Factor" curriculum and network of experts. I guarantee that this crash-course in
superstardom will open your eyes to a world of personal possibility and growth.
Let me know how it goes!
Yours in fashion,