If you are a supermodel, or even a rising star in the fashion world, a.k.a. the next top model, the fashion weeks of New York, London, Milan and Paris are the highlight of the year. Today, it is not enough to look super skinny, models have to look fit and healthy. Consequently, an ongoing exercise and fitness routine now plays a bigger part in a savvy model’s preparations for fashion shows rather than very restrictive crash diets. And the over-riding message coming out of Fashion Week, from the models themselves, is that a healthy lifestyle that has fitness and wellness at its heart is their best recipe for success and ultimate performance.
More and more top models are openly promoting living a healthy lifestyle, which is a total wellness approach that is not just for fashion week. As model Candice Swanepoel points out: you can’t expect dramatic results at the last minute, so crash diets the week before aren’t the way forward. Health is something that has to be maintained.
Swanepoel’s regime involves her working out three times a week every week and when it comes to the period leading up to Fashion Week she increases it to every day. “A lot of people just want to do their workouts quickly, and it doesn’t work,” Candice points out. “The workouts I do, I feel each muscle that I’m working. Because I’ve been working out so many years, it’s a machine that I know…”
This season’s current model of the moment, Gigi Hadid, is also clear that fitness is more important and models should aim to be fit rather than too thin. Speaking recently, Gigi said “I’ve always been an athlete my whole life but there’s one thing I will not even do if it means turning away a dream of mine and that is to be too thin.” Gigi keeps herself in top condition by playing volleyball, riding horses and boxing, so she’s fighting fit not just for Fashion Week, but all year round.
Another Fashion Week top model, who is also a fan of boxing for keeping fit, is Aya Jones. “It gives me a really good, strong workout,” she explained in a recent article. “Boxing makes me feel healthy and more confident with my body. It also gives me more energy, which definitely helps during Fashion Week, and keeps me calm and feeling less stressed.” Anais Mali is also drawn to the boxing ring, doing Kickboxing training for an hour, three times a week. In addition to kickboxing, she walks for about 20 minutes and focuses on toning her rear end.
Karlie Kloss, a well known name on the cat walk, who has a reputation for her athletic build, (which incidentally earned her a deal as the face of Nike women) puts herself in the hands of her personal trainer to prepare for Fashion Week. “I love to start my day off right with a great workout; best-case scenario is I’ll wake up early, like 6:30 or 7… " After her workout, Kloss refuels with breakfast consisting of "Scrambled egg whites, maybe a protein shake, or Greek yogurt. It’s my favourite meal of the day.”
Kloss doesn’t allow the time away at Fashion Week to interfere with her fitness program. “I always bring ankle weights in my suitcase when I travel, so I have an exercise routine [that] I can do in the hotel gym or in my room,” explains Kloss. “Anything to just get your body moving.” Wise words when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle as simply moving helps beat the sedentary lifestyle too many of us live! As well as working with her personal trainer Kloss does SoulCycle, Pilates and ballet-inspired workout sessions.
Amanda Murphy also likes to pack her fitness equipment when she travels to shows. “When I’m doing shows, I always travel with a resistance-band kit in my bag. It’s super light, and you can do any number of exercises with it." And you can easily take your work-out equipment with you whenever you travel, near or far, by packing the Technogym Wellness Bag in your suitcase. It has everything you need, including resistance bands, handles and ankle straps to help improve your strength and flexibility no matter where you are.
Fashion Week is not only physically demanding, it is also an emotional rollercoaster. With the world’s media focussed on your every action, models can be thrust centre stage, whether it be for positive reasons or otherwise. Consequently, it is important to stay grounded during Fashion Week. Golden haired model, Sasha Luss explains: “You need to be super relaxed, super calm, and just take it as it is.” Luss unwinds to music from her native Russia and practices Yogilates (a combination of Yoga and Pilates).
Hilary Rhoda’s advice for preparing for and managing the demands of Fashion Week is to “Get enough sleep, that’s the most important thing.” Hillary told journalists at a top fashion magazine, “I like to go to bed early, so I average about seven hours a night. For fitness, I work out every day. I think that’s also good for your balance and your mind."
Doncaster-born model Sam Rollinson, known for her outspoken views on the excesses of the fashion industry, is an advocate of treating yourself kindly before a show rather than adopting starvation rations and spending 24/7 in the gym. “When I get to New York, I love to get ready for the shows by going to get a spa treatment at Tribeca’s Aire Ancient Baths,” said Rollinson.