How to Break Into Swimsuit Modelling in Australia

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When you picture swimwear models, images of Sports Illustrated cover stars lounging on exotic beaches come to mind. However, this category of modelling work extends far beyond those glossy pages, providing ample opportunities for those aspiring to make a living at the trade. Here, we delve into the prerequisites for success, potential pathways into the industry, potential earnings, and more.


What is a swimwear model?

These types of models promote swim fashions for both men and women. Gigs in the field can range from magazine cover shoots to ads for swimwear lines that run the gamut from Amazon to Hunza G. In addition to digital spaces, these models also work out of showrooms and in fit modelling—showcasing garments at buyers’ meetings or acting as live mannequins for the creation of new designs.

What does it take to be a swimwear model?

Swimwear model

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Start by doing your research—study magazines, product websites and social media channels, and advertisements. This will help you understand expectations going into your first shoot, the desired final product, and where you best fit in. It’s also a good idea to compile a list of modelling agencies associated with the companies you’ve researched, then take the initiative to reach out to them directly. Be sure to have your portfolio ready to share. Simplicity is key: include images with good lighting, no distractions, and minimal makeup.

In terms of physical requirements, the industry has made a welcome shift towards body inclusivity; still, conventional expectations around maintaining a fit physique remain. As a swimwear model, you’ll likely be asked to remove armpit and bikini hair, and you may be required to spray tan regularly in order to maintain that sunkissed look. Be prepared to come across these types of requests in casting calls and on set.

What role do agents play in swimwear modelling?

While it’s possible to find work independently, having representation—especially in the swimwear and bikini niche—comes with distinct advantages. An agent will help you determine appropriate fees to ask for, facilitate timely payments, and, vitally, ensure that the jobs you go out for are legitimate and safe. 

Professional representation is crucial in an industry that all too often puts models in dangerous, vulnerable positions. That goes double for swimwear models, considering how much of your body is on display. A good agent or manager will vet photographers and clients ahead of time. If you’re booking on your own, research the people and companies you’ll be working with to make sure they have good reputations in the industry.

RELATED: The Top Modelling Agencies in Australia

What are the best places for aspiring swimwear models to live in Australia?

Swimsuit model


Major cities like Sydney and Melbourne are the hubs for any type of modelling in Australia. But even if you live outside these metropolitan centres, local opportunities abound. Smaller businesses often seek models to promote their swimwear lines, providing valuable exposure for those who are just getting started. As always, prepare your portfolio and social media pages, and don’t be afraid to reach out.

How much do swimwear models earn?

According to Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman, the minimum rate for a model in Australia is currently set at AU $943.70 per week and AU $24.83 per hour. However, the amount will fluctuate depending on the nature of the gig, where it’s located, what brands are being represented, working hours, and the model’s experience. 

If you have representation, bear in mind that they will take a percentage of your earnings. Supermodels such as Miranda Kerr, Bambi Northwood-Blyth, and Georgina Burke command higher fees and can leverage their fame to book additional projects and endorsements.

Swimwear modelling promises an exciting journey into a dynamic and evolving industry. Aspiring models should focus on building a robust portfolio, collaborating with reputable agencies, and prioritising safety in their professional interactions. Considering the industry’s shift towards celebrating diverse body types, this is an exciting moment to enter the world of swimwear modelling, where success is not solely defined by traditional standards.