The Evolution of Modelling: From Runways to Role Models to Activism

The Evolution of Modelling: From Runways to Role Models to Activism

My journey in the world of fashion has been a winding path, one that has traversed the realms of design, photography, branding, education, entrepreneurship and activism. I have been a part of and witnessed the transformative journey what I refer to as “From Modelling to Role Modelling to Activism.” It’s not just just a concept of mine  but a vision for the future of modelling itself. 

The Modelling World – Then and Now

The world of modelling has undergone significant changes over the years. It used to be primarily about showcasing garments and beauty. While aesthetics are undoubtedly vital, I’ve come to realise that there’s much more to modelling than meets the eye. It’s not merely about how someone looks in a photograph. It is about the story they tell, the values they represent and the impact they make.

Modelling: A Platform for Role Models

The transition from modelling to role modelling represents a shift in perspective. I’ve always believed that models are more than just faces on a runway or in a magazine. They have the power to influence, inspire and drive change. This belief led to the creation of initiatives like the Australian Supermodel of the Year (ASOTY) Program.

The ASOTY Program: Nurturing Role Models

ASOTY is a testament to my conviction that the future of modelling lies in nurturing role models. It’s not just a competition but a transformative journey for aspiring models. It’s about instilling values like authenticity, kindness, brilliance and sisterhood alongside the essential skills needed in the industry. Through ASOTY, I’ve seen young talents blossom into compassionate, confident and socially responsible individuals.

Yours Authentically

Authenticity is the first pillar of the future of modelling. It’s about being yourself, both as a model and as a brand. It means embracing one’s unique identity and using it to tell a genuine story. In an era dominated by filters and photo manipulation, embracing one’s flaws and imperfections is not only refreshing but also liberating.

Kindness as a Virtue

Kindness is the second pillar that elevates modelling into role modelling. In a competitive industry, it’s easy to forget the importance of treating others with respect and compassion. Yet, I firmly believe that kindness is the true currency of the modelling world. It’s about supporting fellow models, designers, photographers and everyone involved in the creative process. Kindness fosters collaboration and paves the way for a more inclusive and harmonious industry.

The Brilliance of Creativity

The third pillar, brilliance, celebrates creativity in all its forms. Modelling is not a one-size-fits-all endeavour. Each model brings a unique perspective, style and creativity to the table. The future of modelling lies in embracing and celebrating this diversity of talent. It’s about pushing boundaries, challenging norms and creating art that leaves a lasting impression.

Support: The Power of Sisterhood

Sisterhood is about creating a nurturing and empowering environment for models. In an industry often marked by competition and high expectations, sisterhood offers a vital support system. It’s about models coming together, celebrating each other’s successes, offering a helping hand in times of need and collectively advancing the cause of inclusivity and positive change. Sisterhood transforms modelling from a solitary pursuit into a collective journey where models uplift and inspire one another. Together, they can redefine the industry, making it a place where kindness, collaboration and brilliance are the guiding lights.

Activism: Using Influence for Good

The final phase of my journey – activism – is a natural extension of role modelling. Models have a platform, a voice and an audience. With this influence comes a responsibility to advocate for causes that matter. We have all witnessed how models can use their prominence to support social, environmental and humanitarian initiatives. From raising awareness about sustainable fashion to championing diversity and inclusion, activism is the embodiment of the values of authenticity, kindness and brilliance.

The future of modelling I envision as authentic, kind and brilliant. It’s a future where models are more than just faces. They are role models who inspire positive change. It’s a future where the industry is characterised by transparency, compassion and creativity. Models have the power to shape not only fashion trends but also society’s perceptions and values. 

Together, we can make a difference, one runway at a time.



Begin by researching modelling agencies in your area or desired market. Look for reputed agencies with a track record of success
Professional modelling cards that showcase your portfolio and contact information. They are usually handed out to clients, agents and industry professionals.

About the author: Kal

Kal Kalim is a fashion photographer, brand strategist and communication designer based in Melbourne, currently working on fashion, beauty & educational projects in Bali & India. He has been working on projects creating strategies, campaigns, content and communication for fashion and beauty brands in Australia, India, Indonesia, Italy, France & South Africa for the last two decades.

ASOTY acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, work and connect. We pay respect to Elders, past, present, and emerging.