Today’s models may be a different breed – and frame, for that matter – than that of the glamorous haute couture salon era, but their modern day uniforms of biker jackets, casual T-shirts and leather leggings are equally inspiring to women across the world. As fashion week seasons come to a close, we start to look at the effortless style that top models sport during their busiest time of year.

Since the rise of the street-style blog, the fashion industry has experienced the proliferation of some of its key insiders. Editors such as Anna Dello Russo (Vogue Japan) and Taylor Tomasi-Hill (Marie Claire USA) have been made Internet sensations due to their show season style. Models, who otherwise would have only been seen in glossy editorials, advertising campaigns and runways, are now as noted for their ability to look just as chic in between shows.

“They want to be comfortable when they’re going from show to show during fashion week season, and they don’t want to be confused for a show attender,” says Michelle Bobb-Parris, a street-style photographer who reports from the tents during London Fashion Week. “They’ll go for something that is easy to get in and out of and that they can run from show to show in. It has to be comfortable — six-inch Louboutin platforms won't get them to their shows on time!”

Take Chinese supermodel du jour, Fei Fei Sun. She was recently captured by Bobb-Parris on her way into a fashion show wearing blue skinny jeans, a white T-shirt, a black blazer and a Chanel ‘Boy’ handbag, and her Starbucks. (Coffee, of course – she’s a model!) Her look is simple, but classic – comfortable, yet covetable. Plus, her handbag was probably a commodity paid by Chanel. Luxury brands including Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, and Céline, are known to pay models in goods, so it isn’t uncommon to catch swarms of models leaving show venues each carrying the same it bag.

“They see everything six months before it even goes on the runway during fittings and show season, then they wear it all twelve more times on shoots for the next six months,” says Jessica Hannan, brand director at D&Me, a luxury boutique on Knightsbridge’s Brompton Road. “By the time everything is in stores and most people are starting to shop for their wardrobes, the models are bored of it!”

D&Me started One Vintage, a selection of one-off vintage, which is hand-resorted and stocked on Net-a-Porter. Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Elle McPherson are all big customers, as well as young models in search of something special. “Vintage gives them something unique and quirky that is different to the high fashion that they’re constantly surrounded by,” explains Hannan. “Kate Moss was one of the first to wear One Vintage and she pairs it with her leather biker jackets and skinny jeans, which is the look that so many of the models, like Abby Lee, love.”

The model off-duty look is quickly translating to wardrobes of non-models across the globe. “We’re continually surprised by how much people are starting to put into their ‘off-duty’ looks,” says Hannan. “Whether it’s a great pair of Helmut Lang skinny jeans, surprisingly comfortable Camilla Skovgaard wedges, or a £400 bobbly wool hat, people are spending thousands to look chic on the go.”

– Osman Ahmed

Illustrations by Suad Al Fraih (inspired by Altamira: ModelsOffDuty.com)

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