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Why Male Models Needs A Stage Name

Male models may now more than even need to consider a stage name – MMSCENE editors are investigating the importance of using one:

Behind the scenes at Paris Fashion Week – photo ©Benoit Auguste for MMSCENE featuring top model Ernest Klimko

In the male model industry, a name is more than just a tag – it’s an identity, a brand, and a shield. For many male models, choosing a stage name is a strategic decision, one that impacts their career, personal life, and public image.

But why is a stage name so significant, and what are the implications of this choice? Continue reading for an investigation by MMSCENE Magazine editors.

Identity Protection and Privacy

One of the most compelling reasons for a male model to adopt a stage name is privacy. In an era where personal details can be easily searched online, a stage name provides a layer of separation between the public persona and the private individual. This separation is crucial, considering the risks of overexposure and unwanted attention. Furthermore, the rise of digital impersonation – where individuals create fake accounts using a model’s real name – poses a serious threat to a model’s reputation and personal safety. A stage name can serve as a first line of defense against such risks, if you have no ideas for a name, you can always use a random name generator.

Digital Footprint And Future Careers

For most of the male models in the industry modelling is a short term job, for more than 80% of male models the career ends within a span of two years. For the more successful models the career can span from anywhere between 5 and 10 years, especially prolonging for models who work on commercial jobs. The role of a male model has certainly changed, and we can only expect the careers to become even shorter. Thus relying on your post modelling life is something everyone stepping into this role should have in mind.

That said, for multiple industries a previous career in modelling is looked down upon. Many employers will form an opinion based on your digital footprint. Cleaning your own digital footprint is a hard and tedious task. Especially for male models who have multiple years of modelling in the fashion industry under their belt. Whether you have worked on underwear, swimwear or e-comm shoots, at one point in your life you may need to have any trace of your modelling career from the online pages deleted. By using a stage name, you are protecting yourself from having to actually digitally clean your online history. Even a slight alteration of your birth name can immensely help you in this regard, think of a different spelling and you are likely to save yourself for any future headaches.  Why is this hard and often impossible is also discussed in a recent article by MMSCENE Editors – read on our guide for retired male models on managing online images.

Branding and Marketability

In the competitive modeling industry, differentiation is key. And even tho we are far beyond Hollywood’s golden age, when a stage name was everything, today having one can also be an effective tool in establishing a unique brand identity. It can create a certain image or style, making a model more memorable and marketable. Whether it’s edgy, sophisticated, or exotic, a well-chosen stage name can enhance a model’s appeal to agencies, clients, and the public.

Models with same or similar name to other models already working in the fashion industry could also consider adopting a stage name, or slightly altering their own birth name. However, what we find positive is the fashion industry finally adopting to models and professionals from Asia no longer having to use westernised names.

photo ©Benoit Auguste for MMSCENE

Creative Expression and Persona

Beyond practical considerations, a stage name offers a canvas for creative expression, and this one is somewhat personal. It allows models to adopt a persona that may be different from their off-camera selves, providing artistic freedom and psychological space. This persona can open doors to diverse roles and opportunities, enabling models to experiment with various aspects of their craft.

Legal and Professional Considerations

Legally, adopting a stage name involves specific processes and considerations. Use of stage name may also slow down the process of applying for travel and work permits. That is without any doubt one of the aspects of stage names you should think about. Depending on your citizenship, when working abroad you are often required to present the continuous work as a male model in the past. Officials may do a research on you and your name and check out the exact same digital footprint.

If you are continuously already working under a stage name, providing proof to the officials that connects your birth name to your stage name is required. This can be done through the letters of acknowledgment signed by your agents.

Photo ©Benoit Auguste for MMSCENE – backstage at CMMN Swdn Spring Summer 2019

As the modeling industry changes, and unfortunately becomes less certain, considering the importance of your next steps in life is important. Whether you are working on finding employment in academia or a very corporate environment, weighing in the need to use birth name against the benefits of a stage name is of utmost importance for anyone planning to work professionally as a male model.

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