Modeling Contracts and Its Clauses

Modeling Contracts

For the smooth functioning of each and every industry, contracts are a very integral part and fashion is not an exception. Modeling contract is what binds an individual person in the modeling industry to a client or company, and this comes with the usual terms and conditions necessary to remain under the contractual agreement[1]. The model only gets to know about the advantages and disadvantages that exist with employer or which modeling agency is the best to sign a contract with after he/she has worked for a long time.

Generally there are four types of modelling contracts:

1. Exclusive Contract – In this type of contract, only one modeling agency represents the model. The model is not allowed to sign a contract with any other agency while it is in an exclusive contract unless there is express permission by the mother agency.

2. Non-exclusive Contract – In this of contract, the model is permitted to retain as many agency jobs as he/she prefer, there is no restriction of any kind. The pay is not as high as an exclusive contract and the opportunities are not up to the mark but there is much more freedom.

3. Mother Contract – This is a contract which a model signs with a mother agency that helps the model build a better portfolio and helps him/her learn more about the industry. Mother agencies are generally smaller but they help their models by promoting them to larger agencies.

4. One Time Only Contract – The contract gets over as soon as the job/project is finished. This kind of a contract is for a single season or one job or a particular time period.

Clauses making  a part of a model contract

There are different set of rules for different modeling agencies but they all have some clauses in common. Some of the basic clauses that form a part of the modeling contract are as follows:

1. Model Personal Information Transfer Agreement

These agreements are those information sharing agreements that set out the base for a lawful use of personal data by various modeling agencies to deliver more desirable services and effective policies. This clause safeguards the use of an individual’s data, and these safeguards involve some costs too. It is very important that these safeguards are used and applied effectively and properly.

This clause basically deals with –

  • Necessary security requirements
  • How this information is going to be shared
  • Who are the partners to the agreement
  • The information that is going to be shared

2. Model Contract Clause for Limitation of Liability

This clause is also called the liability clause. It is the clause in a contracted agreement that specifies the damages or compensation that one party is obligated to give to the other party as mentioned under the terms and agreement of the particular contract. A limitation clause is a stipulation in an agreement that helps ensure that a company is not held liable for more than they agreed to be responsible for[2].

A limitation of liability clause also ensures that a a modeling agency that enters into a contract with the model is not held liable for more that they were actually supposed to be responsible for. This clause states under which terms and conditions each side would be responsible. It is a clause which acts as a risk management clause because the risks involved in the contract has the ability to wipe out the whole business and this clause puts a cap on the maximum damages that has to be paid hence saving the agencies from an immense amount of damage.

This clause makes the contract enforceable by –

  • Making sure the provisions are clear
  • Ensuring that there is a chance for negotiation
  • Using concise language which is easily understood by all

3. Model Contract Clauses for Indemnification

An indemnity agreement is a risk transfer mechanism in which one party is transferring risk to another party. In an indemnity agreement, one party, the “indemnitor,” agrees to “indemnify” the other party, the “indemnitee,” for things spelled out in the indemnity clause[3]. An indemnification is useful as it allocates the risks and expenses that arise due to a breach, misconduct or default of any of the contracting parties. This clause of indemnification basically shifts the cost from one party to the other party. It is a contractual transfer of risk agreement which is signed with the goal of transferring the loss of one party to another party.

‘Idemnify’ means to reimburse a party for the loss which is suffered due to the fault or action of a third party. Idemnification clause is known as a ‘hold harmless’ clause as it absolves the other party from any loss that would arise out of the contract, so it holds harmless the other party from the losses. An indemnification clause is generally enforceable unless it is against the public policy of any state or nation. The courts have held that a plaintiff would not be able to recover the damages arising from a contract if those damages are unforeseeable and due to improbable outcome of another party’s breach. The indemnification clause should not be too broad and should only be limited to your own misconduct.

4. Model Contract Clause for Disclaimer

A disclaimer clause is typically a statement that is intended to stipulate or determine the scope of rights and obligations that may be carried out or enforced by the parties in a legal contract. The term ‘disclaimer’ usually implies those situations that involve some kind of risk and uncertainty. If there is a disclaimer present in the legally binding contract, it does not ipso facto guarantee that the terms present in the disclaimer would be enforced in a legal dispute.

A disclaimer may specify mutually agreed and privately arranged terms and conditions as part of a contract; or may specify warnings or expectations to the general public (or some other class of persons) in order to fulfil a duty of care owed to prevent unreasonable risk of harm or injury[4]. This means that the function of a disclaimer is to specify certain terms and conditions, warnings and expectations to the general public to prevent any kind of injury.

5. Model Contract Clause for Termination

The termination clause which is seen in a legally enforceable contract allows that contract to be terminated under the provisions provided or specified in that clause. This termination clause is generally available within the terms and conditions agreement of some online website of that modeling agency. Most of the contracts have a termination clause but if this termination clause is not mentioned and there is a need to terminate that particular contract, certain legal doctrines should be referred which would help to terminate the contract. Some of these contracts also get terminated automatically after certain actions are finished or after a certain period of time.

6. Model Contract Clause for Term

A term contract clause is basically a statement in writing which clearly states for how long or how much duration a contract would be in effect. The model and the modeling agency that sign the contract are under an obligation to adhere by the terms and conditions of the contract until that contract comes to an end or expires.

7. Model Contract Clause for Time

The time duration of a contract between the model and the modeling agency is genrally mentioned in the contract that they enter into. Most of the modeling contracts are signed for a time duration of 1-3 years. These contracts get renewed automatically if a either parties do not serve a 30 to 60 day of notice.

8. Model Contract Clause for Earnings

A model contract clause for earnings is very important as this clause is responsible for determining the commission that the model agency takes from the model’s earnings. Top rated model agencies generally charge 20% commission from the model that he/she receives from his/her work. Very few models are able to bargain this 20% to 15% from their modeling agency. This clause must be present in the contract agreement.

Representation in the fashion world

When a model signs with a model agency, it is very important for a model to get the contract checked by a lawyer or a person who understand the terms and conditions which are mentioned in the agreement that these parties sign. The model should hire a lawyer so any kind of harm or damage that may arise from the contract if the terms are not read properly is easily prevented. Having a person who understands laws of the agreement would be beneficial for the model itself as it would ensure safety for him/her.





This article is authored by Arush Mittal, Student at Hidayatullah National Law University.

Law Corner

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