Documenting exotic animals in their natural habitat is an age-old pastime. Who hasn’t taken a bikini selfie with a mohawked Kagu in the forests of New Zealand or photobombed an unsuspecting pack of dingoes in the land down under? And we’d wager that an overeager street style photographer outside Lincoln Center would box out a small child to get a snapshot of those willowy, exotic birds commonly referred to as “models off duty.”
You know the type: Statuesque, blasé and nine-feet-tall. If you think you have a M.O.D. in your midst, but you’re not 100 percent certain, the best thing to do is walk backward slowly, don’t make eye contact and watch for the signs, best displayed in their manner of dress. Here are five surefire clues you are in the midst of the real deal.
- If the M.O.D. in question is decked out in head-to-toe neutrals — preferably black and most often mixed with pricey designer separates like the latest Acne Studios jacket — you may be onto something.
- Flats are the hallmark of this elite species, from Dr. Martens 1919 in cherry to Saint Laurent classic court sneakers. After all, quick getaways between shows are paramount to survival.
- Statement handbags are a dead giveaway when models are roaming the streets or rummaging around for a light during a smoke break. Look for Fendi’s playful bag bugs or a quilted Chanel crossbody. It pays to have friends in high places.
- Leather jackets are a common marking among this leggy clan. Are they slung over a pair of ripped jeans or leather leggings? You’re getting warmer.
- If your M.O.D. looks like they threw on the contents of their closet during a power outage and, let’s say, a patchwork leather jacket with a gingham skirt and biker boots just happens to look spectacular, stop in your tracks. You’ve caught a live one.
For more inspiration, check out our slideshow below of models off duty during Fashion Week Fall 2014.