John Gallagher is the most sought after fit model in New York—and he’s 54

John Gallagher
Photo courtesy of Amy Lombard/T Magazine

Model and consultant John Gallagher is the reason your clothes fit right. The father of two works as a fit model—a living mannequin designers use to evaluate whether the shape and cut of a garment is true to what they designed. Unlike other fit models, Gallagher is also hired for his ability to tell designers how their garments wear, and how they can be improved.

“The designer approaches fashion from a style point of view,’’ Gallagher told T Magazine, ‘‘my job is to make sure you can move your arms in a suit.’’

John Gallagher

Gallagher consults on a pair of boxer briefs designed by Mack Weldon. Photo courtesy of Amy Lombard/T Magazine

While he claims that he was never “editorial enough” for runway or magazine work, Gallagher’s 32-inch-waist and toned physique made him ideal for fittings, allowing him to carve out a very specific, and lucrative, niche.

His ability to tell his clients exactly what needs to be adjusted to ensure a good fit—whether the waistband should sit lower on the hips or the buttons on a fly need to be set closer together—has made him indispensable to many companies. He now consults for around 70 labels and has had a line of mannequins modelled off of his body for when he’s too busy to try something on personally. While many models are cast aside once they turn 30, the 54-year-old Gallagher can still book up to 1,400 fittings in a year.

‘‘People think that unless you book a Vogue cover, you can’t be successful [as a model],’’ he told the magazine, ‘‘but there are so many other needs in fashion.’’