model requirements

Are you missing out on a modeling career because you don’t know what’s required to be a model? Relax, these tips for models cover cover nine of the model requirements you need to know as a beginner.

I’ve been putting this off for a while. But, now I believe it’s time to talk about some of the requirements you’ll need to get going in the modeling industry.

You’ll discover where you fit in as a model. Also, take away some cool model hacks to apply for the best modeling jobs.

model requirements

model requirements

So, if you want to get started as a beginner model, you must read this.

Your Questions Answered – What Are the Model Requirements and Do You Have Them?

The modeling world looks unbelievably glamorous and luxurious when seen from the perspective of an outsider. And, the model search people know this, which is why they advertise “models wanted” so heavily.

Nevertheless, once you finally do enter the industry, you soon discover that modeling can be quite brutal – and extremely competitive.

After all, models can earn quite a hefty sum, right? And, those who do manage to make it on the runway often earn large paychecks. Not to mention they get the perks of meeting famous personalities and designers.

Then, they experience the thrill of traveling around the world!

Wow! Get Me Those Model Requirements – This Sounds Like FUN!

Woah! Hold on. Read the rest before you pack your bags for New York City..

First, make sure you are not afraid of facing numerous rejections. Yes, you will most likely be rejected from time to time.

If this doesn’t bother you at all, scroll through and read up on some of these basic model requirements:


Initially, the modeling industry only required that fashion models possess rail thin bodies, along with legs that go for miles.

Thankfully, the agents now require a more diverse selection of body types. And, standards of beauty are now considered and accepted by the more open-minded modeling agencies.

You’ll find many different categories, and even sub-categories when you apply to a model agency today. Likewise, these modeling categories carry various guidelines specific to that type.

So, familiarize yourself with each modeling type to see if you can fill one or more agency requirements for being a model.

2. How to Measure Up for Modeling

Often, different clients search for unique model requirements for the girls & guys they choose to hire.

Generally though, they follow certain guidelines and requirements for each of the most common categories. For instance…

  • Runway or Editorial Models. Aside from the models walking runways for VS, most female runway models should be at least 5’9 in height. And, they need 22’’-26’’ waists, 33”-36” hips, as well as possess bust lines ranging from 32”-36” only. I include a post for how to measure for females here.
  • Smaller busts are preferred due to the fact that they do not distract from the clothes – and create a cleaner silhouette. Remember, you are basically a clothes hanger on the catwalk. (no disrespect intended)
  • Most runway models range in age between 16-24 years. Or, at least possess a very youthful appearance. Most catwalk models are tall and skinny. With that said, you’ll find exceptions to both the rules.

“I’m one of the few high-fashion models built like a woman.” ~ Wilhelmina Cooper

3. Requirements to be a Male Model

Model requirements for males are less stringent than they are for their female counterparts.

For instance, male runway models should be at least 5’11 in height. And, they need to comfortably fit into size 40’’-42’’ jackets.

These models must have very taut muscles and bodies but still maintain a lean silhouette.

4. Swimsuit Model Requirements

The requirements for becoming a model for brands such as VS are slightly different than those for regular runway models.

Female models must have curvy bodies for these fashion jobs. But, they still need small waists and hips.

  • The general measurement requirements for these models are at least 5’7 in height; 32”-35” C cup busts; 22”-26” waists; and 33”-35” hips.
  • Men need inverted triangle body types. And, they must possess broad shoulders coupled with trim waists.

BONUS 2: You now know the body measurements you need. Now, find out how to measure for modeling stats. Go here..

5. Commercial Model Requirements

Naturally, commercial models have to register well on screen and deliver speech with ease.

Often, casting agents hire female models who are as short as 5’6 in height and male models who range from 5’9″.

Charisma and facial proportion play a big part for commercial models.

So, if you’ve got that amazing personality, check into commercial work.

6. What’s Required for Plus Size Modeling?

model requirements

model requirements

Plus size models often have fuller busts and hips than most runway models.

Nevertheless, these model hopefuls must have well proportioned bodies and faces – as well as have curves in all the right places.

Crystal Renn is one of the more famous and successful plus sized models.

Just the opposite is true for petite models. I put up a blog post dedicated to the petite model. So, check out this page if you’re interested in learning more.

7. Print or Catalog Models

This modeling type becomes less focused on height rather than body proportions. Nevertheless, the basic body measurements for print models are often the same as those for runway models.

For that reason, many women don’t quite meet the standards. And, the few that do become highly prized and are paid accordingly.

The minimum height requirement for female print models can go as low as 5’8″. But, their faces must be absolutely blemish free. And, they must have healthy hair – full of shine.

A cheerful personality is also required because photo shoots can often last for hours at a time.

8. Promotional or Trade show Models

Aside from attractive faces and bodies, these models display charm and charisma traits. And yes, modeling agencies seek these features for promotional and trade show models.

Promo models are usually hired only for short periods. They promote specific brands or launch new products.

As such, those who work as promotional models often work as freelancers.

So, you’ll find these models working:

  • in malls
  • grocery stores
  • car shows
  • corporate trade shows
  • bars or clubs
  • and special events. 

If you decide to become a promotional model, brush up on your selling & presentation skills.

9. Body Part Model

Even if you do not pass the requirements to be a model for the more conventional modeling categories, one other option is to model only a single body part.

You may lack height needed for the catwalk. Don’t give up yet. If you possess exquisite modeling hands, feet, hair, legs, etc., then you could try to model only that specific body part.

With that said, body part modeling comes easier to those who also qualify for other areas.


One of the most important modeling requirements involves building an up-to-date and comprehensive portfolio.

Often, the casting directors at go-sees or agencies request to view your portfolio. Why? They want to gauge just how versatile you are as a model. And, they need to see how well you photograph.

So, your modeling portfolio should contain various poses and looks that show your range.

Nevertheless, the most basic poses that should be found in your portfolio are:

  • clear profile shots
  • a head shot
  • and, a simple full body shot.

I won’t cover portfolios here. I wrote a post dedicated to this.

==> You can get the modeling portfolio tips here..

But, consider your portfolio as an investment, bringing you one step closer to your dream of becoming a professional model.

There you have it!

This lesson covered just about everything you need to know about the requirements to be a model. But, there comes a time when you have to “fish, or cut bait.” as the saying goes. It’s time for action!

So, read this again and get going toward your modeling career!

If you found this post useful for you, please let us know in the comments below. And, take a moment to share with your friends. Best of luck! – Bob Pardue


If you are ready to take that next step to learning how to model, more about requirements, etc., check out my book below. It’s available on Kindle and ready for instant download. Just click the picture to buy now…

Filed under: Modeling Tips