types of modeling agencies

I know, sometimes you feel like you’ll never be a model and walk the runway like Tyra or Cindy, or the other famous models you know.

I disagree! With so many types of modeling agencies in the USA and throughout the world, modeling opportunities abound!

But, does this guarantee your success? No, I’m just saying you must explore every possibility before you quit!

With that said, let’s take a dive right into the world of modeling agencies and see if becoming a model is something you really can do.

types of modeling agencies

types of modeling agencies

In today’s blog post, we’ll take a look at why model management is so important for new models. And, we’ll look at what’s available for you in this huge market. So, read on..

Discover the Types of Modeling Agencies – And Where You Fit In as a Model

Where to Find Model Agents – Your Challenge

First – When you first decide to learn how to become a model you’ll face lots of challenges such as..

And, with some practice these things will come.

But, one of the most important areas of your career could be getting started with casting companies, also known as modeling agencies. So, pay close attention to this tutorial.

Second – If you plan to become a supermodel, local agents still can play a part. Or, you can shoot straight for the top list model agencies in:

However, if you take this route, be prepared to face stiff competition from 100s ( maybe thousands) of other models just like you who have the same dream.

Now, get ready to find out the modeling agency types to see if you can find an opening for yourself..

1. Teen Modeling Agencies – Can You Make It as a Teen Model?

Fact is, teen modeling is most likely the biggest market today. It mostly features those tall, skinny girls between the ages of 13-19, male and female.

You’ll see these girls and guys working with top fashion brands such as:

  • Rotate
  • Chanel
  • Hermes
  • Gucci
  • Cartier
  • Tiffany
  • Dior
  • Burberry
  • & of course, Prada

So, if you are a teen model, and are blessed enough to work for one of these fashion giants, then you most likely can go forward with a successful modeling career.

In fact, I wrote a blog post telling all about modeling agencies for teens to get you started.

==> Read my article here to learn more about teen modeling careers..

2. Agencies for Fashion Models – The High-End Modeling Marketplace

This is the bread & butter of the modeling industry, so to speak. It’s also the most coveted, making the competition second to none!

So, if you want to become a high fashion model, read carefully before you apply to these model agencies.

What is Fashion Modeling?

In a nutshell, fashion modeling covers not only editorials, but also top fashion magazine covers like:

  • Vogue
  • Elle
  • Harper’s Bazaar
  • Marie Claire
  • Cosmopolitan
  • InStyle
  • GQ
  • W
  • Vanity Fair
  • Esquire
  • & Grazia.

Yes, I realize you might see these well-known magazines as out of reach. But, fashion models get discovered daily and some end up on the covers. So, why not you?

What Do You Need to Get Listed With Fashion Modeling Agencies?

Now, I won’t go into all the requirements for these agents. I wrote an article about different  modeling requirements for women on the site. For instance, you can read about the IMG modeling agency requirements here.

Do a quick search on my blog for others.

With that said, fashion companies make their own special qualifications from a size zero dress size to a plus sized girl.

But, you’ll find the basic qualification needed by the majority of agents in the fashion model network below..

You must be:

  • Between 13 and 24 years of age.
  • At least 5′ 6″ tall if you are a girl 17 years old and below.
  • At least 5′ 8″ tall for women 18 year old and above.

Now, don’t take these numbers to heart. There are plenty of careers for women models who differ from these sizes.

The industry supports many model types. So, look closely to see where you fit in – and then make your move!

How Women Get Started with Fashion

Your stunning looks will not get you into the network or make you a top talent overnight with the huge pay check.

So get a reputable top modeling agency like:

  • Elite
  • Next
  • Ford
  • Wilhelmina Modeling,

Or, choose any good local agents in your nearest city.

Then, show them your portfolio, get listed and start working your way to a fashion modeling career.

NOTE: Runway modeling, also commonly known as catwalk is much the same as high fashion. Most models realize they will walk the runway when they take on agencies in high fashion.

The only real difference is that catwalk mostly involves the advertisement of clothes for fashionable and trendy designers shows.

You’ll see these models walking in events like Madrid Fashion Week.

3. Working for Commercial Modeling Agencies – These Still Produce High-End Jobs for Models

Commercial models cover advertisement campaigns for top brands like Cover Girl Cosmetics and campaigns for different manufactures.

So, the commercial modeling agencies look for models who fit a certain look to represent their clients.

That’s why commercial models find amazing opportunities at times when their “look” is favored among multiple companies.

For instance, you might be the face of Beauty Blender because you have flawless skin. Then, you turn around and an agent for Elizabeth Arden believes you can pull off a perfume ad.

Editorial is kind of loosely only referenced to fashion. The truth is that they’re completely different types of careers.

Who Works for Commercial Model Companies?

There are models who work for commercial brands, like maybe a catalog, like Athletica, or there are millions of catalogs these days. And, they gear more toward the commercial side.

Keep in mind, many girls list with modeling agencies for commercial work locally. And, they will not:

  • Go to work for a famous brand designer.
  • Be in the next Calvin Klein ads.
  • Walk in a Calvin Klein show.
  • Be picked for an “Elle Magazine” cover.

Instead, these models work for other commercial clients. And, you might never know their name. But, they work all the time – and they make a lot of money!

Sure, fashion is great, and you do make a lot of money. But, many times fashion means a long, hard road to travel. It’s simply a different kind of a road.

And no, “Commercial” is not a dirty word because you look more like a lot of different people. Therefore, you become sort of nondescript.

For instance: you’re the blonde girl. the brunette girl they use.

Or, you might be the girl who looks fabulous in blue.

Finally, you wear black like a beauty at a cocktail party.

This means, the commercial modeling opportunities are almost endless!

So, there’s a difference of the type of modeling career. And commercial modeling goes on everywhere. That’s the beauty of it. You’ll find commercial modeling agents in..

  • Los Angeles
  • Charlotte
  • San Diego
  • Boise
  • New York
  • Dallas
  • and, almost any other mid to large size city in the United States (world).

Where Do You Find Commercial Model Agents?

Ultimately, you’ll discover commercial clients everywhere in the United States. And, they work through agents all over.

So, these agencies might hire one principle person from Los Angeles. But, they’re shooting in Florida.

So, they might hire a bunch of models from Miami. For you, this means commercial modeling, because it is more accessible, goes on everywhere.

That’s the main differences.

In editorial and fashion, you need to be in a market that caters to that particular body type.

Those markets are very specific and they also are tailored around the time of year when there’s actually a Fashion Week in progress. These shows are where people are really looking at clothes from a fashion perspective.

This is the main reason commercial modeling agencies can open many more doors than high fashion.

Now, some models get commercial confused with editorial modeling agents. And yes, there is a difference.

I won’t go into detail here because I wrote a complete post about the two. Just see my commercial vs editorial modeling page to clarify.

You can learn more here about commercial & editorial models.

4. Careers with Plus Size Modeling Companies – To Be a Plus Model..

Many teenage girls, and young women give up when they discover the “skinny as a rail” world of high fashion models. But, realistically, many on the larger side are finding great careers with plus size modeling agencies and are enjoying a lucrative career.

So, please don’t quit too quickly.

To really make your mark in this industry, you really need to learn more about getting jobs with the right type of local plus size model agency who represents your body type.

How to Become a Plus Size Model

An aspiring model on the heavier side may actually have an advantage, as there are many  fashion and catalog clients looking for over-sized models.

But, it is not always easy to find plus agencies in your local area.

Businesses do not advertise in Yellow Pages. Yet, they still need a person who has the precise measurements and requirements for their product or promotion – whenever the need arises.

Relativity of Plus in the Fashion World

First, the general public relates to stylish clothing when models of similar sizes exhibit them.

The fashion industry caters to varied tastes. And, the only requirement new female plus models need to note is to look for talent companies working specifically with plus size models. This way, they can put themselves in the right position for advancement.

Though it may appear difficult finding the agent you want locally, applicants can use different types of available resources, both offline and online.

Yes, opportunities are out there! It is just a matter of finding the right agent that needs you right now.

Are You Really a Plus Size Model? What are the Requirements?

Body measurements and proportions are important, even if you plan to be a plus size model.

If you are a size 12 or larger, qualifying as a model for plus size jobs becomes a little easier.

The designing community prefers size 4 to size zero for many of their commercial print modeling projects. The general feeling is people relate more easily to fashion wear displayed by perfect-figure models.

The supply of these body types is sometimes overwhelming. But, this is not always true when you play the role of plus-size modeling.

==> I’ve written more about plus size modeling on the blog. Read the post here.

Getting Jobs in Plus Modeling

In many locations across the United States, you can actually find more work in plus venues.

For example, local businesses interested in running flyers or promotional events will look for management companies representing these girls who can fill their needs.

How To Find Plus Size Modeling Agencies

You need to find the best talent management companies in your area to get those consistent assignments it takes to make any real money. These agencies need girls for jobs in very specific types of work.

Keep searching for an “open call” from modeling agencies who invite plus size female models. This way, you’re ready to take the opportunity to present yourself when these places need your look.

Chances of getting an assignment are much higher when you are “there“.

Your Body – Are You Satisfied?

Models comfortable with their bodies have a better chance of getting work. This is true no matter if it’s working on jobs with modeling agencies in Birmingham or New York agents – especially at their first approach.

When you make contact, wear casual, comfortable clothes that make you very presentable, but does not give the impression of only “looking good” in certain outfits.

There is enough work available in plus fields to motivate you to begin completing your professional portfolio today.

5. Petite Modeling Agencies – Can You Really Find Short Modeling Agencies  – Or is This Just a Myth?

Finding petite, or short modeling agencies can be an overwhelming task because not many agents are exactly calling out for height challenged girls.

Getting Started as a Petite Model

You may not find an agency that specifically specializes in petite size modeling. But, there are some of the “traditional” agents that are willing to work with models of all sizes.

Requirements for Shorter Models (Petite)

As always, requirements vary dependent upon the modeling company you contact. With that said, the “normal” petite model stats are listed below..

  • Height range 4″9′ – 5″7′ and dress size 9/10 or less. Any shorter falls under teenagers or preteen modeling.
  • pretty face with..
    • great facial features
    • good posture
    • healthy hair
    • & elegance
  • work your body well and get in shape since you’re a bit disadvantaged by taller models
  • Travel – willing and flexible to relocate; the best cities are New York, LA, London and Paris, which will require you to always be on the move.
  • May be required to work without pay for sometime as a beginner – Don’ t worry, rewards come to those who put in the time.

Approaching a Model Agency for Petite Work

  • create a portfolio with high-quality snapshots preferably by a professional photographer. Accentuate your best features.
  • specify which area you will be good at; print, commercials, runway etc.
  • do not put all your focus on your short stature; highlight your qualities and talents
  • send your resume to as many agents as possible, and let a hiring agency look you over for opinions and recommendations

Some reputable short modeling agencies include:

And, magazines like Bella Petite, Glamour, Elle, Cosmo Girl and others.

For Inspiration – Check Out These Past Top 5 short Models

Nicole Fox: crowned winner of America’s Next Top Model cycle 13. Working with Wilhelmina Models, graced the Seventeen and CoverGirl magazine, numerous runways and ads.

Eveline Voznesenskaya: 7-year-old Russian model and actress. Started at age 4. Has featured in countless shows and magazines like Vogue Bambini, and won several awards among them “Little Miss Galaxy”.

Isobella Jade: model, author and PR expert. Stands at 5″4′. Appeared in The New York Post Pulse, Media Bistro, Fashion Television among others. Famous for her book on short modeling advice.

Josie Maran: editorial and advert model, and actress and is 5″7′. Started at age 12 and signed with Elite at 17. You can start with commercial agencies and move up too! Appeared in over 25 ads and magazines like Sports Illustrated.

Sundai Love: undoubtedly the shortest model to appear on Tyra Bank’s America’s Next Top Model, made it to top-5 finalists. Stands at 5″3′. Currently studying and writing a book and says she will continue with modeling.

So you see? You don’t absolutely have to be 6 feet tall to become a female model. Petite girls can do just fine in the industry with a little preparation, research and tenacity.

So, could you be the next Eveline Voznesenskaya? I don’t know for sure. But, neither will you until you give it a try.

Work Toward Your Goals Every Day!

It takes work to model. And, not everyone makes it. But, you can hedge your bets by setting your modeling goals. Then, contact as many modeling agencies for petite girls as possible.

Keep at it every day until your dream of becoming a professional petite model can come into reality. Good luck!

6. Are Fitness Model Agencies the Same as All Others?

As with petite, plus size and other model types, I’m not sure if there are many specific modeling agencies for fitness.

And I wrote a complete email newsletter for how to get in shape for modeling so I won’t go into much detail.

==> You can sign in to my free fitness & health e-zine here..

Still, I want to list a few attributes of fitness models to prepare you – if you feel you qualify for this type work.

First, fitness models are women who possess emasculate bodies. To picture this type of talent, consider the guys and girls you see in the bodybuilding competitions.

Or, you might find them advertising health products, the “after” picture in weight loss commercials, etc.

So, if you plan to work in the fitness modeling field, be prepared to work on yourself diligently.

Quick Tips for New Fitness Models..

Finally, Your Stepping Stone To Success Might Depend Upon a Local Modeling Agent

This section is more of a bonus if you need to find more about applying to modeling companies locally.

If you work locally as a model, the competition is still there but on a smaller scale.

Learn how to find them and what you should know to apply in a way that gives you an edge over the other girls and guys.

Maybe you’ll get listed with one of these modeling agents in your area.

Why Go with a Local Model Agent?

Types of Modeling Agencies

Be sure and check out each modeling agency you contact to make sure they are legitimate.

For one, these modeling companies are the ideal platforms for you to promote yourself in the field of modeling. Nevertheless, there are certain problems you may encounter.

You might find it difficult to resolve problems unless you know how the industry functions.

The people in the agencies are not always as they seem. So, you need to find who is legit and who is not.

Recognizing Model Scams

There are bogus entities posing as modeling agencies ready to swindle aspiring models.

And, they don’t hesitate to charge large sums of money based on false hope.

So, check out the agency with the BBB. Or, talk to other models who work with them if possible. It’s better to have peace of mind from the beginning.

The best thing about going local is that you can call up a modeling agency near you and find out if they have upcoming open call days.

And, the other good news is; these modeling agencies prefer employing local talent because they are usually available at short notice.

Are There Any Fees to Get Listed with Modeling Companies?

A modeling agency is often restricted by law to charge fees from models on registration.

Nevertheless, there are some charges to be considered like:

  • travel expenses
  • fashion wear
  • photographs clicked by professionals, etc.

These aspects should be considered when approaching a reputed agent. It is sometimes better to pay up related fees than join a lesser-reputed agency at a far-off location.

But, just make sure the fees are in line with the laws of your state. (I am not an attorney – so check with one locally if you are unsure.)

How to Find the Ideal Management Agency

You can discover big and small casting companies located in different parts of the USA.

Larger companies have international branches, but depend on smaller agencies to provide fresh talent.

Assignments with model agencies are many times available on part-time basis until you decide on your future career goals.

Use Your Looks and Your Talent

Okay, you might not become America’s Next Top Model. And, other contests you enter might not pan out.

But, don’t be surprised if you find a good paying job after you decide to approach your first model agency company.

I hope these tips helped you to understand a bit more about the modeling agency types. And, you found inspiration to start your agency search today.

Let’s Get Started with a Model Agency

Aspiring beginner models usually start off best with local modeling agencies, learn the trade, and then progress on to top international agencies with a serious career goal in mind.

But remember, competition increases as you progress to more serious assignments.

Practice everything you need to do. Show professionalism in interviews with model agents – and show them you can do it.

A long-term career with top model companies offers more opportunities. So, it’s up to you to decide when you are ready to move on to more lucrative assignments.

I hope these tips helped you in learning about the different types of modeling agencies available to you.

I listed several types above, although there are plenty of sub-sections to these fields. Good luck in joining the entertainment network and I hope you lots of success! – Bob


If you are ready to take that next step to learning how to model, check out my book below. You’ll discover more about the types of modeling agencies, fashion model advice & more! It’s available on Kindle and ready for instant download. Just click the picture to buy now…

Filed under: Model Agency Tips