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Model Requirements: Do You Have What It Takes?

  • Amy Bebbington

In a forever evolving fashion world the expectations feel like they are constantly shifting. Many fight for a more diverse fashion landscape however many aspects remain the same. More curvaceous models grace the high fashion runway than ever before but stereotypes are very much present. 

Model Requirements

A models height, age and measurements (bust, waist and hips) are always taken into account no matter what niche of modelling you are in. To become a fashion model you must be over 16. Those that are younger than 16 are classed as teen or child models.

As we take a look at the model requirements and statistics for each modelling division please bear in mind that there are always exceptions to the rule. 

The Different Types of Modelling

High Fashion

Tall, slim models are typically hired. The British Association of Model Agents (AMA) explains that a female models height should reach between 5’8” and 5’11” with a 6-8 dress size and a 34″-24″-34″ bust, waist and hip measurement. Anything above this is classed as plus size. Criticised for their dangerously thin models token curvaceous figures are increasingly hired yet the stereotype is very much witnessed on the catwalk. 

The high fashion industry has also been accused of racism with little ethic diversity. Again, token black or Asian models are spotted in editorials and at fashion weeks yet many are fighting to eradicate tokenism completely. Do not stop following your dream due to your weight, age or race as strong, confident individuals are what forces change. 


Commercial/Catalogue Brands

A more accessible, natural look is desired by commercial brands who play it a little safer than high fashion. You will still need to be relatively tall but not to supermodel standards. Symmetrical features, beautiful locks and a slender figure is desired. However, some commercial brands have plus size and petite sections that will hire accordingly to relate to their target audience. 

Catalogue and commercial brands aim is to sell their latest designs in store and online. Therefore, they will choose models that reflect their customer showing how the garment naturally fits. Young fashionable brands such as New Look  will be more inclined to choose a more girl-like frame whereas sophisticated high street retailers such as Next and Zara will aim more towards a woman.

Plus Size Labels

This is a delicate subject within the fashion arena as many are frustrated over the industries relationship with size. The majority of healthy, beautiful women fit into this category and therefore, do not relate to a fashion model in the magazines. 

Many ‘plus size’ models are campaigning to remove the unrealistic label and people of this body shape to be seen as simply a model. Therefore, do not categorise yourself by the size of your clothes. 

Don’t be afraid to break the mould and speak out. Designers are always looking for a new way to shock and disrupt the ‘norm’ whether via outlandish tricks or a new fashion muse. Be yourself and stand out from the crowd. Ashley Graham is a prime example of a model and activist who has fought to be considered as a model. She did not let her fuller figure hold her back and has inspired countless women to be proud of the skin they’re in. 


Petite Frames

Tiny, small frames will be well suited to petite modelling. Brands who design for a smaller build will hire models who fit their clothing. So, short girls are in luck! Typically, a petite model is classed as someone with a height measuring between 5’1” and 5’7.” Again to not be discouraged to try out for other niches and refrain from becoming stereotyped. There are some exceptions to the rule – Kate Moss is 5’7” after all. 

Fitness Fanatics

A muscular, highly toned physique is required to become a fitness model. Bulging biceps, a rippled six pack and strong thighs are a must. The niche requires individuals to form a dedicated diet plan that accompanies their strict exercise routine. A strong, passionate character will be able to maintain the daily commitment needed.


Body Part Models

Working in the body part industry demands either a killer pair of legs or an elegant pair of hands. The focus is primarily on your best feature and therefore, you need to take great care of it. No bruises, blemishes or rashes will suffice. A beauty regime is a must to keep your body part looking in tip top condition. Moisturise and stay out of the sun to guarantee flawless skin. 

The Glamour World

To succeed in the glamour industry a busty, hourglass figure is required. A large chest, slim waist and pert derriere is deemed the perfect seductive, temptress. Also, having the confidence and body awareness to pose provocatively is a must. Height is not so much of an issue as the focus is on individual body parts. 

Before entering the glamour world ensure that you are 100% comfortable posing in your lingerie exposing most of your physique.  


The Beauty Industry

The beauty world is similar to the body part industry in that there is a focus on specific features. Cosmetic brands will promote their latest product which could range from a mascara to nail varnish to shampoo. Therefore, a beauty model needs to keep each feature in good condition. Striking eyes, luscious lips and long locks are very much desired in this niche to help sell the product. Most likely digital enhancement will also take place to make the feature more prominent yet a good foundation is also required. 

Qualities Required in Modelling

In addition to appealing physically to your chosen niche, a certain type of character is required to be successful in the competitive modelling world. 

  • Show confidence at each casting and modelling job even if you’re feeling nervous. Believe in yourself and your capabilities. 
  • Work extremely hard to make your career successful. Modelling is not as glamorous as it looks and will require dedication to truly make it. 
  • Resistance is key. You will get rejected regularly. It is unfortunately part of the industry and you need to find a way to pick yourself back up every time and continue with your goal.
  • Finally, a business mind is vital. It is not enough to just have model talent it is essential to be able to understand contracts to avoid being taken advantage of. If you are unsure, please find someone who knows what they’re talking about. 

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Posted by Amy Bebbington

I express my love of fashion through writing, blogging and styling. My creative personality ensures that I produce unique and original work. I am a keen knitter and enthusiatic dancer.