Who are some average looking models

Become a model: three bookers explain how it works!

How can I become a model?

For many young people, becoming a model still sounds like a dream job. Certainly getting paid for looking good, traveling a lot for jobs and at best getting samples from the coolest brands on top of that definitely reads as a pleasant job description. In addition, the flexibility is certainly one of the decisive arguments why being a model is still interesting for many.

As a (small) entrepreneur you are basically your own boss and only work if you have found jobs through the model agency. Quantitatively, less work is done with a higher daily wage than is the case with employees in normal salaried employment. At the same time, however, you are also dependent on there being jobs and being booked. Because if you don't work, you don't get any money. With regular jobs, however, you can also earn good money in a short period of time. In addition, you constantly get to know new people and places and thus build up an international network of contacts that will certainly be of advantage in the further course of life.

Can anyone become a model?

But here, too, the almost dusty sentence applies: "All that glitters is not gold!" Because being a model has its downsides, which you rarely see in our "best version of ourselves" society. Behind the beautiful glow, prospective models expect hours of waiting between castings, continuous competition among each other and for a booked job at least ten times as many rejections after applying.

The face, the figure and the basic presence are continuously a topic, because there will always be someone who has better qualifications and is more beautiful or more successful than you. Modeling is definitely not an easy job and it's not just about taking beautiful photos, even if it is still often portrayed as exactly that in the media. Regardless of appearance and figure, not everyone is made for this job, because it requires a strong psyche and self-confidence.

"Modeling is definitely not an easy job and it's not just about taking beautiful photos."

What do you have to bring with you to become a model?

In general, information and requirements for the professional field are still difficult to find on the Internet and, moreover, are often very confusing. That's why we spoke to three model bookers who answered the most important questions about becoming a model, applying, the requirements and the job in general. Yong Wang is the owner of the Munich model agency Tigers MGMT, Sven Melzer is a booker at Mint Artist Management in Berlin and Nanda Rai is a booker on the curve board of the Wilhelmina model agency. Wang answered our questions related to female models, whereas Melzer covered the male models. Find out more about how you can apply as a model and which pictures are required for this.

3 bookers answer the most important questions about becoming a model

How important are the classic "model dimensions" today?

Yong Wang: In some cases, strict dimensions still apply on the international catwalks. Unlike in the past, however, a "minimum BMI" is now also required, which is monitored by a doctor. Models that are too thin are sent home.

Sven Melzer: The boys' measurements are still very important today. At the same time, they vary greatly from label to label. Versace, for example, prefers a well-toned, muscular type, whereas Saint Laurent prefers androgynous models.

Nanda Rai: Fortunately, the previous standard sizes for models are no longer a uniform or fixed size. Of course, there are still the couture shows, where the models have to fit into a fixed sample size, but the curve area has definitely established itself as an influential spectrum above dress size 36. I think the positive response from consumers has largely convinced the industry to focus on more inclusive sizes. Because of course it has a positive effect on buying behavior and the buying experience when consumers see themselves represented by the model.

Do you think that developments on the catwalks (also with regard to the models' bodies) are becoming more diverse?

Y.W .: Diversity is now a big topic in the fashion business too. In my opinion, it was time for the industry to open up accordingly. The acceptance of models that do not conform to the norm is now greater, and I, too, rely on different gender identities and "non-stereotypical" models in my portfolio.

N.R .: There is currently a noticeable change in the fashion industry, especially when it comes to diversity. Brands like Fenty are remembered precisely because they show models of all different sizes in their new collections as part of their fashion shows. When the Hadids walk down the same catwalk with curvy model Lulu Bonfils for "Savage x Fenty", it is a dramatic experience for the guests in the front row. Brands like Fenty, Glossier or Universal Standard in particular create a change in the industry through their inclusive booking and therefore have such a large following. With their success, they ensure that other brands jump on this bandwagon. They're shaking up the market!

What do you value as a booker? Is good looks really everything?

Y.W .: It's important to look good, of course. But in addition to the correct measurements and height, I also pay attention to personality and charisma.

S.M .: At Mint, we don't just focus on looks, we represent personalities. A good, interesting look is important, but the personality is the be-all and end-all. No matter how beautiful applicants are, these days an empty shell is no longer of interest.

N.R .: As a booker of the curve board, what I look for most is the proportions. It is very important that the bust and hips of the (prospective) models are proportional so that the sample sizes fit. Of course, good looks are a door opener in this regard. But what the models have to offer beyond that is crucial. Top models like Ashley Graham or La Tecia are not just models, they are designers, influencers, bloggers, musicians, activists etc. - good looks alone are no longer enough.

What do you think makes a good model?

Y.W .: In addition to personality, stamina and a large portion of cordiality.

S.M .: Discipline and good management.

N.R .: You have to keep fighting to be part of this industry. And especially when you fall out of the norm, the criticism you get is much harsher. One of the qualities I see in our top curve models is the courage to keep going despite what they have to listen to. In addition, creativity, personality, body positivity, self-love and also leadership quality are important, after all, they constantly pave the way for those who follow them.

Are there qualities that applicants should definitely have if they are aiming for a career as a model?

Y.W .: If you want to make a career, you need a good understanding of the fashion industry. In addition, determination, spontaneity and reliability. It doesn't work without good "work ethics".

S.M .: In addition to the look, nowadays it is also an absolute MUST to be active on social media and to have a successful Instagram account. Today, followers represent a value for every customer and therefore also a decisive criterion.

N.R .: The most important quality that potential curve models should bring is self-confidence. The fashion industry has long been known to only allow one body type. That is why it still happens that models who fall out of this stereotype are not treated equally on set or during auditions. In addition, there are also some difficulties for "plus sized" models on set, as many stylists are not adequately prepared or many high-fashion brands are simply not produced in large sizes. Confidence is therefore important so that you don't get discouraged by something like this.

Does social media really play such a big role and is it right that a certain following opens doors in the fashion world?

Y.W .: Presence on social media has become essential in our business! Followers on Instagram ensure greater awareness and guarantee potential customers a wider reach. For most models this is a matter of course today, but if there is a need for advice, I am happy to help out as an agent. It is entirely possible that certain doors will open in the first place.

S.M .: Unfortunately, social media is playing too much of a role these days. Reach is an important topic for everyone involved, which has changed the industry a lot. Bloggers and influencers are now the brands' new muses.

How can applicants be sure that they have come to a trustworthy agency? In your opinion, what makes a good model agency or a good booker?

Y.W .: For girls under 18, parents or legal guardians sit at the table right from the start. In addition, hands off when agencies require advance payments! A reputable agency will always pay in advance. Lists such as those on Vogue.de also help, for example. Serious agencies are noted on it.

S.M .: As #MeToo has already shown, there are still a lot of black sheep in the fashion industry. As an absolute newbie, I would therefore recommend googling and also take a look at the Instagram accounts of the model agencies.

Is there a minimum or a maximum age for modeling?

Y.W .: The minimum age for girls and boys is 16 years. You shouldn't be older than your early 20s if you want to start. You are a little more generous with men. There are cases where I send an applicant home and ask to reapply later if the age and personality match the industry requirements.

S.M .: I personally enjoy working with male models who are 18 years or older. There are actually no upper limits for men.

N.R .: The minimum age at Wilhelmina is between 15 and 16 years for female models. We pride ourselves on the fact that we can shape and support models early on, before they actually set foot in the industry. The maximum age for the curve board is around 45 years.

How can you, as an agency, ensure that security is guaranteed "on set"? So incidents that have become more and more public in recent years don't repeat themselves?

Y.W .: With underage models, the legal guardians or the agents are always allowed to be on the set. But there are also customers, large print media, designers or photographers who generally only work with models over 18. Casting directors, production, agents and even the models themselves have become much more sensitive to the subject, and an offense is no longer tolerated. In addition, before each job, the agency clarifies with the client and model what to expect during the shoot. Word of a violation is spreading like wildfire in the industry and especially on social media these days.

S.M .: We at Mint therefore attach great importance to the fact that we only represent a small number of talents, but look after them very personally. This of course also includes accompanying our protégés to the set. Especially if they are still minors.

Isn't the market already saturated? Is an application still worthwhile?

Y.W .: This industry is never oversaturated. It is very fast-paced and therefore always needs new faces and impulses. Personally, I only take on models that I believe in one hundred percent and for whom I also see an opportunity internationally. An application is definitely worth it!

S.M .: Absolutely correct. The industry is now so fast-paced. Every season, whether for men or women, there are countless new faces (so-called "New Faces"). As a booker you often think to yourself, "Wow, I think she / he is great. This is going to be the new high-flyer!", But in the end you don't see her / him appear at any of the big shows in the following season. Unfortunately the motto is still: "One day you are in, one day you are out." It therefore really depends on the certain look and charisma. That is why it is so important to convince with a great personality. You want to be remembered by the designers and casting directors. And of course it is important to have a booker or an agency who is completely behind you and who believe in you!

N.R .: By default, models work around ten to twelve years after they turn 18. At least if you look at editorials or head campaigns. Nevertheless, we are always looking for the new, fresh face. New talent is what makes agencies interesting in the advertising market.

How do the appearance, the qualities and the requirements differ between the different branches?

Y.W .: To be booked as a fashion model, i.e. to be seen internationally on the catwalks and in glossy magazines, you unfortunately still need a certain size and minimum size. Exceptions confirm the rule here, but unfortunately the entry requirements are still quite strict. Classic commercial models have a size around 36/38 and often have a beaming smile. They correspond more to the generally accepted ideal of beauty in order to appeal to the broad masses. Talents, on the other hand, run completely out of competition, dimensions are secondary here. As a talent, you have to bring something special to the table, correspond to the zeitgeist and occupy a niche.

S.M .: Commercial customers in the lifestyle sector or from catalogs who want to appeal to the general public are looking for classic, natural faces without corners. High-fashion customers, on the other hand, tend to look for extremes to underline the fashion and the artistic aspect.

N.R .: The ideal clothing size for a curvy model is usually 44 to 46 for the runway. But here, too, the guideline value varies, firstly between the divisions, i.e. commercial, runway, etc. and secondly also depending on the designer - see for example Fenty or Chromat.

If you find a person interesting and they have successfully presented themselves in the agency - what are the "first steps" in business then?

Y.W .: I discuss the individual career plan with each new model in advance. Sometimes it can make sense, for example, to wait a little longer until the personality has developed or to step by step and do your first jobs during the school holidays. At the very beginning there are test shoots or smaller shows. We also discuss what to wear in order to present yourself to the customer in the best possible way. After years in business, I know how models have to look and also make sure that the personality comes across in the pictures on the catwalk and with customers. Because: "There is only one chance to make a first impression."

S.M .: Right at the beginning, we devote a lot of attention and care to the new face. For example, if the model is still in school, we slowly start building the book through test shoots. This is followed by stays abroad and shootings on weekends or school holidays. But sometimes things start very quickly right from the start!

additional Information

  • Ideal starting age: between 16 and 18 years, rarely earlier

  • Size for the runway: 178 centimeters for women; 188 centimeters for men

  • Size commercial: from 173 centimeters for women; 184 centimeters for men

  • Qualities that you should have as a model: punctuality, reliability and courtesy are essential. In addition: flexibility, self-confidence, willingness to travel and socialize, sociability

  • The right photos for an application: digital images without a lot of make-up and posing; as natural as possible; In bikini / shorts from head to toe, from the front or from the side: Headshot: hair open and closed

  • Attention: Serious model agencies do not charge newcomers any admission fees or test shootings paid for by the model himself!

More on the subject:

Find model agencies:Agencies are the intermediaries between models and their customers. To help you find the right one, Vogue has put together the most important addresses worldwide for you.

Backstage:Vogue visited Ford Models and got a glimpse of everyday working life!

"Respect Program":After #MeToo drew attention to sexual assault, especially in the film industry, the fashion world now also wants to set an example.