Fashion

Modeling Agencies : Everything You Need to Know

Dreaming of becoming a model, professionally in the United States? Then you have to learn about these US based modeling agencies to get on the right path. Or are you a model scout looking at which model agency you should be working for in the United States? We have listed agencies according to cities and some Frequently Asked Questions in this article, to provide you with the best information.

The world’s top models influence us with magazine editorials, feathery and angel-winged runways from New York to Paris, ad campaigns, social media, and even starring in Hollywood blockbusters and television shows. But do you know that these beauties didn’t get to the top with only their good looks? Brooke Shields, Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne and Joan Smalls to name a few, have a secret weapon: their modeling agencies.

That secret weapon is why we believe that anyone with a confident look and body can be a successful model. Start with understanding what your skills and opportunities are and market them to the right agency.

Our top-ranked list of the best US based modeling agencies is also a great reference for you when searching for a job in modeling scout. 

How to pick the best modeling agency

The best modeling agencies mentor their models to get placed in as many jobs as possible. Their task is to market you and book you gigs.

The agencies client list should give you a bit of a heads up as to what sort of work you will be doing for them: high-end fashion names or local catalog companies? Modeling agencies are like any other business. Some specialize in specific niches that you should be aware of. As a model, you’ll want to market yourself appropriately to the right sort of agencies. And don’t limit yourself to the most famous modeling agencies, sometimes you will get more work from a smaller, more specialized modeling agency near you.

No matter your level of experience in the industry, models need quality representation to get the most out of their careers. For aspiring models, smaller agencies( usually run by former models or insiders) in your home town might be an excellent place to start. They work with local clients and book gigs. Interestingly, big US based modeling agencies in New York and Los Angeles scout small home town agencies to source  fresh-faced talent.

How to get into a top modeling agency

Modeling agencies are always looking for fresh talent, so you can have them come to you, or you can go to them. In today’s social media-centric world, Instagram is a talent scout for modeling agencies. 

  • Market yourself like a professional

Set up an online modeling portfolio and use Instagram and social media to your advantage. It doesn’t have to be all work related, but make sure your online presence communicates the real you. The scouts will be looking at it, so make sure there’s nothing there you don’t want them to see. 

  • Research modeling agencies before and set up interviews

Many smaller agencies have open calls throughout the week. Follow their instructions carefully. Bring the recommended photographs and paperwork, be professional, and be courteous. Remember, it’s not just about how you look in front of the camera but also about how trainable and personable you are.

  • Submit to agencies online

Almost all commercial modeling agencies accept online submissions from models. You’ll be expected to have a few photographs and maybe a portfolio. Check out some great examples of model portfolios. Many also want to see your Instagram or Facebook profiles, if you use those to market yourself (which you should be doing!)

  • Don’t worry about having professional photographs

Most agencies want to see the “natural” you. They want snapshots with natural poses and little or no makeup. Simple hair styling and a basic outfit (like jeans and white t-shirt) are recommended as well. If you are submitting to an agency online via their web form or email, double and triple check their requirements whether it is one of the good modeling agencies for beginners. Many agencies spell out the sort of photographs they’re looking for and their current needs in terms of models.

How to be safe

Unfortunately, in the process of marketing yourself to agencies, you may be approached by nefarious individuals claiming to be talent scouts. In an industry where many new models are waiting for their big break, unscrupulous individuals have figured out ways to take advantage. If a talent scout approaches you, always double check their credentials and check with the agency with which they work. As always, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. The agencies know this is a problem, and there is never any harm on checking up on who you are working with.

FAQ:

Do modeling agencies ask for money?

You never have to pay to join an agency for modeling, ever. There are indeed some very legitimate reasons for a modeling agency to ask you for money, but only AFTER they have proven themselves to you. Clients pay models but Modeling agencies don’t pay models, the models pay modeling agencies for getting them work.

Do models pay for their own portfolios?

A legitimate modeling agency will never ask you to pay for your own starting costs but they try to get their money back after they start getting work for you. Try new photographers, stylists, or designers who often ask an agency for volunteer models to use when building their own working portfolios.

What is the best modeling agency?

These are the Top Ten Modeling Agencies

  1. Elite Model Management. 
  2. Ford Models. 
  3. IMG Models. 
  4. Wilhelmina Models. 
  5. Premier Model Management. 
  6. Storm Model Management. 
  7. Next Management. 
  8. Marilyn Agency.

What model agency is Kendall Jenner signed to?

Wilhelmina Models: Jenner began modeling at age 14 when Wilhelmina Models signed her on July 12, 2009. 

What should I wear to a modeling agency interview?

This may include a little bit of foundation, mascara, eyeshadow and lip gloss. If the agency specifies a particular outfit, wear the clothing you used for your portfolio images so the interviewer can see your body shape. Fitted shirts and jeans in solid colors and simple patterns work best.

How much commission do Modeling agencies take?

They usually charge their models a 20% commission, but they charge the model’s client a similar amount, according to the models and attorneys. Models frequently have to cover their own business expenses, headshots and plane travel, even the famous ones. 

List of top US based modeling agencies

Modeling agencies in Los Angeles

Storm Los Angeles : Storm represents both model and artistic talent. According to their website, they have represented Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford, among others. It is one of the top modeling agencies in America.

Two Management : 2M is an LA-based agency with international reach. They have offices in Copenhagen and Toronto. They are a boutique agency specializing in high-end advertising and catalog.

Q Management : A boutique agency with global ambitions, Q was founded in 1998. Their clients have included Chanel, Lancome, Revlon, Gucci, Apple, Nike, and many others. Q has offices in both LA and New York.

LA Models : Founded in the 1980s, LA Models is one of the most powerful agencies in the world. They claim to be the largest modeling agency on the west coast!

Nous Model Management : Nous focuses on female models for print and fashion. They are always looking for women ages 14 to 21, and they hold open calls and take web submissions.

State : State has offices in New York and LA. They have many departments, including lifestyle and fitness models, prop stylists, and grooming artists.

Modeling agencies in San Francisco

Boom! Models and Talent: Boom! represents models, actors, lifestyle models, musicians, and even pets. They are franchised by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).

Stars Management :Like many West Coast agencies, Stars manages everyone from models to athletes to influencers. They have divisions for Latin, fitness, voice-over artists, and creative artists of all sorts.

RAE Model and Talent Agency :RAE Agency not only represents male and female models in fashion, lifestyle, commercial film and print, but they are the only agency to represent dancer in San Francisco Bay Area. Some of their clients include Levi’s, Athleta, FitBit, Facebook, Google, and Toyota. With talents including makeup artists, photographers, musicians, and cirque performers, RAE Agency provides all needs for live events and entertainment.

Look Model Agency : Look was established in 1986 with an attention to detail and superior service to ensure the success of their models and the happiness of their clients. They hold an open call on Mondays and also take web submissions.

The Blackwell Files : The Blackwell Files focuses on “real people” models to meet the needs of commercial clients and photographers worldwide.

Marla Dell Talent : MDT is a SAG-AFTRA franchised agency for models, actors, and kids. They work with hundreds of Bay Area and international clients like Levis, Old Navy, Pixar, Nickelodeon, and Disney.

Models, Inc : Models, Inc. has talent of all ethnicities and sizes. They do not hold open calls but accept submissions via email. They focus on a diverse number of options and clients, and they have divisions for teens, real families, hand modeling, fit models, and babies/children.

Scout Model and Talent Agency : Scout has offices in both LA and San Francisco. They do not do open calls, but they do accept discovery submissions online.

NYLO Model and Talent Agency : With divisions for models from four to 65+ years, NYLO is SAG-AFTRA franchised and focuses on building strong relationships with their clients and their talent. They are not currently accepting submissions, but check often as this is subject to change.

Modeling agencies in Denver 

Donna Baldwin Agency: Donna Baldwin’s roster includes models, actors, voice and stylist talent. Models are placed with Revolution Management. According to their website, they are Denver’s largest and most respected talent agency.

John Casablancas Agency: John Casablancas has locations all over the country, including a few international locations. Their models have been signed by major agencies in the top places and have worked for a wide variety of clients ranging from AT&T to Warner Brothers. The website includes an online audition.

Eden Talent Agency:  Eden represents models for the Colorado area to local clients. They have divisions for men, women, kids, and families. They are actively looking for new talent and take online submissions.

Modeling agencies in Miami

Caroline Gleason Models :CGM represents models with specific divisions for fashion, fitness, and influencers. They accept web submissions.

Posche Models International : Porsche has an office both in Miami and in New York, along with a long list of cities worldwide. They accept online model submissions but be sure to check their website for their specific needs.

DAS Model Management : DAS has offices in both New York and Miami. They accept online submissions from both men and women models for fashion and TV work.

The Green Agency:  This boutique agency located in Miami Beach represents English and Spanish language models, actors, and voice over artists. They have an online discovery form but do not hold open calls. Check their website for their industry blog, Tammy Talks.

FRONT Management:  FRONT represents the freshest faces in women fashion, men, children, talent, and celebrities, including plus sizes and big and tall. Clients have included Versace, Ralph Lauren, and many other top brands.

Modeling agencies in Chicago

Stewart Talent :Steward is a varied agency that represents not only models but comedians, actors, directors, and musicians as well. They have more offices in Atlanta, New York, and LA. Online submissions can be made through their website.

Lily’s Talent Agency:  Lily’s roster includes models, actors, artists, and voice-over specialists. They take submissions online. Lily’s has over 40 years of experience in the industry.

10 MGMT: 10 MGMT’s roster includes men’s and women’s fashion and lifestyle models, influencers, and creative artists. They accept online submissions.

Shirley Hamilton Talent: Shirley Hamilton represents a diverse group of models including men, women, kids and teens, and non-binary gender models. They accept submissions via mail, see their website for more specific requirements.

Modeling agencies in Atlanta

BMG Models: BMG has offices all over the country and represents fashion, commercial, and lifestyle models, male and female as well as children. They hold open calls at their Atlanta office every Wednesday for models 13 years and older.

MP Management: Open call every Wednesday, refer to their website for more details. They have offices all over the world and represent some of the world’s most talented models.

Modeling agencies in New York City

Ford Models : According to Forbes.com, Ford Models is the most influential agency in the world. Ford has offices all over North America (and the world) and their clients are represented by all the major fashion houses and major publications. It is also one of the top male modeling agencies in the World. In the 80s, Ford brought us famous faces like Christy Turlington, Elle Macpherson and Naomi Campbell, on the heels of introducing women like Jane Fonda, Brooke Shields, Candice Bergen and Beverly Johnson to the world.

Next Models NYC : Next also has offices in LA, Miami, Paris, London, and Milan. A truly international agency, their clients include GQ, Vogue, and Calvin Klien, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Arizona Muse, Anja Rubik, Myla Dalbesio, Suki Waterhouse and her little sis, Imogen. It also represents a growing number of “hybrids” like fashionista Alexa Chung, Milla Jovovich and Rita Ora, to name a few. Next opened its doors in New York in 1989. Contact the nearest office for open calls or apply online.

ONE Management: According to their website, ONE focuses on creative elements of music, film, and talent with an emphasis on diversity.

Elite Model Management: Elite claims to have created the Supermodel. They have offices in New York as well as LA and Miami. 

Major Model Management : Major, began life in Milan and expanded to New York in 1999, establishing them as one of the most popular modeling agencies in the world.

IMG Models : Like the other commercial modeling agencies in New York, IMG is an international company with offices around the world. They also focus on talent training, with their summer Fashion Camp and Model Prep mentorship programs. With offices all over the globe, it has represented Gisele Bündchen, Kate Moss, Heidi Klum and Liya Kebede. It also has top current-day talent like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, Chanel Iman, Lara Stone along with runway and editorial darlings like Jacquelyn Jablonski and Hanne Gaby Odiele.

Wilhelmina Models : Wilhelmina Models has offices in LA, Miami, Chicago, and London. The company was started in the 1960s by supermodel Wilhelmina Cooper and has become one of the most well-respected agencies on the planet.The brand has gone on to represent some of the most widely-recognized models of the day like Coco Rocha and also represents fitness and plus-sized models.

Red Model : Red holds open calls every Wednesday. Be sure to look on their website for their current needs and some great tips to help you make the most of your time. 

M Model Management : M Models is a boutique agency that specializes in surfer, skater, and rock musician styles of models. They have no open calls and prefer online submissions.

Modeling agencies in Charlotte

Evolution Talent Agency : With offices in Charlotte and Atlanta, Evolution is focused on actor and model talent. Their models have been in an impressive list of TV, film, and print features.

Modeling agencies in Greensboro

Directions USA :  Directions has several different divisions that many agencies don’t cover, including families and product/food designers. If you’re interested in being represented by them, they have a form on their website for submissions.

Marilyn’s Inc.:  Focusing on the top talent in the Southeast, Marilyn’s represents models and TV/film talent. They accept submissions on their websites. 

Modeling agencies in Charleston

CD Models and Talent (CDMT): CDMT focuses on mentoring newcomers to the industry. Their models have been placed in numerous campaigns, both local and international. One of the models was featured on the CW Network’s show America’s Next Top Model. They accept online submissions. Check out their Discovery Spotlight website for more details on workshops, camps, and inspirational success stories.

TouT Models and Talent: TouT Models and Talent serves the Low Country of the Carolinas. They have an online submission form if you are interested in becoming a model.

Modeling agencies in Austin

The Brown Agency:  Formerly Wilhelmina Austin, the now independent agency has offices in both Austin and Dallas. They hold open calls in their downtown Austin office almost every Wednesday of the year. Be sure to check their website for more details.

Foreman Management: Husband and wife team Tanni and Alan Foreman, have pooled their experiences as a former model, talent recruiter, and fashion photographer to help Austin models make it big. They focus on placement with NY agencies and are always scouting for fresh talent.

Mazza Models: Founded by fashion photographer Devin Mazza, Mazza Models is a recent entrant into the industry. The company has had tremendous success placing models with top modeling agencies in the fashion hub cities, and models have worked with Prada, Hugo Boss, Nike, and Tommy Hilfiger, among others.

Modeling agencies in Nashville

Amax Talent/Creative – With offices in both Nashville and Memphis, Amax is a full-service talent agency that represents not only fashion and print advertising models but also makeup, wardrobe, and prop artists.

Modeling agencies in Dallas

The Campbell Agency:  Nancy Campbell founded the Campbell Agency in 1989. Her unique mix of industry and marketing experience has helped grow The Campbell Agency into one of the top agencies in the Southwest.

Wallflower Management :Like many smaller boutique agencies away from the coasts, Wallflower focuses on career development for their models. They claim to be a popular scouting location for larger agencies with models placed in NY, Milan, London, and Paris.

Dragonfly Agency : Dragonfly is a boutique agency with offices in Dallas and Los Angeles. Their focus is on career management for the best talent.

Modeling agencies in Houston

First Models : Focusing on fashion and commercial modeling for the Southwest, First Models has an impressive roster of client publications. They accept online submissions.

Neal Hamil Agency : Neal Hamil’s models have appeared in many top fashion magazines, graced the runways for many top designers and their commercial models and actors have worked for many major chains and networks.

Modeling agencies in San Antonio

Entourage Agency:  Entourage began in 1988 and has offices in Texas and California. They represent all ages and include models of diverse backgrounds as well as bilingual talent. Entourage hosts an annual summer camp for aspiring models ages 8 to 19. See their website for more information.

Modeling agencies in Seattle

Heffner Management:  Heffner has been operating since 1984 and bringing a modern take on model representation to the Pacific Northwest. Open calls are held daily at their Seattle office. Be sure to check the Heffner website for their current needs.

Seattle Models Guild (SMG) : Thanks to their honest approach and fair representation, SMG has been operating in Seattle for more than 40 years. They hold open calls and accept online submissions, refer to their website for current details.

TCM Models and Talent:  Based in downtown Seattle, TCM is run by former professional model Terri C. Morgan. TCM holds open calls and accepts online submissions for new talent.

Other US based modeling agencies 

The Brock Agency : Based in Hickory, The Brock Agency reps male and female adults, children as well as families. They rep Models, Actors, Athletes, Voiceover Actors as well as Aerial Artists and Cirque Performers. Their success in placement of talent and models is well known throughout the world of entertainment and the fashion industry.

Professionally Pretty: Professionally Pretty is a one of a kind full service talent agency representing models, actors, & artists world-wide based in Winter Park, Florida. The agency provides a wide range of job opportunities, to an extensive talent roster made up of models, actors, hosts, performers, hair & make up artists, photographers, production crews, & more.

The Beauty Within: Established in 2004, TBW Models Models, LLC is the TOP agency in the New England area of Rhode Island. It is run by Pamela Masucci, a retired domestic & international model for over 30 years. With their boutique-style approach and a very select group of models, they remain committed to the goal of developing high-quality talent.

Bellah Modeling Agency : The Bellah Modeling experience is about discovering what makes you special, and developing your one-of-a-kind “star” quality for the whole world to see. Located in Columbia, South Carolina, they provide expert modeling training, along with life-skills instruction. 

After this list of top ranked US based modeling agencies arranged city by city, we hope you know where to look and which agency you should target to provide you with the best modeling experiences in this industry.

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