9 Best Modeling Agencies to Get Scouted in New York
There are so many modeling agencies in New York City, here are the best 9 for beginner models to get signed with.
With a long history in garment making, New York City put its place on the fashion map back in the 19th century. In 2020 New York was named Global Fashion Capital of the decade. If you want to make it in the fashion industry, there is no doubt New York is the place to be. One of the most glamorous careers in the fashion industry is modeling. If you want to break into modeling in New York, you may not be sure where to start. We'll break down the best modeling agencies in New York and provide tips on getting started in the industry. This list has been updated in 2023 with the newest agencies scouting models.
Modeling in New York - How to Get Started
New York may be the world's fashion capital, but this means it's also extremely competitive. To get started, you will need a portfolio. This is simply a collection of pictures of yourself, so your potential clients can see how you look on camera.
Ideally, your portfolio will be images taken by a professional photographer. If you can't afford this, you can ask a friend with a good camera. Have some fun taking pictures. The purpose of the portfolio is so you can show off your look and how well you photograph.
Once you have a collection of images, you can start to look for an agent. There are hundreds of NYC modeling agencies, so finding the right one for you can be a challenge. There are services such as Latitude Talent (they are not a modeling agency, but an excellent start), which offer real-life advice and support you when starting out. You can also find modeling boot camps in smaller markets like Miami, and free casting call websites. Many agencies will ask you to submit your portfolio online and then, if they like what they see, invite you in for a meeting. You can also search online for open castings. However, having an agent is better as they will know all the open castings and give you access to industry contacts.
Who Can Become A Model?
Most agencies won't accept anyone on their books who are younger than 16 years old. High fashion models need to be at least 5'9" for women and 6" for men. High fashion clients may have requirements about measurements too.
Don't worry if you don't fit the high fashion requirements; there are plenty of other modeling types. Commercial modeling can be very lucrative, as can modeling for print and catalogs. Other types of modeling include web, television commercial, live product/brand, live showroom, fitness modeling, tattoo modeling, plus size and glamour modeling.
As we mentioned, modeling in New York can be highly competitive, so try to work out if you have a niche that could make you stand out. Once you have an agent, they can help you decide the type of work you will be most suitable for.
The message is, don't be put off if you think you don't fit the standard age or measurement criteria. There is modeling work for a great diversity of people. You also don't need to have lots of experience to become a model. In the age of social media, it is now easier than ever to get noticed if you take outstanding pictures. For more inspiration, check out supermodel Kate Moss's top tips on how to break into the modeling industry.
Modeling Agencies In New York
Now you have decided you are cut out to be a model and have a small portfolio of images, it's time to find an agent. You should keep in mind that a legitimate agent will never ask you for money upfront to sign up with them. (Marketing companies are a bit different, so they may require pictures in advance)
There are many top modeling agencies in New York; knowing which is right for you can be challenging. Here's a break down of some of the best:
207 East 63rd Street, Suite 1W, New York, NY 10065
This boutique agency is known for nurturing up and coming models and those new to the industry. They have many high-end clients and represent both male and female models.
525 7th Ave, STE 904, New York, NY 10018
STATE is one of the most renowned modeling agencies in NYC and represents a huge diversity of models, including fitness models and plus-sized models. They have a huge roster of commercial clients such as Maybelline and Glossier.
3. Major Model Management
344 W 38th St #602, New York, NY 10018
One of the world's top agencies, Major Model Management place their models in campaigns for clients worldwide. They work with all the world's high-end designers.
4. Wilhelmina Models
300 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010
Founded by Dutch model Wilhelmina Cooper, this agency is known for getting models on magazine covers. It also scouts for fitness models.
5. New York Model Management
71 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
This is one of the most successful agencies in the industry. New York Models is an institution in the New York fashion scene.
6. VNY Models
928 Broadway #700, New York, NY 10010
This is a smaller, boutique agency. VNY is known for nurturing up and coming talent.
7. Marilyn Model Agency
210 11th Ave SUITE 704, New York, NY 10001
Established in Paris in 1985, Marilyn Agency has one of the most prestigious reputations in the world. The agency has clients worldwide.
8. WMA (Upstate New York Modeling Agent)
235 Alexander St.2nd Floor, Rochester, New York 14607
Modeling agencies Rochester NY, can also be an option for those who want an agency a bit further out the city. A professional agency with many years of experience, WMA is great for models who are just starting out.
Now you know the best modeling agencies in New York, you need to start submitting your portfolio or finding out when they have casting calls. Many agencies have a strict appointment-only policy. Make sure you know the policies before you turn up.
9. Latitude Talent Studios
545 8th Avenue, New York NY 10018
Latitude Talent Studios is a top rated talent marketing and listing service company in New York working with beginner models, actors and influencers. Highly rated for those starting out an unable to find a modeling agency.
10. The BTWN (Recently Updated)
BTWN is a brand new modeling agency founded in 2020 in New York and strictly works with alternative and unique models. Whether you identify as nonbinary, curve or plus size, this agency is excellent to get started with. You can submit your pictures to them at firstname.lastname@example.org
11. Ford Model Management (Recently Updated)
Ford Models is one of New York's oldest and most prestigious modeling agencies founded. They have a solid reputation for being one of the largest and best agencies to date, with offices worldwide. Ford works with models ages 10+ and have some of the biggest names on their roster.
12. We-Speak Management (Recently Updated)
We-Speak Management is a female agency in New York that works with positive-positive and plus size models. They were one of the first modeling agencies to offer commission free bookings for models, as well as pave the way for talent who have a unique look.
13. Strut Model Management
Strut Model Management is a Brooklyn-based boutique modeling agencies focusing on editorial models. They also work with children models as well. Founded by Caribbean born model turned mother agent Shaw Bernard, this agency is gaining a solid footing in NYC.
13. Stetts Model Management (Updated)
Stetts modeling agency has expanded their roster of the years to become a powerhouse modeling agency that mainly works with body positive, diverse talent. With agencies in New York and Los Angeles, they scout models of all backgrounds. Stetts recently announced they are also working with Miami models as well.
14. The Identity Models (Updated)
The Identity Agency is New York was founded in 2017 and is a traditional modeling agency in the fact that they mainly work with editorial models. They are located at 110 East 25th Street New York, NY 10010
15. State Model Management (Updated)
State Models, formally MSA models, is a long standing commercial agency working with models, actors and influencers.
16. Official Models NY (Updated)
Located at 147 WEST 4TH STREET, #1 NEW YORK, NY 10012, Official Models New York is a unique modeling agency. They scout models with diverse looks and backgrounds, as well as encourage models of all sizes to apply.
Freelance Modeling and Influencer Modeling
You can make it as a freelance model in New York; it's just a lot more work than having an agent. You will spend a lot of your time trying to find jobs; this can be physically and mentally exhausting. Having an agent makes the process of finding jobs much more stress-free. As influencer marketing is becoming more and more popular, many agencies have departments dedicated to influencer models. They help influencers connect with the right brand for their campaigns. If you have a large social media following, this could also be an option for you. As a new model, if you have a really unique look, start by watching modeling videos online and be on the look out for alternative modeling agencies, they are all the rage for new beginner models. Always be on the look out for legit modeling agencies and how to spot a real agency. Legit modeling agencies in New York and else where will not require you to pay a deposit over the phone!
Rise in Social Media Modeling
While signing with an agency was once a requirement to become a successful model, this is no longer the case now in 2023. While representation by a modeling agent, especially in New York can make a huge difference, influencers with a solid following on sites like TikTok and Instagram are gaining the attention from major brands.
Take for example social media influencer turned model Gianluca Conte known as "QCP" online. Due to his large following, we was able to sign with top New York agency Next Model Management and has recently landed a campaign for the fashion brand Alexander Wang.
Look out for Modeling Red Flags
Models should be aware that there are individuals who falsely represent themselves as agents, scouts, or 'model recruiters' for modeling agencies as well as brands such as "Gucci" 'Prada" and more. These individuals go as far as creating fake websites and content to appear legitimate. Remember, a legitimate casting agency will never promise you jobs or offer to send you a check in the mail without meeting you in person. Also, no legit agency will require you to pay a deposit over the phone without meeting you first in person of through applications such as a Zoom.
Get Started As a New York Model
New York boasts some of the world's most prestigious modeling agencies as well as the most famous fashion week in the world. It's estimated that 900 fashion businesses are headquartered in New York.
You now have all the information you need about starting as a model, as well as a list of the best modeling agencies in New York. You should now know if modeling is a career choice you want to pursue. If you do want to become a model, you can start contacting agents. Or, use Latitude Talent to help you connect with agencies and casting calls in NYC.