top of page

How Tall Do You Have to Be to Model?

Models are known for their sky-high figures, but how tall do you have to be to model? Learn about common height requirements in the modeling industry.

Petite Models are Getting Scouted in NYC

Are you interested in learning to become a model but aren't sure if you'll meet the height requirements? Looking at popular fashion models like Karlie Kloss (6'2") and Gisele Bündchen (5'11"), it's only natural to ask: just how tall do you have to be to model? In this article, we'll explore the height requirements for many different types of models, as well as explain how to succeed as a shorter model.

Why Do You Have to Be Tall to Be a Model?

While standards are changing in the modeling industry, designers still tend to prefer the typical tall and petite model.

Taller women tend to be a better fit for many of the clothes designed for high-fashion and runway purposes. It is also thought that tall models tend to be more commanding on the runway.

However, there are many different types of modeling, and some are stricter on the height requirements than others. It is important to determine which types of modeling would best suit your specific needs.

How Tall Do You Have to Be to Model?

Modeling requirements vary depending on the type of modeling you are looking at. Here is an overview of the height preferences for different types of models.

Runway Models

How tall are runway models? When it comes to runway, the taller the better. Runway models are typically over 5 feet 9 inches tall. Visibility is a large part of why designers prefer tall runway models. Runway shows are all about showcasing the garments the designer has worked so hard to make. Tall models ensure that their designs are seen. If you are in the last row of a fashion show, you'll be able to see a garment on a tall model better than on a shorter one.

Designers also tend to make their clothes for the models to fit them, not the other way around. Taller, slimmer models are generally going to be a closer fit to the mannequin that the clothes were designed on.

Fashion Models

The modeling requirements for fashion or editorial purposes offer a little more wiggle room than runway requirements.

High-fashion models are still preferred to be taller. High fashion is generally reserved for luxury, high-end brands such as Gucci, Burberry, and Valentino.

However, if you are willing to bypass the high-fashion brands, many other companies are more than willing to be flexible on model height. In fact, many clothing companies are focused on showing diverse models of all shapes and sizes.

Also, it is always possible for photographers can make you appear taller than you actually are. If you have started modeling and want to learn more about appearing taller in pictures, then you can check out our recent article on how to improve your posture in photographs.

Commercial Models

Commercial modeling is where you will see some of the most diversity in regards to height. Models for commercial purposes can come in any height, shape, or size. The purpose of commercial modeling is to increase sales by showcasing relatable people using a product or service.

Consumers want to see people they can relate to. People may have a harder time relating to a 5 foot 11 runway model, so shorter women can thrive in this industry.

Petite Models

If you are shorter, then petite modeling may be the solution for you. Petite models are generally 5 feet 7 inches or shorter.

This type of modeling usually involves wearing smaller clothes that are meant to be flattering for petite women. Petite models can also score many commercial modeling jobs as shape and size are not as important for these bookings.

Think you can't be a successful petite model? Think again. There are many noteworthy petite models around today such as Cara Delevingne, Kate Moss, and Emily Ratajkowski.

How to Become a Model If You Are Short

As a shorter model, you may have a harder time booking jobs, but that doesn't mean that it is impossible. Here are a few things you can do to help your chances:

  • Do your research. If you are reading this article, you are one step closer to becoming a model. It is important to determine which types of modeling you'll be a good fit for.

  • Build a portfolio. Put together a portfolio complete with headshots and relevant experience. Don't overspend on studio photographs and research them fully. Instead, shoot with multiple photographers to keep your book fresh. If you don't live in a big city or are unable to travel, seek out new photographer starting out who may be willing to shoot you for free.

  • Research modeling agencies. Signing with an agency is a great way to book casting jobs and get your name out there. Find an agency you want to represent you. There are many top modeling agencies in New York to start out with.

  • Improve your skills. Confidence is key. If you lack the height of a typical model, then make up for it with your talent. Make it a priority to learn the ins and outs of the modeling world. Check out Model Boot Camps and Runway Classes.

Becoming a Model at Any Height

Although there are general preferences for the height of models, nothing is set in stone. Many of the types of modeling mentioned above have allowed shorter women to participate. If you are shorter and want to be a runway or fashion model, don't let anything stop you. If you are confident in your abilities, the sky is the limit.

4 Best Agencies for Petite Models

While any commerical modeling agency accepts submissions for shorter or petite models, some stand out from the rest. Some of the best modeling agencies for short models include:

  1. BTWN Agency - A new modeling agency in New York that works with alternative models of all looks, shapes and sizes. According to their website "There is no one way to be beautiful in your body. Btwn closes the gap between straight size and plus size — celebrate however you want to define yourself."

  2. Latitude Talent Studios - A tech-platform for models and actors. While not an agency, it can help connect talent of all shapes to castings and agencies in their market.

  3. Premier Model Management- Working with NY and LA models, they recently signed model Aliana King and Anja Konstantinova who are only 5'4.

  4. Red Model Management - Red Models started mainly working with male models, typically diverse. They recently signed female Hannah Mussette who is 5'5 and have expanded their roster to welcome alternative models.

Start Your Journey As a Model Today

So, there are many different answers to the question, "how tall do you have to be to model?" Some types of modeling are more flexible than others when it comes to height. No matter what your height is, it is possible to become a model. Places like Latitude Talent are the best way to help you launch your modeling career.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
bottom of page