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NYC Model Agency:
A Complete Guide and Resource Page To Modeling Agencies in NYC

Many people born with the varying concepts of beauty believe that being a model is a dream career since it has the potential of making them successful, and even rich and famous. One's search for success may end with gracing the catwalk in London, Paris, or Milan, or even the cover of Vogue amongst the other celebrities.

But these stars often start at the same place: an NYC modeling agency.


In this article, we will explore the the different types of modeling, methods of applying to a modeling agency in NYC,  and give a list of the biggest agencies in New York City.

If you are interested in being signed to an nyc modeling agency send a direct message on Instagram to @forrestthefotographer for mother agent inquiries.

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What is a Model Agency?

A modeling agency operates as a hub where models are not only represented but also nurtured and propelled towards success. It serves as the vital link between models and the world of fashion, advertising, and photography.

Acting as the creative conduit, these agencies expertly connect models with clients seeking their distinctive talents for diverse assignments.


At the heart of their operations, modeling agencies are skilled matchmakers, meticulously pairing models with projects that align with their unique qualities and aspirations.


They scout and discover fresh talents, honing their skills and guiding their evolution, all while showcasing their potential to an array of clients ranging from fashion visionaries to innovative advertising agencies, talented photographers, and prestigious publications.


In addition to facilitating job opportunities, modeling agencies often play the role of steadfast mentors, providing invaluable support to models as they navigate the ever-evolving industry. They lend their expertise to help models refine their craft through tailored training programs, refine their portfolios to showcase their versatility, and offer career guidance that propels them towards their ambitions.


Moreover, these agencies also manage the administrative intricacies of the industry, navigating contract negotiations, financial arrangements, and the logistical intricacies of scheduling.


As steadfast advocates, modeling agencies become partners in their models' journeys, invested in their growth and success. Their livelihood is closely intertwined with the models they represent, as they earn a commission or a percentage from the models' hard-earned earnings.


Ultimately, modeling agencies serve as indispensable pillars of the industry, actively shaping the careers of models and fostering fruitful collaborations between models and clients, forging a path towards the realization of their shared aspirations.

Is it imperative to be signed to a model agency?

Signing with a modeling agency is not an absolute necessity, but it can offer valuable advantages to aspiring models. Modeling agencies often times give models access to clients and opportunities the just don't reach the general public. 


While some models choose to pursue their careers independently (often times through social media), teaming up with a reputable agency brings several benefits.


Here are 5 reasons why partnering with a modeling agency can be beneficial:

Industry Insight: Modeling agencies possess extensive knowledge and experience in the industry. They understand current trends, client expectations, and can provide valuable guidance to navigate the competitive landscape. Their established networks with industry professionals can open doors to great opportunities.


Access to Opportunities: Agencies have access to a wide range of modeling assignments, including prestigious runway shows, editorial shoots, and commercial campaigns. They can present models for auditions and negotiate contracts on their behalf, increasing their chances of securing sought-after jobs.


Professional Development: Modeling agencies often offer training programs and workshops to enhance models' skills, develop their portfolios, and improve their marketability. They provide valuable feedback and support to help models reach their full potential.


Legal and Financial Support: Agencies handle administrative tasks such as contract negotiations, fee arrangements, and financial transactions. They ensure models receive fair compensation and protect their interests, which can be challenging for independent models to navigate.


Networking Opportunities: Being part of a modeling agency provides opportunities to network with industry professionals, fellow models, and potential clients. Building relationships through an agency can lead to collaborations, referrals, and long-term career prospects.


Ultimately, the decision to sign with a modeling agency depends on individual circumstances, career goals, and personal preferences. Independent models must be prepared to handle self-promotion, networking, and managing the business aspects of their careers.


However, partnering with a reputable agency can offer professional guidance, industry connections, and valuable support, which can accelerate a model's progress in the competitive modeling industry.

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Different types of departments at model agencies

There are more opportunities in modeling than most people are aware of. The departments vary from model size to style to age and so on. These few are the most common.

​1. High Fashion Modeling

These models appear in fashion magazines and editorials, such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, etc., and they work closely with top fashion designers. This is the most competitive department in modeling as the models have to have the ideal face, height, and body.

high fashion magazines

2. Athletic or Fitness Modeling

These models are fit and toned and model athletic clothing. Their body should envelope the idea of going to the gym and/or working out.


3. Commercial Modeling

Commercial modeling agencies are available for many ages and body types. Commercial modeling market the features of good and services and give the visual concept of the product in real world.


Commercial modeling is much less dependent on the height of the model, making it more accessible to a wider range of models. Commercial modeling is also more linked with talent agencies for actors as well.

commercial modeling

4. Parts Modeling

Part modeling, also known as body part modeling, is a specialized branch of modeling that focuses on showcasing specific body parts rather than the entire body or face. In part modeling, models are selected based on the attractiveness, symmetry, and distinctive features of particular body parts, such as hands, feet, legs, eyes, lips, or even specific facial features like eyebrows or lips.

parts modeling

5. Runway Modeling

Runway or Catwalk model display the most trending fashion style to their audience. runway modeling agencies shows fashion designers creation in the most beautiful way that catches the audience eye. these modeling agencies have set requirements for models including size, height and looks.

runway modeling

Best Way to Apply to a Model Agency

With so many model agencies around the world, there is always a slight difference in the selection technique used to pick the best models. The selection technique also varies based on the model's experience level, style, model portfolio, etc.

There are two main ways to apply to a modeling agency.

 The best way to apply to a modeling agency is to reach out to a mother agency first. Mother agencies (or model managers) will have direct ties to, not only the agents at the top modeling agencies, but also to photographers who can help you develop a decent portfolio before you approach an agency.


(If you are a model looking for model management be sure to reach out on Instagram to @forrestthefotographer who is a professional photographer and mother agent.


The second is a more general approach and that is to find your target agency thorough online research, check their requirements, check their opening calls, and apply online or at an open call. 

Note: In rare circumstances, a scout can contact individuals who they believe have what it takes to make a lot of conversions for them. These individuals are mostly people who have built a perfect portfolio and a following, especially on social media platforms like Instagram. 

What to do Before Approaching a Model Agency

A strong work ethic and a strong conscience is needed for modeling, as this field is rigorous. An agency will not take models who are just there to stand around and put no thought into their appearance. These are some things to do before approaching a model agency:

​1. Work out, fast, work on your skin

Starting a modeling career means a lot of taking care of your diet, getting glowy and radiant skin, and getting adequate amount of sleep to avoid puffiness and dullness from your skin. A model should make a to do list for their self care and make sure to check it off every day.


Many models start taking care of themselves two months in advance for their main portfolio photoshoots. Water is the best friend of people who love modeling; keeping yourself hydrated is crucial to maintain shape, as well as fill face and eyes with spark. And fasting regularly is a great way to give your body much needed rest and reduce caloric intake.

2. Be prepared for rejection

The modeling world is filled with competition, and when there is competition, rejection becomes more common - but, many models take rejection personally and think they are not good enough. Rejection does not mean you should start blaming yourself or others. Allow some time to recover and take rejection as a strength to do much better. Don't underestimate yourself!

3. Be prepared to be resilient and patient

Learn from your experiences and try to avoid past mistakes. Building strong and meaningful contacts in the industry is important. A career in modeling is unpredictable, so work towards your goal with preparation and patience. Success in any career takes time, especially if it is a more demanding field. 

4. Take modeling digitals

Before applying to agencies, taking some natural look photos of your current look is industry standard. The images are called model digitals or model polaroids. Modeling digitals should be raw and unedited and should show you in your most natural state. 

Click here to see example os model digitals.

5. Develop a starter portfolio

A modeling portfolio is a crucial asset to any model. It should include your model digitals, but also an array of your best shoots in different poses and different mediums, and ideally show how versatile of a model you are. You should look to hire reputable and talented fashion photographers to create your modeling portfolio.

 Some Top
NYC Modeling Agencies

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Ford Model Management (

A fashion-based modeling agency in New York City with multiple headquarters worldwide. They are fond of themselves for being an agency that accepts all sizes and ages.


An international leader in modeling, IMG Models searches worldwide for diverse talent. They challenge the norm with their clients and try to start new trends.

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Elite (

The creators of the Supermodel, this agency brings about new trends in an unfathomable manner. They promote diversity and inclusion and have represented many of high modeling stature, such as Gisele, Heidi, Amber, etc.

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An independent boutique agency who focuses their attention on worldwide model management.

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Heroes (

Heroes model management represents the current dynamic of art and commerce. Their belief is that all models deserve to continue on and become famous and not just replaced.

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The Lions (

The Lions Management covers many fields and covers a shift culture with the use of their clients. Bringing a client's culture to celebrate it and get inspiration from it.

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Supreme (

Known for bringing unique models to the scene, Supreme NY was founded to give many models who were posting on social media alone, a chance to show their uniqueness.

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Society (

The Society Model Management brings models to prestigious brands and allows for growth throughout. Conquering each individual one at a time to ensure their growth.

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Marilyn (

A legacy builder agency, Marilyn Agency is known for helping their clients to build a career enhanced with longevity. They hold their standards high and their manners higher, and so their clients will always be helped by them.

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Women (

Women Management is one of the most well-known international agencies there can be. They value respect, trust, and have an excellent eye for business that will benefit their models.

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Wilhelmina (

Founded by a supermodel, Wilhelmina Models are recognized internationally, due to its prestige. The longevity of the company comes from their success in finding talent with the help of local agencies.

New York (

International staff that brings about new trends and the concept of savvy fashion, New York Model Management holds prestige in the model industry. The agency takes their time and focuses on model's individually, so as to ensure each career thrives.

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The Industry (

A women's boutique agency, known for their exclusive modeling roster. Each model gets a personalized treatment so as to ensure their quality is up to par.

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One (

ONE Management develops models that can bring a story to life, whether it be through fashion, music, etc. These models grow to be international artists.

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Next Model Management


NEXT Management is THE modeling agency, best known for having the most well-known models shoot to stardom. Located internationally, the agency brings new models and supermodels more fame than they had prior.

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Click (

Click Model Management represents men, women, plus size, runway, athletic, and so many more. They have a connection to a commercial agency and so most of their models go through that TV phase to pass onto whichever field they so desire.

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Women 360 (

Women 360 Management represents women of all shapes and sizes. The need for a global perspective is brought about and models are pushed to think outside the box to grow in their respective fields.

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Major Model Management (

A steadily growing agency that was founded in Europe, so their trends resemble a more European essence. They have expanded and now work out of New York and have multiple clients working with international brands.

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Crawford (

Crawford Models is a new and upcoming agency that is growing global attention daily. their passion and determination to thrive is captivated in their models.

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State (

State Management brings all players to the field, as their clients range from kids to adults and small to large sizes. Their multiple divisions allows them to hire models in all categories, whether it be runway, athletic, commercial, etc.

Fenton (

Fenton Models represents high-end models, due to their upscale nature. They worry about the personal growth of models and the financial growth of clients.

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DNA Model Management (

This agency is known for being small with a big impact in influence. They represent and have represented many iconic models throughout their time and have worked with multiple global companies and fashion designers.

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APM Models was founded to build on ideas more than just a model. Their clients spark ideas and inspiration with their strong work ethic and passion.

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Soul (

The agency that has the most homey environment, as it is founded by Jason Kanner, a kid with a dream. The great success of this agency comes from its mutual intimacy with other agencies to grow.

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A future-forward modeling agency redefining beauty and setting a new bar of representation by championing people who challenge preconceptions.

4 Important Facts about Model Agencies

No Payment Required

Model agencies do not require payments for application, be it online or on-site. Unfortunately, many people who are unaware of this fall victim to scammers.


They exploit aspiring models into paying for application fees or auditioning. No legit model agency supports such payments. Every application or selection phase is free. 

Inconsistent payment system

You don't want to quit your day job immediately to pursue modeling, as making money as model can be very inconsistent. Models can also have a hard time receiving their payments after their service is rendered or it may take some time.


Many modeling jobs can have a 30-60 day wait time for payment. So definitely plan ahead when getting started as a model and be sure to have a system in place where you can support yourself.

Demands may be high and inconsistent

In the modeling industry, demands change over time. This automatically affects the demands on model agencies and models. Some of the these demands may include:

  1. Schedules -

    There may be an increase in demand for your availability in certain seasons. Since model agencies want to make money every season. They also employ new strategies which may affect your initial schedule especially if you're a top model.

  2. Fitness -

    Another common and non-negotiable demand on models is to remain fit in every season. In fact, this is a major factor to be considered when employing a new model. Overweight people are often rejected. 

    Models who are acquainted with the demands of a modeling company always maintain their body shape. This might require continuous body exercise.


Rejections are Common

When it comes to opening calls for new aspiring models, rejections are very common. There are many reasons why aspiring models often get rejected. Sometimes it has nothing to do with your skill or potential. Some reasons why models get rejected very often include:

  1. Numerous applications

  2. You don't fit the requirements

  3. Your not unique enough

  4. Highly Competitive

  5. The agency has models that have a similar look

The middle men between models and their future companies, model agencies are quick and tenacious in their search for talent. Following the general approach will get you the basic ins and outs of applying to a model agency.


It is your job to maneuver the details of this approach to meet your style and goals. With the approach in mind, keep the important facts in your mind as you navigate through the agency and their auditions. The facts will bring you to understand how agencies can have negatives, while media only shows the positives.

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