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iPOP Insight: Does Height Matter in the Modeling Industry?

Becoming more and more inclusive each day, many wonders if height still matters when it comes to breaking into the industry. In this week’s blog, we are taking an in-depth look into what’s changed in pursuing a potential modeling career.

“You Must Be This Tall to Ride”

It is an industry-standard that female models be at a height of 5’7” or taller and male models be at a height of 5’11” or taller. While the requirements for runway modeling have not changed, there is a range of different modeling types that shorter models can pursue.

What are the Types:

Editorial Model

Editorial Models or Fashion models as they are more commonly known are the type of models you see during NYFW. This type of modeling showcases designers and current fashion trends. This can range from clothing to beauty and hair care. This type of model also graces the covers of international fashion magazines like Elle, Glamour, and Vogue. The standard height requirement applies to models in this category for both men and women.

Catalog Model

Thanks to social media and the internet, catalog models are in demand now more than ever. This type of modeling can be in print or digitally. Since catalog models are meant to look more like real people, requirements for this type of modeling are fairly open. Models can be short, tall, young, old, thin, or plus size. What matter’s most for catalog modeling comes down to personality and a healthy, happy appearance.

Commercial Model

Similar to Catalog modeling, Commercial modeling allows for more diversity in casting. Models can be of any age, size, shape, and height since their work will be for advertising. The type of advertising ranges between print, digital, retail and television. When you’re watching the latest McDonalds Commercial or Kohls Ad, while those may be actors, they are technically also models. The job of the commercial model is to fit into retail clothing or to successfully be able to endorse a product or service. When it comes to who gets cast, that ultimately comes down to the Directors decision as in any other casting situation.

Petite Models

When it comes to modeling, height will always play a role but these days, there are more and more chances for petite models. If you have the right look and level of confidence, you can break into the industry as a petite model. It may not be an often occurrence but it does happen. Petite models are typically between 5’ 1’’ to 5’ 7’’ in height, no more and no less. Petite models can find work in the fashion, commercial, glamour, and part sectors of modeling. These types of modeling assignments are available for select catalogs, ads, and magazines. Famous petite models include Lily-Rose Depp, Emily Ratajkowski, and Aaron Frew as some of the most notable in the fashion industry.

Plus-Size Models

As demand increases in the commercial and fashion industry, opportunities for plus-size models have also increased. Some of the biggest fashion agencies in the world have expanded their roster to include plus-size models. Plus-size models can walk runways, and book gigs with major fashion brands, including commercials, magazines, and media outlets. While print media requires a size 12-14, runway requires models in size 18-22. Models in this category are typically between 5’9’’ to 6’’. The industry’s most known plus-size models include Iskra Lawrence, Ashley Graham, Tabria Majors, Hayley Hasselhoff to name a few.


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