Talented models are unsurprisingly everywhere, and before Instagram helped make it possible for some of these individuals to get their careers started modeling agencies were the primary source when it came to getting your work out in the world for potential employers to see.
Modeling has come too far from its beginning days and sometimes it’s helpful to look back and see where it all began. Before the 1800’s modeling was a term used to describe anyone posing for a portrait. After the invention of the camera ads in newspapers began to incorporate men and women and thus modeling as we know it was born. Charles Frederick Worth, an English fashion designer was the first to use his wife to model his designs in the 1850’s preceding that only mannequins were used to showcase clothes. His wife Marie Augustine was the first “live” mannequin and is considered the first ever fashion model.
It was after Worth began using live models that modeling became recognized as a profession. It was in 1946 that Ford Models, created by Eileen and Gerard Ford would become known as the first and most prestigious modeling agency in the World. This is where hobby changed to career and agencies paved the way to help models achieve that. Then in the 1960’s agencies dedicated to models began popping up all over the World. Now we are in the digital age of modeling with the creation of social media changing everything once again. With models sharing parts of their lives that were never seen before things became different. Suddenly, a models following on Instagram became a huge factor in a brand’s decision to hire them.
With the modeling world constantly changing and evolving there is a huge market for models nowadays of all different sizes, heights, ages, and backgrounds. There has never been a better or more competitive time to become a model and live out your dreams. And even though it’s possible to be discovered without the help of an agency it is nice to have the option of going to one to get started. So below you will find a list of the modeling agencies in New York City that you may want to check out next time you are thinking of finding help getting a leg up in the industry.
Located at 129 West 27th Street, PH, New York, NY, 10001
Phone: 212 206 1717
Founded in 1980 Click now represents over 1,000 models in various categories such as women, men, plus size, showroom, television, etc. Click also works with Framework Entertainment. Famous faces represented by them include Uma Thurman, Elle MacPherson, and Whitney Houston.
Located: 555 West 25th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY, 10001
Phone: 212 226 0080
DNA manages some of the top talented editorial and commercial models of the day. It was founded in 1996 and there’s not much direction on the site on how to get scouted other than to send headshots to firstname.lastname@example.org for women and email@example.com for men.
Location: 245 Fifth Avenue, 24th Floor, New York, NY, 10016
Phone: 212 529 9700
Founded in 1977 by John Casablancas Elite is famous for giving birth to what is known as the “Supermodel” and redefining the industry. Constantly setting trends in the industry this is not a bad place to consider.
Location: 207 East 63rd Street, #1-West, New York, NY, 10065
Phone: 212 758 9500
An upscale men and women’s boutique agency in NY representing high-end fashion models from around the world. Relatively new starting in 2009 Fenton works with some of the industries brightest photographers, magazines, catalogs, and designers. The major focus is diligent work for their clients.
Location: 11 East 26th Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY, 10010
Can’t go wrong with the first established modeling agency. Being around for more than half a century definitely has its perks. To be considered you can submit an application on their website with an optional video.
Location: 101 North Tenth Street, Suite 301, Brooklyn, NY, 11249
Phone: 212 675 1300
A boutique-style agency making a name for themselves in NY with locations abroad as well.
Location: 50 Greene Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY, 10013
Newly born into the agency world during the summer of 2015 their mission is to build lasting careers for models while recognizing the talent’s individual strengths and personalities.
Location: 304 Park Avenue South, 12th Floor, New York, NY, 10010
Phone: 212 253 8884
Representing models like Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss, and Heidi Klum, this agency is a no-brainer. To get scouted IMG requires passport style photos including headshots, full length, and profile, along with a video listing your name, height, and a casual walk toward and away from the camera.
Location: 341 West 38th Street, Floor 2, New York, NY, 10018 U
Phone: 212 685 1200
Founded in 1999 Major’s philosophy offers solid plans of management to models. Major is also known for having a loyal family atmosphere and they consistently put passion and ethics first.
Location: 32 Union Sq. East, Penthouse, New York, NY, 10003
Phone: 212 260 6500
Established in 1998 Marilyn has one of the most prestigious reputations in the country. Core values include being on the edge of fashion trends, ethical standards, individually tailored management to models, and much more.
Location: 6 West 14th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY, 10011
Phone: 646 638 3330
Their concept has always been about bringing realistic management in and an exclusive environment to enhance opportunities for models.
Location: 150 Broadway, 1101, New York, NY, 10038
Phone: 212 625 2356
Muse over the last 11 years has built the clientele of a powerhouse while maintaining the management style of a boutique.
Location: 71 West 23rd Street, Suite 301, New York, NY, 10010
Phone: 212 539 1700
Although it’s not the longest running agency in the business it has been voted as one of the top ten modeling agencies in NYC and boasts about a lot of real-world experience and an edgy attitude. Vice President Marion Smith spent many years at Ford with Eileen Ford herself. Can’t get much closer to industry experience than that.
Location: 15 Watts Street, 6th floor, New York, NY, 10013
Phone: 212 925 5100
Next is the agency behind current models like Abbey Lee Kershaw, Arizona Muse, and Suki Waterhouse. Next does open casting calls and was established in 1989.
Location: 42 Bond Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY, 10012
Phone: 212 505 5545
Established in 2001, One represents 4 divisions of talent including women, men, commercial, and talent.
Location: 354 Broadway, New York, NY, 10013
Phone: 212 807 6777
In January of 1998 during a time when a lot of modeling agencies were falling apart, Q opened its doors in NYC and launched Q online. Now they are known as one of the strongest management agencies in the World. With some of the most progressive agents paving the path for such supermodels and celebrities like Charlize Theron, Ivana Milicevic, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, and Nigel Barker of America’s Next Top Model Q is a very great place to put your trust in.
Location: 302 West 37th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10018
Phone: 212 785 1999
Location: 147 W 26th Street,3rd floor, New York, NY, 10001 United States
Phone:646 370 1582
This boutique agency is known for representing a variety of nationalities and ethnicities and in an industry that sometimes struggles with diversity this is nothing but a good thing. Worth knowing that they only represent women, and when submitting shot they ask that you avoid wearing make-up for accessories.
Location: 11 West 25th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY, 10010
Phone: 646 827 1188
Consists mainly of men, but women are included as well in this agency.
Location: 200 West 41st Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY, 10018
Phone:212 302 7792
Started in 2015 this agency offers a modern alternative in a rapidly evolving industry. They boast a progressive scouting approach, a holistic development approach, and a personalized management approach. Their focus: emerging NEW faces.
Location: 199 Lafayette Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY, 10012
Phone:212 334 7480
Supreme has a client roster made up of some of the most sought after models working today. Their focus is on discovering new talent and transforming them into working superstars. The agency’s signature is a collective approach, leveraging the know-how and industry relationships from a team of agents rather than one representative. They boast a big commitment to each client’s long-term objectives. They have a warning that agents from their company will contact you directly for a spot, never by skype or email.
Location: 286 5TH AVENUE, 12TH FL, New York, NY, 10012
Phone: 212 226 7360
The Lions strives to disrupt balance and push boundaries, and empower their talent to do the things that they love.
Location: 156 5th Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY, 10010
Phone: +1 212 377-5025
Child party of Elite World which opened in 2013. They have an impressive roster of names and let’s face it in most industries it’s who you know. Names like Adriana Lima, Liu Wen, Lindsey Wixon, and Kendall Jenner. They strive to cultivate unique journeys for all of their models.
Location: 928 Broadway, Suite 700, New York, NY, 10010
Phone: 212 206 1012
Founded by Lana Winters in 2001 it is still considered one of New York’s top boutique firms. They have an undeniable track record for turning unknown models into common household names.
Location: 300 Park Avenue South, New York, NY, 10010
Phone: 212 473 0700
Founded in 1967 Wilhelmina is known for representing fitness as well as plus-sized models. They also offer management services for entertainers and musicians. There’s no doubt you will meet a wide array of creatives in this agency.
Location: 199 Lafayette Street, #7, New York, NY, 10012
Phone: 646 443 9820
When/if applying here it is wise to have specific career aspirations that you can talk about, this proves potential to an employer. Not to mention that their diverse support of models has given them the ability to have a long and successful career.
Location: 199 Lafayette Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY, 10012
Phone: 212 334 7480
This vision for this agency is one that encompasses all types of beauty. Their motto is to keep working even well after the successes.