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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Want to Be a Victoria's Secret Model? Part 2 - FAQs

I can't even begin to tell you how many emails and blog post comments I've received because of my one blog post about how to become a Victoria's Secret model. In fact, I was seriously considering deleting the post, not because I don't care about or don't want to help others try to become VS models but mainly because SO MANY readers DID NOT read the blog post closely enough before sending me tons of questions about stuff that is literally right there in the content.

If this applies to you, please don't be offended...I'm not mad at you and it's not like I never want you to contact me again...it's just that for a while there it got really discouraging to have to answer the same things over and over when all people have to do is read the blog post carefully. That's all. It's like someone asking, "How do I submit my pictures to Elite?" when their computer screen is on the Elite website page and it says, "Here is how to submit your pictures to Elite." Get it? :-)

But don't worry, I plan on keeping my VS post up. However, I have decided to do another, more updated post that speaks directly to what so many reader questions are centered around. I don't know how much more plainly I can speak about the requirements to be a VS model so I'm hoping this easy to read FAQ type of blog post helps to get the message across in a very clear way.

Okay so here we go...here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to wanting to be a Victoria's Secret model:

Q: Can I become a VS model if I'm short?
A: NO. Nada. Nope. Period. Sorry. You HAVE to be fashion/runway height.

Q: Doesn't VS make any exceptions to their requirements?
A: Rarely. They've had success for many years by sticking to the requirements already in place so they're not likely to change things up if they don't need to.

Q: I don't want to move to New York. Can I still be a VS model?
A: No. You have to be signed to Elite, Ford or another top fashion agency in the New York market as a first step to possibly being a VS model. You don't have to work/live in New York full time but you have to be signed to an agency in that market.

Q: But there are VS models that don't live in New York or are signed to other agencies. Why do they get to be VS models and not me?
A: 99.9% of the models that don't fall under the VS requirements that I've stated in my other blog post are already successful and world-known models/supermodels. Because they're already famous, it makes sense for VS to make an exception for them. This does NOT apply to new/undiscovered models.

Q: How do I become a Pink Model for VS?
A: In order to be a Pink model you have to be a regular VS model so the same requirements apply. There is no separate requirement or submission process for Pink models. Despite Pink seeming to target teen/younger models, you have to be 18 to be a Pink Model (Chanel Iman even had to wait until she reached the minimum age before she started doing Pink and other VS work).

Q: How do I become a VS Angel?
A: VS Angels are a select few that are the actual spokesmodels for the brand/company. You have to become a regular VS model first through the requirements I've listed below. All Angels first start off as regular VS models. After they've been working as this type of model for a while (no specific time frame), it is up to the main recruiters at VS to decide who they will promote to Angel status.

Q: Why do I have to be signed to Elite or Ford in New York?
A: I don't know how things came to be that way but these two agencies have an arrangement with VS to be the first two places where new faces for Victoria's Secret are scouted out of. After VS does castings at these two, then they'll consider models from other New York fashion agencies.

Q: So if I get signed to an agency other than Ford or Elite in New York, does that mean I can't be a model for VS?
A: It decreases your chances of being submitted to a VS casting but it doesn't eliminate you altogether. As long as the New York agency you're signed with is well known in that market and gives you exposure through the work they book you, it's possible you could still be considered.

Q: How do I apply to VS to become a model for them?
A: You don't "apply" and VS is not your employer that you go directly through. VS is just a client who uses modeling agencies to find the models they want. That being said, the only way to get to VS is to FIRST GET SIGNED TO ELITE OR FORD in order to have the best chance. 

Q: Will VS like my look?
A: I don't know because you'll first have to hope that Elite or Ford in New York likes your look. Again, you've got to get signed to an agency first so in the beginning, it's not about what VS is looking for, it's about what Elite and Ford, followed by the other top fashion agencies (if you don't get signed to Elite or Ford) are looking for. If your physical appearance and build is good enough for these agencies, chances are it could also work for VS. Your agency will submit you if they know you stand a good chance at being booked for this type of work.

Q: How tall do I actually have to be?
A: I did some researching and while traditional fashion/runway agencies want their models to be at least 5'8", if you're applying to Ford and Elite in New York, they actually raised the minimum height requirement to 5'9". Yup, they raised the bar. So if you're 5'8", you've automatically become the industry's version of 5'7", where that one inch could make you ineligible to submit to these agencies. That being said, 5'8" models hoping to do VS work don't have to give up on this dream but just know that Elite and Ford are looking for 5'9" girls initially so you'll have to be an exceptional 5'8" model with a look these agencies can't afford to pass up. Unfortunately, this also dramatically decreases the chances for models that are 5'7". One inch may be easy to overlook for the right girl but if it's two inches AND you're trying to get signed in the New York market, you have to be Kate Moss exceptional.

Q: I'm 15, 16, 17 years old...can I model for VS?
A: NO. You must be at least 18 years old.

Q: I want to be a VS model but I don't live in the USA. What can I do?
A: I would highly recommend trying to get signed to Ford or Elite if they have those agencies in your country. Getting signed to them could give you a chance to be placed for work in New York, where you could then be considered for VS. Plan B (if there is no Ford or Elite in your country or if you don't end up getting signed by them), is to sign with another top fashion agency in your country that places its models in other markets/locations so that you can try to get the opportunity to work in New York. 

Q: But, but, but, but...but
A: I'm sorry, when it comes to VS modeling requirements, there are very little "buts" that will result in a different outcome or answer. If you don't meet the bare minimum of the requirements listed, you cannot become a serious candidate for VS. Exceptions are made very very rarely so if you currently do not fit those requirements to a tee or know that you won't in the near future, then this is not going to be a realistic goal for you to pursue.

To drive the point further home, I'm going to relist what the requirements are to become a VS model here:
  1. Be between the ages of 18-30 (yes, you read right...you can be a bit older. Trust me, I did the research and know it to be true. Of course the younger you are, the better).
  2. Be signed to Elite or Ford in the New York market. OR signed to another top fashion agencies in New York. Other locations do NOT count!
  3. Be between 5'8" - 6'0" in height. HOWEVER to get signed to Elite or Ford in New York, their minimum height requirement is 5'9" so you'll have to be exceptional if you're 5'8" and hoping to get signed to either of these agencies.
  4. Have a curvy but still slim/slender build.
  5. Be within the industry standards, measurement-wise: 34-24-34 or smaller. You can only be one inch larger in any of these areas. (If you're going to debate with me about how VS models are much curvier than fashion models, please don't because I'll simply give you the stats of the VS models who--despite appearing much thicker--actually have the same/similar measurements of traditional runway models...again, there are exceptions to the rule but they're not the norm).


Anonymous said...

Same goes for male underwear models. They have to have a fit build.

Anonymous said...

How old and how tall do you have to be to be a pink model since its for teenagers..right?

Dania Denise said...

Hey, Anonymous (#2)! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #351." Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I had a question.. I have always wanted to be Victoria Secret Model, but I'm a little shorter than the requirements to be signed with a top NY agency. So, I was wondering if there was still hope for me, to model other for underwear/swim companies. I'm 5'4'', measurements 34B-24-32. & how I maybe what agencies would chose such a short model? Thanks Dania!!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #384," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Question- Say if I were to sign with an agency in New York when I live a couple states south. I remember seeing something on your blog about how you'll be dormed with other models(or maybe that's for a completely different circumstance and I totally misunderstood that), so my stupid question is: would I need to find an apartment in New York?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #452," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

look bitter old lady, people can have questions, being a victoria secret model can be someones dream. are you one? NO NADA NOPE NEVER. don't be so damn harsh.
and everyone that got dreamed crushed go for it, and there are always alternatives like i said this woman is not a model.

Dania Denise said...

Hi Anonymous,

I find your comment super amusing, which is why I chose to publish it instead of deleting it. Based on what you wrote, it looks like you not only took this particular blog post out of context, it seems like you didn't read the whole post. This is the first blog post of mine you've even read, isn't it?

If your comment is what you came to as a result of reading my blog post, then that's unfortunate because I do state (pretty explicitly, I may add) that my intention is not to offend anyone and that plenty of people can still ask me questions about VS modeling or any other type of modeling.

It doesn't even appear that you read the original VS post that this post is tied to. Have I ever claimed to be as great as a VS model? NO, NOPE, NADA, NEVER).

Throughout this blog I have always written that there are plenty of other types of modeling if people don't meet the requirements for not just VS modeling but high fashion/runway modeling in general. That's far from being "so damn harsh."

The fact that yours is the ONLY comment out of both those VS posts that takes this really polar opposite stance on my intentions of writing this article speaks volumes about you.

While it's commendable that you devote your comment to a few words to further encourage and support aspiring models that they can do other alternative types of modeling if they can't do VS, the fact that you have to put me down in the process makes you less of an authority on giving anyone advice, no less people that are truly finding guidance, answers and--yes--actual support through this blog.

To state that I'm not a model is laughable because, obviously based on all my posts, which you clearly have never read, and my resume posted on my blog, your statement is utterly false.

Am I not a model in your eyes because I'm not supermodel status? Am I not a model in your eyes because I'm not a VS model or because my name isn't known around the world? If so, then by that same token/train of thought, you basically just bashed not only me but the aspiring models you try to encourage in your comment because if you consider a "real model" to be someone that is supermodel and/or VS status, then I guess all the others that are doing what I do (and those hoping to do what I do), which is work professionally in the industry with an agent, being published, etc., really aren't good enough to be considered as models in your eyes either.

Are you a model? Have you been on a magazine cover? Have you done 100+ photoshoots? Have you ever been interviewed by publications and on camera? If not, well, then. If so, I find it hard to believe that a fellow model would make the comment you did.

So at the end of the day, I do have to thank you for what you wrote because it just reminds me of why I have this blog and how much good I am doing because yours is the ONLY comment that has had to bash me in order to try and get your considerably inaccurate point across. And compared to the amazing numbers of positive emails, messages and comments I receive on a regular basis, those are REALLY good odds to show I'm doing something right.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dania! I'm finding your post to be straight to the point and super useful for models who aim to become a VS incarnation. Keep on rocking! Cheers from Maria Ivanova

Dania Denise said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Maria Ivanova, I appreciate having you as a blog reader!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post, very well written!
So I just got one question;
Do you think there's as much chance to become a VS model when you're signed with IMG New York? Or is it not as big of a chance as Elite or Ford?
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Do you know any model agencies that would take short girls? 5ft-5'4? And have you ever known of an older person who modeled as a young person?

Anonymous said...

I think that it is a sad thing that there are no short victorias secret models. Not everyone was born tall and with long legs. It is in a way bullshit because women cant be this specific type of model because they dont reach a certain requirement. Not to mention the dreams and hopes that are just crushed in the process. I know that this isnt your decison so its not you i hold fault to,however your comment could have been revised to "as if now in 2015 no you cannot be a victorious secret models if yoi are short but this is not set in stone for the future" thank you.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! Thank you for your comment and I totally agree with everything you said. While plus size models have slowly but surely been holding their own in the fashion world, that has yet to happen for shorter models. It's not that I'm not optimistic and I'm not saying that it will never happen for shorter models but given the history of the modeling industry and the people put in place to run it, any kind of change or acceptance on the VS scale is very unlikely to happen anytime soon. It may take another few decades before seeing a model under 5'7" on a prestigious runway is as commonplace as a runway model that is plus size. We still have a long way to go.

That being said, I believe in being honest to the point of being blunt because, sadly, too many young girls that aspire to be VS models do not physically meet the requirements and many more do unhealthy things to try and change that. I have to be that reality check to let them know that VS may not be for them BUT that is okay because there is more to being a model (and the modeling world) than VS. And I want them to open their eyes to see that and, in time, believe it for themselves so that they aren't so obsessed with this idea that they'll stretch their way to getting tall enough to be considered for VS.

I wrote this second VS post out of frustration because I literally received 100+ questions/comments from girls, many of them asking questions that were directly answered right in the post. If anything, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people don't follow directions or realize that they are being repetitive and that is on purpose as well--successful models follow directions. So this particular post was to drive home the point that these VS requirements (as ridiculous as I find them to be) actually are set in stone by the people that run VS and until someone steps in with a different mindset who wants to embrace change, VS modeling in this particular instance, will not step away from the requirements it has upheld since it was created. And that's extremely sad on their part.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous (December 2, 2015 at 1:17 PM)!

I think being signed to any prominent fashion agency in NYC like IMG makes you just as likely to be able to attend a VS casting as Elite and Ford. VS starts with Elite and Ford but they certainly spread out to the surrounding fashion agencies in the area so signing with either of those two specific agencies isn't the end all, be all if you have goals of modeling for VS in the future. :-)

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous (December 17, 2015 at 12:35 PM)! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #861," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Does VS recruit from IMG. I'm not sure cause you really only talked about ford and elite. And I live in CA so is it ok if I sing with their LA one since they also have on in NY. And how do you get on the cover of vogue? I thought you had to be above 18 to be on the cover? Thank you.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous!

VS does recruit from IMG in NYC. Ford & Elite are the first two agencies they recruit through and then they consider top performing models from the other New York agencies.

If you got signed in LA with an agency that also has an NYC office, you'd have to make sure to communicate to your LA agent that you also wish to work in the NYC market. Actively working as a model while in NYC will get you on the VS recruiting radar faster than being all the way in LA. So that would be an arrangement that you'd need to discuss with your LA agent to see if it would be possible and what your options would be.

These days you have to be an in-demand working model to be considered for a Vogue cover. It's just one of those things that either comes in time as a model gets more known in the industry and in the world, or an "overnight success" type of situation where a new model is just the "It" model everyone wants to have.

There isn't any one surefire way or magic formula for getting a Vogue cover, unfortunately, but the good news is that you don't have to be 18+ to get a cover on Vogue. There aren't any age requirements for things like that. There are a few models who appeared on the cover of Vogue when they were underage (Brooke Shields was 14, while others were 18 and 19) but in general you don't have to be a certain age to be considered, which is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Hi is breast size to big of a problem because currently I am a 34B and still growing what is the biggest breast size?

Anonymous said...

Hi can a VS angel have multiple peircings?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous (December 19, 2016 at 9:18 PM)!

For VS modeling bust size isn't a major factor like with high fashion runway modeling. Many of the VS models are very busty (B and C cups).

If your interest is in other types of high fashion and runway modeling, a 34B bust size is perfectly acceptable. I believe it's once you get into the C cups and larger then it becomes more challenging because of the sample sizes most designers use. But for now your current bust size won't be a hindrance at all.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous (December 19, 2016 at 9:19 PM)!

VS models can have multiple piercings but of course it depends on the type of piercing and location(s).

For the ears there can be several but during shoots and shows, the model may be required to remove the earrings during the time they are working so that the multiple piercings won't be as noticeable and will be less to touch up in Photoshop. Then they can put the earrings back in when they are done working.