There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Answering a Reader Question #316

Anonymous Wrote:

Hello Dania,
I noticed that you mentioned you did some runway work despite being a shorter model (which is awesome by the way ^_^). I'm only 5'5; However, everyone constantly says I have a stunning walk and suggest runway.Considering my height, print/commercial seems to be the obvious route, but I feel as though my walk would "go to waste" if I never included any runway work. I was wondering if you had any advice on how to get runway work as a short model. 

Hi there, Anonymous! In your situation, I would recommend using freelance methods to find runway work for a model of your height. Although I have an agent for commercial/print, they never submit me for runway stuff (for obvious reasons) so I seek those opportunities on my own.

It's a matter of knowing where to look, as well as networking with the right people that are willing to take on shorter models. In this case, Facebook became a useful tool for me. I don't know what city/state you live in but here in Northern California (more specifically, the Bay Area), there is a huge group of models/photographers/makeup artists, etc. that are tight-knit. There are 2-3 Facebook "groups" that were created in order to bring all the local modeling industry folks together to not only collaborate on shoots but as a main go-to-place for people to post casting calls. I replied to one of the castings for runway models and got a reply back from the designer, who loved my look and didn't mind that I was 5'5". Before I knew it, she was using me in her shows. The same thing happened again through the use of those same Facebook groups with a handful of other designers. Now that I've tapped into that network, they know that if they're ever in need of a short model that knows how to do runway, they can contact me. 

It would be a good idea to check out Facebook and see what professionals are in your area, especially fashion designers and photographers. You can always send them a brief message to introduce yourself and inquire about possible runway opportunities they know of that have flexible or open height requirements.

While it isn't as glamorous, you can also look into the local colleges that have fashion departments. Fashion majors are constantly putting on runway shows to display their work and they always need models. Many of them have open height requirements as well. They're usually not paid but often you can get photos of yourself on the catwalk for your portfolio and it's a great networking opportunity. Additionally, those count as "experience" and are worth putting on your resume.

Model Mayhem is another great site that has been beneficial in helping me come across runway gigs. I typically do a search for local designers using the site's "Browse" function. Then I'll look through the results and contact the ones whose work I like (I've been lucky enough to find 1-2 designers that specialize in petite fashions). I'll message them, introduce myself and let them know that if they ever need a petite model for their fashion shows, that I'll be available. When using the "Casting" feature to look for gigs, I've also come across fashion shows that are looking for shorter models.

So there are a number of ways you can go about finding such opportunities. Of course it takes constant searching and results won't happen overnight. It can be daunting in the beginning but all it takes is one or two shows and passing your contact info to the right people to be included for future runway projects.


Anonymous said...


My daughter is with a reputable agency in Ohio but hasn't had a paying job in over a year. They keep telling her the market is bad but she learned via Facebook that other girls with same height/features have been doing jobs. Is her agent just not promoting her? Should she consider terminating her contract/is that legal? Also, she is interested in New York and her agency said they are trying to place her there but we've heard nothing for a while now. We are thinking of going to New York to visit agencies soon. If we have to go on our own & own wallet, should she terminate her mother agency prior to visiting? Thank you for your advice.

Anonymous said...

Dania, thank you for taking the time to answer my question. It was very helpful and much appreciated. My final inquire pertains to any personal knowledge you may have about work in the DMV (D.C.and surrounding places) area. Despite D.C. being a city, there does not seem to be much work here. Do you know of any legitimate companies/designers/people based there?

Anonymous said...

Hi! First off, I love your blog and it is so helpful. I have a question though- how can I find my measurements? I see around your blog a lot, for example, 34-26-36, and I'm not exactly sure what it means. Can I get my measurements myself? How can I do so accurately? And one more question, what is the ideal measurements for a runway model? Thank you for all of your help! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dania, in september 2011, I got into WOMEN, but I'm short so they told me that I'll be doing commercial/print, and also that they'll put me in their base and contact me when I'm needed. They still didn't call, and I'm not on their site either, but they told me that I shouldn't do any modeling outside the agency. My question is, since I didn't sign anything, and I'm not on their site(which gets regularly updated!), can I go to another agency? Sorry for my bad english,it's not my native language xx

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #317." Thanks for reading!

Dania Denise said...

Hey, Anonymous (#2)...you're very welcome...I'm glad I could help you out! As far as seeking designers in the DC area, your best bet would be to do a search on the website Model Mayhem. I don't know anyone personally in that area to refer you to but if you do the following on MM, you'll get profiles of people you can contact about possible modeling opportunities:

1) Go to: www.modelmayhem.com
2) Click "Browse" from the menu at the top
3) Make the following selections:
* Choose artist type(s) -> Clothing Designer
* Gender -> Don't check anything unless you'd rather work with a specific gender for designers
* Display -> Detailed listings and Recently updated
* Select your state and city
* Click "Search"

This will give you a list of profiles of designers that are local to you. It'll give you access to their profile photos, their About Me page, which lists info about them, how they work and ways you can get in touch with them, etc. I believe if you don't have an MM profile, it will still give you this info. If not, setting up a profile on MM is easy and free.

Hope that helps!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous (#3)! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #318." Thanks for reading!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous (#4)! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #319." Thanks for reading!