Source: Matthew Noszka for Reflex Magazine

Types of Male Modelling

Getting work as a male model can be considerably more difficult than it is for a female model. The demand for female models is exponentially higher resulting in less modelling divisions for men. Regardless, there are many types of male modelling for the aspiring model to pursue. Through research, dedication and understanding, navigating the industry waters can be done with ease.

By Natalie Dawson

Fashion Modelling

One of the most popular and well known types of male modelling is fashion modelling. This is inclusive of both runway work and high fashion prints.

High fashion modelling is an opportunity for male models to begin branding themselves. Working alongside international supermodels can greatly assist the progression of a male models career.

High fashion modelling, particularly runway, still remains fairly difficult to get into. Male models are expected to fit into certain sizes and be of a particular height. Sitting between 5’11” and 6’2″ is the standard, any taller or shorter and designer clothes won’t fit.

Many male models are cast to support major female supermodels. Larry D. Woodard, CEO of Graham Stanley Advertising explained in an interview with ABC News the landslide difference between male and female models…

“The men’s clothing industry rakes in roughly $400 billion worldwide, but the women’s clothing industry worldwide is worth about $621 billion.”

Commercial Modelling

When it comes to the most lucrative types of male modelling, commercial modelling offers the most variety.

There are commercial opportunities for men of varying heights, sizes and shapes. Male models can be cast in anything from cologne campaigns to K-Mart catalogs. There is high demand within commercial modelling and jobs are usually more readily available.

There is a large market for the “average man.” Commercial casting agents are usually looking for “aspirational”, yet attainable male models.

The concept is to sell a product to a consumer and sometimes that item requires a friendly or a familiar face over the avant-garde nature of high fashion editorials.

Despite the minimized restrictions of this commercial modelling, some jobs will still abide by traditional physique requirements.

There is a slight leaning towards men over 5’9″ but there is a recent increase and appreciation of shorter male models.

Andreas Wilson is a 5’7″ commercial model. He has built his brand within the industry and now works in modelling, film and television.

Commercial modelling also consists of television commercials.

More information:

Male Model Height Requirements

It’s Time To Stop Ignoring Short Male Models

Sean O'Pry for Viktor&Rolf

Underwear/Swimsuit Model

Swimwear or underwear modelling is more versatile than one might think. These modelling divisions come in the form of both commercial and high fashion work.

There are many runway shows dedicated to mens swimwear and/or underwear. The swimwear brand Argyle Grant had a show during New York Fashion Week in 2017.

Swimwear and underwear designers often have their own personal style and requirements. This means if one brand doesn’t feel you’re the correct fit, another might.

In 2018, brawn model, Zach Miko, walked the runway for The Iconic wearing a pair of floral board shorts.

This proves that swimwear modelling and furthermore underwear modelling is a forward thinking and versatile division.

Fitness Model

Fitness modelling is filled with many misconceptions. Immediately the mind gravitates towards the rippling muscles of men in stage shows and muscle competitions. This level of fitness isn’t required for your average fitness model.

The idea is to represent a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Fitness models are mainly used for specific fitness related campaigns and events.

Much like many other types of male modelling, fitness work usually has flexible physique requirements. Similar to commercial models, their look needs to be marketable to the general public. Bright smiles, healthy figures and glowing skin are just a few attributes that are usually pined after.

The best way to kick start your fitness modelling journey is through fitness modelling competitions. Big exercise brands, fitness magazines and catalogues often have opportunities for aspiring models.

David Beckahm Adidas Fitness Commercial

Fit Model

Fit models are perhaps lesser known of in the modelling industry, but a valuable addition to any runway show.

They are “cast” to try on clothing for big brands and fashion designers. Essentially they behave like real-life mannequins.

Although these models are in high demand the requirements are fairly strict. Seeing as designers often have a standard size for their clothing, fit models have to fit within that.

Generally male fit models are expected to be between 6’1″ – 6’2″ with measurements of 39-34-39.

Despite this there is work for plus-size and petite fit models depending on the designer.

Outside of going through an agency, contacting manufacturers and requesting if they are currently in need of fit models can also help find work.

Many types of male modelling require high levels of stamina, fit modelling is no exception.

You may be asked to stand still for long periods of time, or move, walk or dance in a way that the future client might.

It should also be noted that feeling comfortable with your body is crucial.

Fit models are asked to undress and change on the spot. More often than not there is the designer alongside other garment technicians in the room.

Fit models are expect to have some level of knowledge about fashion. Their opinions on whether a zipper is too short or a seam too loose is vital to the designer.

Knowing what works and what doesn’t on a basic level is important.

Part Model

Parts models are a fairly niche type of modelling. They usually only focus on one of their features which they use to get work.

A career in parts modelling may not sound lucrative, but you’d be surprised how often their needed.

Everything from socks, watches, shoes, certain cosmetics, hair products, all require parts models.

Unfortunately most, if not all, of part modelling gigs only require the specified “part” meaning a portrait shot isn’t likely.

Not everyone can get into parts modelling. Most part models dedicate their lives to perfecting their claim to fame, be it their feet, hands, legs or torso.

Aside from upkeep on your select body part, the only specific bodily requirement is for shoe size. Men are expected to be between a size 8-12.

Promotional Model

Promotional modelling for men is a little more difficult than it is for women. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible but if you desire to have a promo career it’s important to hustle.

Models usually look similar to the “boy next door” – conventionally attractive, charismatic, with a fantastic smile. Promotional models have to be strong enough to stand around all day and remain positive and focused in the face of the general public.

The best way to find work as a male model is through agencies that focus on finding work for male promotional models.

Promotional modelling doesn’t always involve being scantily clad.

Many promo jobs need models to wear a simple jeans and t-shirt combination. As a model you’re within your right to decide which jobs you’re comfortable with.

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