How to Become a Petite Model

Think you’re not tall enough to be a fashion model? Think again. The diversification of the modelling industry has meant that there is a place for models of all different shapes and size, including petite models. Look at Devon Aoki, Twiggy, Lily-Rose Depp, Kate Moss and Inka Williams, who all measure below 5”6’. Models are considered petite when they are no taller than 5”7’ for women and 5”9’ for men. While the runway and high fashion brands still tend to favour taller models, there are plenty of opportunities outside these niches for petite models. Read our list of tips on how to become a petite model to find out more

By Natalie Dawson

Petite Inspirations

The average Australian women is around 5’3, yet the stereotype in the fashion world is that models are slender with legs that skyrocket above the tallest of towers.

This is why it’s time for modelling agencies to start signing petite models. Petite models make up some of the most influential faces of our time.

Devon Aoki (5’3), Twiggy (5’4), Emily Ratajkowski (5’5) and Georgia May Jagger (5’6), just to name a few or many petite models.

These women all have successful careers in different sections of modeling. Use these fabulous faces as reminders that regardless of height success is possible for anyone with passion and drive.

Too Tall To Ride

How tall is tall enough? Crazily enough, there are restrictions within petite modeling. Unsurprisingly you can be too tall, but you can also be too short to fit into the standard that is expected.

Women must ideally sit between 5’1 – 5’7 and men should be above 5’4 and under 5’9. These requirements may vary an inch or two depending on your representative.

The important fact to note is that the industry is full of jobs where height isn’t considered to be a vital attribute.

Cosmetics, vehicles, swimwear, lingerie, jewelry and other products outside high fashion don’t need the tallest of men or women to create successful sales.

Body Confidence

For petite fashion, particularly for swimwear and lingerie brands, the importance relies on your physique more than your height.

A healthy, fit and/or curvaceous body is crucial to the selling of these garments.

Similarly, for men, a toned torso is more desired than exceptional height.

Plenty of petite models find the most work through commercial modeling as agencies and brands are looking for a certain look versus a specific height.

Australian Agencies

Finding suitable petite modelling agencies for your petite frame is a little more difficult as petite models tend to blend in amongst the rest.

A perfect place to start is WINK Models, they represent petite faces from all over Australia (their shortest male and female model being 5’2).

Brazen Models and Vivien’s Models also represent a fair few female models specifically under 5’5.

Make sure to select and apply for agencies that will understand and help your career flourish within petite modeling.

Model Abroad

Beauty is subjective, but it can also be culturally influenced. Australia is known as one of the tallest nations, so there is a demand for tall models.

Petite models in the past have found success working for modeling agencies in other parts of the world, specifically Asian countries.

In places like China, Japan and Indonesia, models with smaller frames are actually preferred. Designers often provide sample pieces of shorter models with small frames.

Models who are 5’9 or over are traditionally considered too tall. If traveling works for you, try sourcing an Australian agency that has connections with countries perfect for the petite.

Need more information? Check out our How To Become A Model article for all the answers.


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