Your Guide to Plus-Size Modelling

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Plus size sexy model girl, fashionable blonde in black bodysuit, with bright makeup and with donut in her hand smiling and posing at pink background in studio

Are you keen to get into plus-size modelling? Then read on – we’ve gathered industry professional advice on the best way to get into plus-size modelling. 

Plus-Size Modelling

Thanks to some changes to the fashion industry and due to an increasing number of boundary-pushing faces and brands, becoming a plus-size model is not as difficult as it once was. Demand has increased and continues to flourish as visibility skyrockets. It’s now not uncommon to see plus-size mannequins in stores and plus-size models in magazines and on billboards. 

plus-size modelling

Famous Plus-Size Models

– Ashley Graham

– Candice Huffine

Iskra Lawrence

– Paloma Elsesser

– Naomi Shimada

– Tara Lynn

– Robyn Lawley

– Tess Holliday

Becoming a Plus-Size Model

Becoming a model with no experience can seem daunting, but remember that we all have to start somewhere! 

If you’re interested in becoming a plus-size model, you’ll need to build a strong modelling portfolio and apply to some modelling agencies. As a growing industry, there are plenty of opportunities to make a name for yourself. 

Read on to discover how to become a plus-size model.

Plus Size Modelling Requirements

The requirements for plus-size models differs depending on the country, brand and agency. That means there is a lot of lee-way – both a good and a bad thing. Typically, plus-size is considered a size 12 upwards in high fashion. In commercial modelling, size 14 and above is plus-size. It’s important to note that the public’s perception and the fashion industry’s perception of plus-size is somewhat different.

Plus-size models tend to be cast depending on their overall appearance and proportions rather than their dress size. 

Height is still factored in. As with other genres of modelling, taller models are favoured, with those over 5’9″ usually considered for high fashion. Commercial and petite modelling is more relaxed. And remember, there are always exceptions to the rules. 

Getting Signed to a Plus-Size Modelling Agency

The easiest and fastest way to apply to an agency is to sign up via the application process on their website, or to send them a link to your online portfolio. You’ll need some of your best photos to hand, as well as your current measurements and contact details. 

You’ll need to include a full-body photo as well as a couple of headshot images. You don’t need to be dressed to the nines in all your application photos; in fact, a simple t-shirt and jeans will do, along with minimal make-up that makes the most of your features. 

You should also consider investing in some comp cards (also known as z-cards), which provide a handy way to pass out your details in a hurry. This is also a great way to house your most recent and notable photoshoots. 

You can also attend open casting calls for plus-size models; many agencies keep an eye out for fresh talent and this is a great way of getting a foot in the door and your name in front of important people, even if you aren’t successful.

Plus-Size Bikini Modelling

Many agencies have swimsuit or lingerie divisions, though most plus-size swimwear campaign models are selected from the general plus-size modelling roster. If you’re interested specifically in bikini modelling as a plus-size model, be sure to include many swimsuit photos in your portfolio. 

You should also follow swimwear brands on social media as they tend to advertise themselves when on the search for a model. 

Plus-Size Male Modelling

Plus-size male modelling is unfortunately not as popular as the women’s division, though it is on the rise thanks to brands like Savage X Fenty. Modelling requirements for men tend to be more relaxed; a standard model can be between 29-32″ in waist, so a plus-size male model will be typically over 34″.

Plus-Size Fashion Designers & Brands That Work With Plus-Size Models

– Torrid

– Eloquii

– Universal Standard

– Premme

– Addition-Elle

– Penningtons

– Asos Curve

– Boohoo Plus

– H&M

– Loft

– J. Crew

– Modcloth

Jobs for Plus-Size Models

Jobs for plus-size models can be found in advertising campaigns, social media, magazine editorials, runway, commercials and TV work. Height is usually the decerning factor dividing the three types of plus-size modelling: high fashion, petite and commercial. 

Plus-size models over the age of 50 are also growing in demand. If you are a fuller-figured model in this demographic, it’s a good idea to do some research into brands that advertise to more mature audiences and target them for your modelling services. 

For petite plus-size models, you should do the same; look into your demographic, research brands who work with shorter plus-size models and contact them accordingly. 

Landing Plus-Size Modelling Jobs Without An Agent

– Follow plus-size brands and agencies on social media

– Look for Facebook (Meta) groups and job boards that feature modelling postings

– Search for photographers who work with plus-size models

– Join Model Mayhem, a popular freelance modelling website

– Follow plus-size influencers on social media and use them for inspiration while also keeping an eye on the brands they work with

– Keep abreast of body positivity news and any trending topics related to plus-size fashion

Plus-Size Modelling Salary

Plus-size models tend to make between £10,000 up to £100,000 depending on their popularity. Typically, you’re looking at a salary around £30,000. As modelling is normally a freelance job, it’s impossible to forecast accurate salary expectations; it all depends on the number of clients you work with, and the regularity of which you work, as well as how much you are paid per gig. 

What to Put in Your Plus-SIze Modelling Portfolio

The success of a curvy model’s modelling career strongly depends on the quality of their modelling portfolio. You should also consider an online portfolio that you can direct designers and casting directors to.

Your portfolio should contain around 20 of your best photos. If you don’t yet have any modelling experience, it might be worth considering paying a photographer for the day for a photoshoot; this way, you’ll gain valuable experience in front of the camera while also gaining the opportunity to purchase your best photos for inclusion in your portfolio.

Remember to practice modelling poses beforehand so you feel confident on the day. Ensure you get some bikini or lingerie shots if you are interested in this plus-size work. You can also find plenty of inspiration online. 

Now you know the ins and outs of plus-size modelling – are you ready to get started? Click here to register today!

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