If you have the look, the ambition and the passion of a model, but are missing the 36″ pins, not to worry, because there is finally a gap in the market just for you. With more and more fashion brands developing lines specifically designed for their shorter customer, the demand for petite models is fast expanding. No longer do you have to have legs up to your armpits to succeed.
To qualify for petite modelling, you will need to be at least 4ft 9″ (144.78 cm) tall, but no taller than 5ft 7″ (170.18 cm). You will also need to be well proportioned and between a size 4-10. And although you are not tall, you will still need to look as tall as you possibly can, by practicing correct posture. Petite models also still need to have a specific look, with striking or unusual features that set them apart from any other pretty girl.
Before getting ahead of yourself, you need to accept that your chances of becoming a high fashion runway model are still pretty slim. With less opportunities in the industry for petite models and the average height of women in the UK being around 5ft 4″ (meaning a much higher number of suitable candidates), it is an even more competitive area of modelling than mainstream. Explore your best options. You may have to look at focusing your attention on pursuing a career in lifestyle modelling, which would include things like print advertising campaigns, commercial corporate modelling and TV extra work.
Living in the right location is very important. If you live in a small village in the countryside, with not a single modelling agency within a 200 mile radius, you might want to consider relocating. Find out which agencies have a platform for petite models and where the majority of them are located.
It would also be a good idea to get some professional images taken. The petite market is small, so you may have to represent yourself at first, until you find a good agency. Find a good fashion photographer or a fashion photography studio, as these usually supply hair and make-up artists. Or, if you are trying to save money, find students who are looking to update their own portfolios and need models to do so. However, you will want to ensure that your images are good quality and can make an impact. Use these images to build a portfolio, a website or a Z-Card with your details and measurements.
When looking for an agency to represent you, make sure that you do some research on each of them and ask a lot of questions if you manage to land an interview. Find out how many petite models they represent and which successful petite models they have signed. Be very wary of any agency that calls themselves a “Petite Modelling Agency.”, as it is more than likely not a legitimate agency. Instead, look for Print or Commercial departments within a mainstream agency. If you do face rejection, find out why. If it is just a matter of not having a marketable look, do not give up. It does not mean that you can not model, it just means that your look is not “on trend” at the moment. But, in 4-5 months time, you could be just what everyone is looking for.