Learn About the Diverse World of Male Modeling

When most people think of male models they automatically think of male supermodels Tyson Beckford, David Gandy, Marcus Schenkenberg, Gabriel Aubry, and Sean O'Pry. However, there are many other types of models whose names you wouldn't know but who are earning a terrific income working as commercial, fitness, fit and parts models with commercial clients, manufacturers, suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, airlines, automobile manufacturers, fitness companies and much more. Even if you can't be the next supermodel you'll probably fit into one of these categories of male models.

Fashion (Editorial) Model

Looking slick
PeopleImages/Getty Images

Male fashion models, or what we in the modeling business call, "editorial models" are the high fashion models that you see in fashion magazines such as Men's Vogue, GQ, Harper's Bazaar Man, Details, and Numero and who work for top fashion designers Giorgio Armani, Prada, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Burberry and others.

Male editorial models are generally 6' 0" to 6' 2" and wear a 38 or 40 jacket. Asian markets will represent male models from 5'10" and up.

There are always exceptions to these requirements and agencies like to look at the "complete package", so if you are a little bit over or under these stats don't worry. In fact, top editorial agency d' Management in Milan, Italy represents 5' 7" male model Aaron Frew. Aaron Frew has booked numerous high fashion jobs and has worked for Calvin Klein and other top designers.

Runway/Catwalk Model

Male Runway Catwalk Models
WireImage/Getty Images

Male runway/catwalk models are a minimum of 6' 0" - 6' 2" and wear a 38 or 40 jacket.

Runway models must have precise measurements so they are able to fit the clothes that designers are going to be showing to their clients.

Designers hire models to fit the clothes they have made for their collections, they don't make the clothes to fit the model - well, not unless you're a supermodel like Tyson Beckford or Sean O'Pry.

Commercial Model

Romantic couple at a dinner party
Portra Images/Getty Images

Commercial models can be any age, any size, and any height. Hooray! Commercial models can do everything that isn't normally associated with high-fashion, such as product ads for housewares, food products, travel industry, tech devices, and the list goes on. 

With respect to plus size male models, most agencies don't have specific divisions for plus size, big and tall, or shorter stature male models the way they do for female models. Therefore, male models who are of special sizes are considered commercial models.​

Fitness Model

How to Be a Fitness Model
HeroImages/Getty Images

Male fitness models are models who are very athletic, fit and toned.  Many fitness models started out as athletes or trainers and have added fitness modeling to their resumes. In addition to working for fitness companies, fitness and exercise magazines, supplement manufacturers and athletic wear companies, fitness models are often commercial models as well.

Underwear/Swimsuit Model

Charming and chiseled
PeopleImages/GettyImages

Male underwear and swimsuit models, like fitness models, must be very athletic, fit and toned. 

Many male underwear and swimsuit models started out as athletes,  fitness trainers or bodybuilders.

They can also be slightly larger than male editorial models since they are usually not required to fit into a standard size 40 jacket.

Fit Model

Tailor adjusting suit on dressmakers model in menswear shop
Caiaimage/Rafal Rodzoch/Getty Images

Not to be confused with fitness models, fit models are models who work behind the scenes in fashion houses and with garment manufacturers to make sure that sizing and fit are maintained in the clothing manufacturing process. 

Garment manufacturers require a variety of shapes and sizes of fit models in order to fit their garments properly before they are shipped to the consumer. 

You may not have the look that a print model needs or the height of a runway model, but if you can consistently maintain your measurements then a career in fit modeling may be for you.

Parts Model

Male Hand Feet Modeling
Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Parts models specialize in modeling specific body parts such as hands, feet, legs, and eyes.

A hand model can book jobs for jewelry, watches, health and beauty products, and anywhere else a client requires a perfect hand whether it's in print or on film.

A foot model can book jobs with shoe companies, health and beauty products and anywhere else a client requires perfect feet whether it's in print or on film.

Clients look for well-proportioned body parts and those who can fit sample shoe, glove or jewelry sizes.

Promotional Model

Man on the airport opening car door
EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER/Getty Images

Male promotional models are not as common as female promotional models, but there can be a need for this type of male model. 

Promotional models often book jobs to promote products or services at trade shows, conventions, and live events. 

Promotional models must be very outgoing, friendly and have a very good understanding of the client's product as they may be required to talk about the product or answer questions from potential buyers. 

Mature Model

Gray is the new black
shapecharge/Getty Images

The market for mature models has increased tremendously as the baby boomers enter their 60's and beyond.

Mature models are generally 30 years of age and over and work well into their 80's and 90's!  

Mature models are really considered commercial models and can do everything a commercial model can do.

Child Model

Male Child Modeling
Camp David Kidswear. Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

What do celebrities Brooke Shields, Jodie Foster, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Connelly, Natalie Portman and CNN's Anderson Cooper have in common? They were all child models!

The age range for a child model is generally 12 years and under and they can be any size and height. 

Agents that represent child models are looking for children with lots of personality and who are able to work well on set and around strangers.

The type of bookings for child models are usually more commercial in nature such print work in catalogs, flyers, and magazine ads. However, there are several top designers with child clothing lines where child models are frequently booked such as Calvin Klein, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Guess.

A Place for Everyone

No matter what your height, age or size, there is a place for everyone in the modeling business. All you need to do is determine what type of modeling you're best suited for and then go for it!