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How to Become an Urban Model

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If you want to be an urban model, you will be in for a surprise. Urban models often represent a form of beauty found in cities that aren’t always celebrated in couture or print magazines. Yet, with the advent of hip-hop music and hip-hop culture, urban models are more popular than ever. Actress LisaRaye of TV show “All of Us” started off in videos as an urban model and it opened up doors for her in Hollywood. There are others (like singer Tyrese) who also work in this genre. The key is to present yourself in a way that says, “I am edgy, but also beautiful.”

Do your research. Like any job, modeling requires knowledge. This is specifically true if you are trying to be a certain “type” of model. So you should go to the library and read as many books as you can on the subject, so you can understand it.

Take a modeling class. Regardless of whether you are an urban model or department store model, you need to know how to pose, walk and stand. You can get this through a modeling class. Be sure to go to a licensed one with a good reputation and possible a few connections. It will give you an extra edge.

Get a makeover. You want to look the part of an urban model, so you should get a makeover. The makeover should be edgy and give you a signature look that screams “Urban.” Be sure to seek out the help of a professional who is familiar with the industry and works with other models.

Set up a portfolio book. This book should have pictures of you posing in different ways. Your portfolio will be like a visual resume of your abilities to model. Be sure to add in a written resume of any work you’ve already completed.

Get an agent and go on interviews. These two usually go hand and hand. The most successful models (urban or not) have agents. These agents are people who act as liaisons between you and a person who wants to hire you for a modeling job. For a fee, they set up jobs for you. You will have to interview with them first and be picked up as a client. Most people like to go to the big modeling agencies first and then work their way down if rejected.

Model. Even if your first gig as an urban model is at a church social, take it. The more you work, the more your name is spread around to potential clients. So, it’s important to take small jobs until you are able to build up to big ones.


Enjoy the journey toward becoming an urban model.


Beware of agents promising you success, but ask for your money. Stay clear of these people.

  • Enjoy the journey toward becoming an urban model.
  • Beware of agents promising you success, but ask for your money. Stay clear of these people.

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