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How to Become an Elite Model

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To begin your path to becoming an Elite Model, use Elite Models's online submission form or apply to its annual contest, the Elite Model Look. The prestigious modeling agency, which was founded in the1970s by the flamboyant John Casablancas, does not hold casting calls. Getting signed on by Elite is your chance to join the ranks of some of the world's most famous models, including Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer. Even models who entered but didn't win the Elite Model Look contest have gone on to have successful careers with Elite, like Alessandra Ambrosio and Diane Kruger.

A Little History

Casablancas moved his European modeling agency to New York City in 1977, becoming a threat to the then-reigning queen of modeling agencies, Eileen Ford, who actually sued Casablancas for infringing on her territory. She wasn't able to scare him off, and over the next few decades Elite Models introduced the world to a different type of model: not Ford's sheltered girls with clean-faced innocence but Casablancas's rock-n-roll girls -- girls who didn't just wear the clothes and pose for the pictures but who gave interviews, made huge amounts of money and became celebrities in their own right. In the early 2000s, Elite Models is considered by many to be the world's dominant modeling agency.

Apply Online

Elite Model's online submission form is its primary avenue for models looking to be added to its roster. Elite has offices in New York, Toronto, Miami and Los Angeles. At the time of publication, Elite only accepts male applicants at its Miami location. Elite generally looks for girls who are between 14 and 22 years old, and who are between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall without heels. Males should be between 15 and 35 years old, and between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 3 inches tall. Any model under 18 needs parental consent. The online submission form asks for your personal contact information, physical attributes and several uploaded photos.

Enter the Contest

Elite's Model Look contest draws as many as 400,000 participants each year from 70 countries. Enter the contest online. Height and age requirements change slightly each year as Elite's needs adapt to current trends. Check with Elite online for its most recent requirements. Elite chooses male and female winners from each country to compete for one universal winner. Those chosen spend two weeks in a modeling "boot camp," where they're rigorously groomed through photo shoots and runway guidance, even performing live in front of thousands of people. Winners earn a contract with a guaranteed income but those who don't win stand a chance of getting attention as well.

Do Your Best

Making it as an Elite Model takes more than just having a pretty face. You've got to be willing to work very hard. Show up on time for your initial interview. Be well-groomed, wearing simple clothing and understated makeup. Bring along your portfolio, which should have several of your best and most recent photographs, even if you've never worked as a model before. Make sure the photos concentrate on your face and body, and highlight your ability to portray expressions, not your makeup or the set behind you. Show yourself ready to handle the job and ready to learn every aspect of modeling. Professionalism is highly regarded in the world of modeling. Being reliable, sturdy and adventurous will make you stand out in a sea of lovely creatures.


Brooke Julia has been a writer since 2009. Her work has been featured in regional magazines, including "She" and "Hagerstown Magazine," as well as national magazines, including "Pregnancy & Newborn" and "Fit Pregnancy."

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