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How to Become a JCPenney's Model

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JCPenney hires models through approved modeling agencies in each of its key cities: New York, Dallas, Houston, Miami and Los Angeles. These are also the cities in which JCPenney conducts photo shoots for all its print and online marketing campaigns, be it catalogs, newspaper flyers or website specials. Visit JCPenney for a list of approved modeling agencies in your area, and then apply directly to those agencies for representation.

Search Agencies

JCPenney works with modeling agencies like Ford, Elite, Campbell and Kim Dawson. The types of models each of these agencies is looking for depends on the agency. Elite Models, based in New York City, looks for young, tall, runway-type models, while Wilhelmina, also based in New York, looks for lithe as well as curvaceous body types. Diversity works well for JCPenney. At the time of publication, JCPenney had approximately 1,100 operating stores as well as a strong online presence. Since the store caters to everyone -- young, old, skinny, overweight, male and female -- it needs a diverse group of models that represent its client base.

Apply for Representation

Many agencies, such as Elite and Wilhelmina, accept applications online and actually prefer them. Online applications typically ask for your personal information, a description of your body type, including height and measurements, and a few photos that accurately show your facial features and body type. Other agencies, like The Campbell Agency in Dallas, don't accept online applications. Campbell prefers aspiring models attend its casting calls or, if you can't make them, mail your photos to the office. Check with each agency's website for precise application instructions.

Represent Yourself Well

Do your research before you apply, suggests Ford's Director of Scouting Aaron Newbill in an interview with Marie Claire. Make sure the agency represents your type of model. Put together a clean portfolio of photographs, even if you've never modeled before. The photographs don't need to be professional but you should wear minimal makeup and streamlined clothing that reveals your figure. A few great photos are much better than a bunch of poorly taken ones. Show your ability to convey different expressions and project confidence in front of the camera. When you get an interview, show up on time, be polite and be professional. Let the agent know you're specifically interested in modeling for JCPenney but don't hold yourself back from accepting other work.

Be a Fit Model

JCPenney is actively searching for fit models as of the date of publication. These aren't models that are into exercise. Fit models are like live mannequins. Directors of fashion and design use fit models to ensure the drape and fit of their clothing are correct.

JCPenney also hires freelance models directly, whether they are represented by an agency or not. The company asks applicants to contact it at [email protected]. Size requirements change as the company's needs change, so ask what specific sizes and shapes the company currently needs.


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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