Best Plus-Size Modeling Agencies

Wilhelmina Models’ curve division is the best plus-size modeling agency

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments from advertisers. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.

Plus-size modeling agencies act as a liaison between plus-size models and brands and publications that are looking to hire models for photo and video shoots. As a model, agency representation can help you land more gigs, build your portfolio, and legitimize your career. 

The best plus-size modeling agencies can book you the gigs you’re looking to get and support your development and career. To make your search easier, we’ve compiled the best plus-size modeling agencies based on reputation, size, ease of application, and clientele.

Best Plus-Size Modeling Agencies of 2021

Best Overall : Wilhelmina Models


Wilhelmina Models

Wilhelmina Models

  • Application Format: Online form
  • Years in Business: 54 (11 for curve division)
  • Who They Represent: Priscilla Huggins, Sonny Turner, Venezia Cruz
Why We Chose It

Wilhelmina is one of the most well-known agencies in the modeling industry. Armed with a global presence and resources, its curve division is one of the most prestigious in the world.

Pros
  • Highly established agency with top-tier clientele

  • Works with models worldwide

Cons
  • Does not disclose fees, pay, or commission

Overview

Founded in 1967 by former supermodel Wilhelmina Cooper, Wilhelmina is now one of the most well-known agencies in the modeling industry. With offices in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and London, Wilhelmina represents plus-size models from around the world and works with some of the biggest retail brands. 

Wilhelmina has successfully booked its plus-size models jobs for brands like Fashion Nova, Asos, and Rue 21. According to the agency, the best way to get your materials seen is by applying through their website. The application is short and simple: You must input your measurements, the division you’re applying for, and upload four different photos of yourself. There is also a box for you to write in any additional notes or talents you possess. 

Because the agency is so large, unfortunately, they cannot guarantee you’ll receive a response. There is also no public information on fee structure or compensation available.

Best International Agency : 12+ UK


12+ (UK)

12+ (UK)

  • Application Format: Email
  • Years in Business: 21
  • Who They Represent: Joann Van Den Herik, Isadee Jansen
Why We Chose It

12+ UK is the leading international agency for plus-size models and is frequently looking for new models to represent.

Pros
  • Plus-size-exclusive modeling agency

  • Easy application process

Cons
  • Does not disclose fees, pay, or commission

Overview

Founded in 2000 and located in London, England, 12+ UK  works with high-profile brands such as Levi's, Cosmo Girl, and Vogue Italia. The agency is led by former model Sarah Watkinson and claims that it is dedicated to supporting the diversity and the health of its models. 

To apply to be a model with 12+ UK, you will need to email the agency your information, including age, location, height (note that you must be at least 5’8”), and measurements including bra size, along with pictures (non-professional are acceptable), including a full-length lingerie or swimwear shot, a clear headshot, and others with different variations on smiles, expressions, hair up, and hair down. 

If the agency is interested in working with you, you should hear back from a representative within 14 days. If you don’t, your application has likely been unsuccessful. 

Like other agencies on this list, 12+ UK does not provide information about their fees, commissions, or pay structure.

Best Boutique Agency : Dorothy Combs Modeling


Dorothy Combs Modeling

Dorothy Combs Modeling

  • Application Format: Online form
  • Years in Business: 16
  • Who They Represent: Aubrey Hoover, Lexy Spreitzer, Kathryn Royal
Why We Chose It

Dorothy Combs Modeling is one of the most respected and recognized boutique plus-size model agencies in the world. DCM maintains strong relationships with the majority of its roster and clientele. Even though DCM is a smaller agency, it books international jobs for its models.

Pros
  • Builds strong relationships with both models and clients

  • Successfully secures international jobs for its models

  • Fosters talent development and growth

Cons
  • Does not disclose fees, pay, or commission

Overview

Dorothy Combs Modeling was founded in 2005 by Dorothy Combs, a model scout with over 25 years of experience in the industry. They have offices located in North Miami, Florida, and represent talent all over the United States including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago. 

According to their website, the agency prides itself on nurturing newly discovered talent, retains a strong relationship with their models, and is always looking for opportunities to expand their talent pool. They have clients looking for talent to model all over the world, including England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, and many other international locales. 

To be considered for representation, you may send your information and photos through the website, by email, or through the mail. The agency signs models that are  5’9” or taller and sizes 10-18. You can submit your materials directly through the website, by email, or through social media.

If you decide not to fill out the form on the website, please ensure you provide all your personal contact information, date of birth, height, bust size, hip size, waist size, shoe size, hair color, eye color, and Instagram handle. You should also attach a high-resolution headshot, profile picture, and a full-length photo. 

Dorothy Combs Modeling does not disclose fees, commissions, or pay structure.

Best for Men : IMG Brawn


IMG Brawn

IMG Brawn

  • Application Format: Online form
  • Years in Business: 61 (5 for the division)
  • Who They Represent: Hunter Westfall, Zack Miko
Why We Chose It

Most plus-size modeling agencies do not have divisions for plus-size men. IMG Brawn is one of the very few plus-size male modeling divisions out there and, since it is part of one of the biggest agencies in the world, its clientele and resources are also unparalleled.

Pros
  • Innovative agency that broke many industry firsts

  • Has the resources of a larger global agency

Cons
  • Does not list height or weight requirements

  • Lengthy application

Overview

Brawn started in 2016 to fill the void in the industry for Big and Tall male fashion models. As an offshoot of global agency IMG, Brawn has been able to use IMG’s resources and clientele to build a powerful roster. Some of Brawn’s models have been the first-ever plus-size male models to be booked for major brand campaigns. A truly worldwide agency, IMG has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Milan, and Sydney.

Brawn’s roster is full of trailblazers, including inaugural model Zack Miko, and works with brands like Target, Brooks Brothers, and Asos. Brawn does not list any height or weight requirements on its section of IMG’s website, nor does it have a separate application from the rest of IMG’s divisions. 

Since IMG is one of the best modeling agencies in the world, its website application is more involved than some of the other agencies on this list. In addition to sending your measurements and four different photos, you must send in a walking video and a personality video (where you share a funny story, a hobby, etc.). 

IMG Brawn does not publicly disclose fee or pay structures.

Best Commercial Agency : State Management


State Management

State Management

  • Application Format: Online form or email 
  • Years in Business: 6
  • Who They Represent: Ariana Corrao, Mia Michaels, Laney Degrasse
Why We Chose It

State Management prioritizes diversity and inclusion and provides a progressive approach to management.

Pros
  • Divisions for men, women, petite, plus-size, and kids

  • Easy application process

Cons
  • Would not disclose fees, pay, or commission

  • Model requirements are unclear

Overview

A relatively new agency, State Management was founded in 2015 with a mission to maximize the potential of every model they sign. With offices in New York and Los Angeles, State only signs models they believe will succeed and works closely with both models and clients to launch successful careers and campaigns.   

State Management looks to guide the careers of successful and already established models and is happy to help launch the careers of new faces. The agency currently represents names like Laura Lee Sosa and Rachel Anastacia and works with clients like Ugg, Parade, and Savage X Fenty. 

Applying to become a model with State Management can be done directly on the website. Although the agency does not list any requirements for models on the website, you will need to provide your contact information, set up a password, and include your height, bust size, waist, and hip measurement, dress size, shoe size, hair color, and Instagram handle. 

Like other agencies on this list, State Management does not provide information about their fees, commissions, or pay structure.

Most Inclusive Agency : IPM Models


IPM Models

IPM Models

  • Application Format: Online form, email
  • Years in Business: 16
  • Who They Represent: Jazzmine Carthon, Yesenia Castillo, Jessica Milagros
Why We Chose It

IPM Models is an ethnic-owned, plus-size modeling agency that believes in diversity and size-inclusivity for all its models.

Pros
  • One of the most diverse rosters in the industry

  • Represents models anywhere in the U.S.

Cons
  • Does not disclose fees, pay, or commission

  • Only represent a limited number of models

Overview

IPM Models is based in New York and has offices in Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles, but represents models throughout the United States. The agency exclusively represents plus-size models and, although it does not have a large roster, the majority of its models are BIPOC. IPM is very committed to helping its models grow and cross over into any markets they choose to pursue, whether that’s print, fashion, runway, or even television. 

IPM prefers their models to be size 6 through 18 and a minimum of 5’8” tall. You can apply to be scouted through their website. You’ll need to provide your contact information; gender; waist, hip, and bust size; and eye and hair color. The agency also asks that you submit three photos: one headshot, one full-length picture, and one with a collage of different looks. They provide examples for you to follow. 

When submitting your photos, the agency suggests the following: 

  • Background is clear of clutter 
  • Natural light is preferable
  • Outfit being modeled should be form-fitting or a swimsuit
  • No posing in pictures; stay natural and relaxed
  • Refrain from wearing heels, makeup, or jewelry

Note that someone will only get back to you if interested in interviewing you for representation, but the website does not state how long that might take. 

Like other agencies on this list, State Management does not provide information about their fees, commissions, or pay structure.

Final Verdict

We selected Wilhelmina as the top agency because of its highly established reputation, worldwide presence, and top-tier clientele. However, keep in mind that just because Wilhelmina is our top choice doesn’t mean it will be the best fit for the type of modeling career you’re interested in.

The best agency for you will depend a lot on your geographical location and what kinds of modeling jobs you’re looking to get (editorial, runway, commercial, or lifestyle). For models just starting out, we recommend finding a smaller, more specialized agency like Dorothy Combs to build up your professional portfolio. From there, you can try to seek representation from one of the top global agencies.

However, whichever agency you choose, make sure that the agencies you are contacting are legitimate businesses. You can do that by calling the company directly or reading online reviews from current or former models. There are a lot of modeling scams out there, and you need to be careful.

Compare the Best Plus-Size Modeling Agencies

Company Application Process Application Requirements Years in Business  Who They Represent 
Wilhelmina Models
Best Overall
Online form 4 photos, measurements, skills, talents, notes 54 (11 for curve division) Priscilla Huggins, Sonny Turner, Venezia Cruz
12+ UK
Best International Agency 
Online form  Full-length swimsuit and headshot photos, photos with a variety of facial expressions, measurements  21  Joann Van Den Herik, Isadee Jansen 
Dorothy Combs Modeling
Best Boutique Agency 
Online form  Headshot, profile, and full-length photos; measurements  16  Aubrey Hoover, Lexy Spreitzer, Kathryn Royal 
IMG Brawn
Best for Men 
Online form  Full-length, waist-up, profile, and close-up photos; walking and personality videos;  measurements  61 (5 for the division)  Hunter Westfall, Zack Miko 
State Management
Best Commercial Agency 
Online form or email Full-length, waist-up, profile, and close-up photos; measurements  Ariana Corrao, Mia Michaels, Laney Degrasse 
IPM Models
Most Inclusive Agency 
Online form or email  3 different photos, measurements  16  Jazzmine Carthon, Yesenia Castillo, Jessica Milagros 

How to Choose the Best Modeling Agencies

When you’re looking to submit your materials to plus-size modeling agencies, here’s what you should look at: 

  • The agency’s Instagram account: Agencies use Instagram to promote the work that their models are doing for their clients. Instagram will give you a peek into what kinds of jobs they are booking. 
  • Their roster: Look at the current list of models they’re working with. Does it seem inclusive?
  • Any press features: Do a quick scan on Google to see if the agency has gotten any recent press, both positive and negative. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Can I Become a Plus-Size Model?

To become a plus-size model, you need to submit your portfolio to agencies as well as audition and go on interviews. This will help you decide if an agency is a good fit for you as well as allow them to determine if they would like to represent you. 

While you can pay to have professional pictures taken, your portfolio does not have to be professionally done. You can have your friend help take pictures, in natural light, that can be submitted for consideration. Most agencies prefer a natural, no-makeup look, and you to be dressed in form-fitting clothing or swimsuits. 

What Are the Requirements to Become a Plus-Size Model?

Plus-size models are generally size 12 or larger, but some agencies scout models that are as small as size 6. The size requirements can vary between agencies, so it’s best to check on their websites or with a casting director before you submit your materials. 

Plus-size models do not have as strict a height requirement as a “straight” size (the industry term for models who fit the traditional sample size). Plus-size models for editorial campaigns are generally 5’9” and up, but commercial models can be as short as 5’5” and must have unblemished skin, healthy hair, and well-kept nails. 

How Much Money Do Plus-Size Models Make?

The salary range for a plus-size model in the United States is anywhere from $10,000 to $181,000 and averages around $35,429. Salaries depend on the number of jobs a model takes in a year, the types of clients they take on, as well as the fees and commission amount that the model’s agency takes out from each job.

What Type of Work Can Plus-Size Models Do?

Plus-size models are more in-demand than ever. They can be found on runways and in magazines, commercials, catalogs, and print campaigns. 

Methodology

We researched 18 different modeling agencies based on reputation, diversity, portfolio submission process, job placements, and location. However, we found that many agencies do not respond to inquiries regarding exact fees and job placements. 

Because of this limitation, our top choices were selected based on industry reputation, representation, ease of application, and clientele/current roster.

Article Sources

  1. Bistro MD. "What Is Considered Plus Size Today?" Accessed May 27, 2021. 

  2. Format. "The Complete Guide to Plus Size Modeling." Accessed May 27, 2021. 

  3. Comparably. "Plus Size Model Salary." Accessed May 27, 2021.