DNA is small in size but has a huge impact on the fashion and modeling industry. They represent some of the most iconic faces in the world and work side by side with a long list of global luxury brands and high-fashion publications.
Famous faces: Linda Evangelista, Amber Valletta, Doutzen Kroes, Alessandra Ambrosio, Shalom Harlow.
Founded in 1977, Elite manages over 2000 models across five continents. They’ve launched the careers of more supermodels than any other agency, making them an icon in the fashion industry.
Famous names: Adriana Lima, Behati Prinsloo, Monica Bellucci, Lizzy Jagger, Cara Delevingne.
Ford Models has been one of the most recognized and respected modeling agencies for over 50 years. Their main headquarters are in New York City, but they also have offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Chicago, Miami, and São Paulo.
Famous names: Erin O'Connor, Christie Brinkley, Rachel Hunter, Naomi Campbell, Brooke Shields, Alek Wek.
With offices in New York, London, Paris, Milan, and Sydney, IMG Models is one of the world’s biggest modeling agencies. They’re known for representing some of the most famous supermodels, but what you may not know is that IMG has opened their doors to models of all shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities, and heights.
Famous names: Alek Wek, Coco Rocha, Tara Lynn, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Miranda Kerr, Marquita Pring, Carolyn Murphy.
The Lions isn’t your typical modeling agency. First, they were started by a 24-year-old model. And second, even though they’ve only been around since 2012, they've nabbed some of the world’s top high-fashion and editorial models. The agency is all about individuality and personality and allowing their models to develop their own authentic brands.
Famous names: Anne V., Agyness Deyn, Karen Elson, Irina Shayk, Kristen McMenamy.
Based in Paris but with a large NYC office, Marilyn’s is a powerhouse agency with a prestigious reputation. They were the first agency to create a celebrity department and are known for representing some of the world’s most recognized names in the fashion industry.
Famous names: Kate Moss, Lily Cole, Helena Christensen, Dita Von Teese.
Established in 2001, ModelScouts.com is the most respected model scouting company in the business, ModelScouts can put your face in front of agents and scouts for over 150 modeling agencies worldwide. Awarded the Better Business Bureau's prestigious Torch Award for Ethical Business Practice, ModelScouts.com scouts models of all ages, sizes, and heights.
Famous names: "America's Next Top Model" winner Nicole Linkletter, "ANTM" finalist Jade Cole, "Project Runway" model Celine Chau, child star Niles Fitch, "Days of Our Lives" star Ari Zucker.
New York Models is a young, dynamic agency that represents new faces and today’s top models. They search throughout the world for undiscovered talent and are known for using their experience, creativity and fashion savvy to create international superstars.
Famous names: Elle MacPherson, Niki Taylor, Valeria Mazza, Sarah Murdoch, Sophie Sumner.
Founded in 1967 by Dutch supermodel Wilhelmina Cooper, this agency is one of the most prominent agencies in the fashion world. Wilhelmina was started in New York, but also has offices in Miami, Los Angeles, and London.
Famous names: Janice Dickinson, Robyn Lawley, Anjelica Huston, Rachel Trachtenburg, Kendall Jenner.
This international agency represents women on the runway, editorial, and advertising campaigns. Their vision encompasses all types of beauty, not just “traditional” models that have dominated the fashion scene since the 1980s.
Famous names: Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Carmen Kass, Natasha Poly.
The Top Female Modeling Agencies in New York
If you’re looking to make it as a model, New York is the place to be. As one of the world’s biggest fashion capitals, the city has a major influence on international fashions trends. It’s home to many of the best fashion events, designers, garment manufacturers, fashion colleges, and, of course, modeling agencies.
No matter how much (or how little!) experience you have as a model, you can find your perfect agency in New York City. Just remember that modeling is not a one-size-fits-all industry and that it’s not always best to go after the biggest and most popular agencies.
The larger and more well-known agencies do have impressive track records, but smaller boutique agencies are often better for new models, as they can give you the individualized attention you need to further your career. Here are 10 of the top modeling agencies in New York City worth checking out (in alphabetical order).