The business of model agencies has undergone dramatic change in recent years, with the rise of influencer culture, the scouting potential of Instagram and the growth of Uber-style apps for model bookings.
Despite the disruption of the likes of Ubooker and Finda, the prestigious agencies still dominate, and some of the most famous call London home.
If you want to understand more about how the industry is governed before pursuing modelling, visit the British Fashion Model Agents Association and discover more about their Code of Conduct and Terms of Bookings (one of the requirements of being a member is that models must be paid within 10 days of receipt of payment from clients). And don’t forget that no reputable agency will demand money from you for a portfolio or images up front.
Here we’ve compiled a definitive directory of the top 10 London modelling agencies.
1. Elite London
Elite was founded in 1972 in Paris and boasts big names including Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell among its successes. The hottest new faces represented by Elite London include Kendall Jenner, Natalie Westling, Molly Blair, Greta Varlese and Amilna Estevao. The company now operates in over 30 countries worldwide. If you think you have what it takes to be a new face at Elite, you are invited to fill out this form online alongside a headshot and full length picture. Girls must be at least 5ft 8in and boys 6ft. Elite also runs a global annual modelling contest, the Elite Model Look, with over 350,000 participants. Elite has a ‘Creatives’ portfolio including photographer Natalie Winter and writer and published author Yrsa Daley-Ward.
Burleigh House, 4 Floor, 355 Strand, London WC2R 0HS
2. Models 1
Models 1 was established in London in 1968, starting with only three models and later going on to represent some of the biggest names in the business including Yasmin Le Bon and Twiggy.
Models 1 is the biggest modelling agency in Europe and has Curve and Social Talent divisions representing the likes of Emma Breschi and Sophie Dahl. Applications to join Models 1 are welcome online (with clear criteria for the photographs you submit) or via the dedicated Instagram hashtag #M1Scout and account @models1scout. Women must be at least 5ft 8in and men must be at least 6ft.
12 Macklin Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5SZ
3. MiLK Model Management
Established in 2011 by Anna Shillinglaw (herself a former model), MiLK Model Management is famous for its Talent, Artists and Digital Influencer Divisions that includes Vogue Williams, Strictly Come Dancing’s Aljaz Skorjanec and makeup artist Latecia Thomas. MiLK is a BFMAA member and prides itself on providing an individually tailored approach. Want to be a MiLK model? Then fill out this form alongside a headshot, profile and full-length photo.
1st Floor, 40 – 44 Newman St, London W1T 1QD
4. Storm Model Management
Storm was founded in 1987 and is famous for representing some of the UK’s most recognizable faces, including Kate Moss and the Delevingne sisters. In addition to the original modelling arm, Storm has three divisions all managed with the same philosophy – Artists, Vision (for digital influencers to grow their brand and create original content) and Creative, a department dedicated to nurturing “the careers of content creators who we feel are important to British Fashion and Culture.”
Models can apply online or visit without an appointment Monday to Friday between 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm (avoiding lunchtime).
1st Floor, 5 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TD
One of the first agencies of its kind, nevs was founded in 1971 by Neville Gates and represents a wide range of models with different looks and styles, aged from 16 to 60. nevs has a Social division and understands that the key to leveraging influencers successfully is cutting through all the surrounding noise and finding the perfect match for each project.
nevs holds open castings every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 10am and 12 noon.
4th Floor, Broadway Studios, 20 Hammersmith Broadway, London W6 7AF
6. The Squad
One of the freshest agency names in London, Hackney-based The Squad Management was established in 2016 and represents Jourdan Dunn and Winnie Harlow. As well as its men’s and women’s divisions, The Squad has also partnered with Bloom, creating a new model of representation and offering a bespoke service to names such as Mary Charteris and Nadia Rose.
If you think you have what it takes to join The Squad, fill out this form online but be aware that (due to the volume of enquiries) only successful candidates will be contacted.
Unit 1, 60 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3QR
7. Select Model Management
Founded in London in 1977 and now a global force in modelling, Select has represented Devon Aoki, Sienna Miller, Pixie Geldof and Stella Tennant. Select was one of the first agencies to find models by scouting on the street, and though the team still believes strongly in this approach it’s also possible to apply online where you can also find details of any open calls happening near you.
27-35 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JG
8. The Hive
The Hive was launched in London in 2014 by Laura Murphy, Nicole Kersh and James Mac who collectively have over 30 years experience in talent management – and it shows in the freshness of their ‘New Faces’ division. To apply to join Hive, you will need four images of yourself ready to go (full length and portrait, plus two additional). Fill out the requirement form here.
Unit 17, Tileyard Studios, Tileyard Road, London N7 9AH
9. Premier Model Management
Premier Model Management was established in 1981 by Carole White and her brother Chris Owen, and was famously the subject of fly-on-the-wall Channel 4 series ‘The Model Agency’ in 2011.
With its dedicated Artists division, Premier represents talent from the fashion, music, art, digital and the entertainment industries. The London Chatter is part of Premier Artists, as is Rosie Bea and Ikram Abdi Omar, the first ever hijab model to cover Vogue and front a Burberry Campaign. Head over to the Premier site to ‘meet the scouts’ and submit your application. Girls must be 5ft 8in and above and boys 6ft and above.
40-42 Parker Street London WC2B 5PQ
10. Oxygen Model Management
Oxygen is a Chelsea-based boutique modelling agency that offers a personal approach from a close-knit team. The company was founded in 2000 and represents both men and women for commercial and editorial work.
To apply, read the instructions on photographs here and send all the required information to email@example.com. The team also accepts walk-in appointments between 11am and 12pm and 2pm and 4pm, Monday to Thursday.
4 Chelsea Farmers Market, 125 Sydney Street, London SW3 6NR