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19 Types of Modeling Explained with Photos

19 Types of Modeling Explained with Photos

When you think about types of modeling, you might think of tall, slender runway models or the editorial models in Vogue. However, those types of modeling are two of the various modeling genres only.

In this article, you will be able to define the thirteen main modeling categories, the requirements, and what type you fall into. As a model, you can express your creativity and imagination through the fashion industry. For more in-depth information and training about different types of modeling, check out this modeling training that is highly recommended by students and alumni.

19 Types of Modeling

#1 High Fashion Modeling

The first category of modeling is high fashion. This genre consists of Naomi Cambell’s, Hadid’s, and several notable supermodels. High fashion models usually start their careers in their teenage years and “age out” in their upper twenties to early thirties. There are two subcategories of high fashion: Runway and Editorial.

#2 Runway Modeling

Runway models are found on the catwalk wearing designer clothing. It is their job to show the clothes’ movement and the creator’s purpose for the clothing. Due to the designer’s precise measurements and fabric choices, the average runway model height is 5’9” to 5’11”, and sizes 00 to 2, 4 tops. However, the industry is constantly evolving, and depending on the designer’s intent, a plus-size model could be considered for runway modeling as well.

Runway modeling examples
Runway Modeling

#3 Editorial Modeling

Editorial models are the people you commonly see gracing the pages of Vogue, Elle, and Harpers Baazar. These models work with exclusive fashion labels and designers such as PRADA, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton, just to name a few. Editorial as a whole is very selective. Because of this, these models are very slender, tall, and have striking facial features. This type of modeling is also called magazine modeling.

Editorial Modeling Examples
Editorial Modeling

#4 Commercial Modeling

Unlike high fashion, commercial modeling can be done throughout your life, and you can not “age out.” Commercial modeling is more lenient and diverse. The requirement to be a commercial model is to have an everyday friendly look.  In addition, these models are in high demand because brands and companies want people to support their products. Commercial Modeling has several subcategories: Lifestyle modeling, catalog modeling, fitness modeling, promo modeling, swimsuit modeling, fit modeling, plus size modeling, mature modeling, and parts modeling.

#5 Lifestyle Modeling

Lifestyle modeling is vastly different from high fashion sense it is more camera-driven than in-person. A model must exude a friendly character on camera and fit in with what the company or brand is trying to present. Lifestyle modeling is used for local to national campaigns. Any model can fit as a lifestyle model.

Lifestyle Modeling Examples
Lifestyle Modeling

#6 Catalog Modeling

This subgenre of modeling can be tedious however, it is the model’s job to present the clothing rather than themselves. In comparison to lifestyle, catalog modeling is camera focused and driven. These photos are used in a brand’s catalog, website, and even ad campaigns.

Catalog modeling examples
Catalog Modeling

#7 Fitness Modeling

Fitness modeling is highly competitive due to any gym enthusiast can become a representative for an athletic house such as Adidas, Nike, and Champion. The main requirement is a toned and fit body.

Fitness modeling examples
Fitness Modeling

#8 Promo Modeling

Promo, also known as promotional modeling, are models who are present during a company’s event. They are highly informed on the business’ product and promote it on their social media platforms and in person. Promotional Modeling is one of the several types of modeling that is in high-demand.

Promo modeling examples
Promo Modeling

#9 Swimsuit Modeling

Swimsuit modeling is made to generate publicity for swimsuit and summer productions and brands. To become one of the swimsuit models, you need to be comfortable in revealing clothing, have a toned body, and have sunkissed skin. Many businesses look for male and female models with exuberant personalities.

Bikini modeling is a subcategory of swimsuit modeling. For more information, check out bikini models post.

Swimsuit modeling examples
Swimsuit modeling

#10 Lingerie Modeling

Similar to swimwear modeling, lingerie modeling mostly features fit models. The focus is on attractive underwear and how it matches the aesthetic of the model. You may come across opportunities for lingerie modeling under the name of boudoir photography.

#11 Fit Modeling

A fit model helps behind the scenes. They are fitted for clothing before the garment is sent to be manufactured. These models are extremely helpful in the industry since they illustrate how the garment fits and drapes “off the mannequin”. There is a broad spectrum of models who are diverse in body shape to complement each garment size. However, the model needs to be in proportion with his or her measurement sizes.

Fit modeling examples
Fit Modeling

#12 Petite Modeling

Petite models are mostly under 5’7″ and above 5’1″. They are considered for a variety of modeling work such as swimsuit modeling and Parts modeling. Even if the petite models are not always selected for runways, there is still a high demand for this type of modeling.

#13 Plus Size Modeling

Plus size modeling primarily represents women who are sizes ten to twelve and up. They can be categorized and seen in editorials, runways, catalogs, and specific ad campaigns such as Tommy Hilfiger, Marina Rinaldi, and several others. Though they are considered plus size, they must stay toned and proportional; there should be a ten-inch difference from the waist to the hips. Plus size modeling gives curvy models representation as well as clothing illustrations for curvy women.

Plus Size Modeling Examples
Plus Size Modeling

#14 Expecting Modeling

Advertisements (especially on TV) may feature maternity models for parenthood and baby products. If you are expecting, it’s a good idea to update your photos on casting platforms to book roles for pregnant models.

#15 Mature Modeling

Mature modeling is in high demand since people over fifty have begun to rise. Mature modeling is also considered senior modeling due to the fact most models are over forty. Most work is centered around travel, health, insurance, and events that occur later in life. The stereotype “the older they are, the more unattractive they become” is false. An example of mature high fashion models is Lyn Slater, Greece Graham, and Linda Rodin, to name a few. The aging process has been viewed as taboo, however, mature models are being sought out more than ever.

Mature modeling examples
Mature Modeling

#16 Body Parts Modeling

Parts modeling is in the name. If you have special features such as long legs, dainty hands, or captivating eyes, you can classify as a parts model. These models promote commercial brands such as eyewear, nail polish companies, jewelry brands, and many others.This type of modeling is often called Body Parts Modeling as well. Hand modeling, foot modeling, and hair modeling are two of the most popular subcategory of Body Parts Modeling.

Parts modeling examples
Parts Modeling

#17 Freelance Modeling

Most people don’t do modeling as a full-time job. They apply to projects through casting sites and work part-time if they are booked. It provides freedom and flexibility to models while lacking financial stability. You would need a strong resume and portfolio to get the attention of fashion designers and casting directors when you look for modeling jobs as a freelancer.

#18 Stock Photography Modeling

Stock photographers work with models to take their high-resolution photos and upload them to stock photography websites to generate income through copyrights. Even though this type of modeling is not desired by models in long term, it can be useful to build a portfolio at the beginning of the modeling career.

#19 Child Modeling

Children under 12 are considered for children’s modeling. Some kids have natural talent in front of the camera while some may need more supervision and directions. There are countless of projects looking for child models to promote products or services.

BONUS: Art Modeling

Art modeling is a profession for models who work with artists and art students for their drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, etc. They pose for the artists while they perform their work looking at the model to portray them in their art.

Common Questions About Modeling

Which course is best for modeling? How can I learn to model?

There are two options when it comes to modeling schools. In-person classes and online courses like Fashion Republic’s Modeling Master Course. If you want to learn to model, each option, whether in person or online, are excellent paths to start.

Are models trained to walk? How do you walk like a model?

Most models are trained to walk. However, their training can be self-taught through online courses or by an instructor. To walk like a model, your posture should start from your head to your toes; your head slightly tipped up, shoulders back, leading with your hips, and your feet should walk in a straight line as if you were on a tightrope.

How do I become a paid model with no experience?

You may be asking how much do models make? It is very difficult to become a paid model with no experience. However, never say never! You never know who is watching. You could be in a clothing store while the global PR is there. Always be kind to everyone you meet, and present yourself as the best you!

How do I start a modeling career?

The first thing you need to do is start building your portfolio. Work with high-quality photographers and productions. Make sure you take model digitals, natural photos of you in form-fitting and black clothes, and update them monthly. Additionally, keep your measurement up to date as well;  Height, bust, waist, and hips are the most common measurements. Keep your social media clean and professional. In some cases, you can create a separate account for modeling.

How long does it take to become a model? How can I become a model fast?

It can take a few hours to a few years depending on the person’s work ethic. Modeling is constant work. As a model, your walk and skills must be on point. The best advice is to PRACTICE. Constant practice in all subjects of modeling will become second nature to you. Becoming a model takes time, dedication, and sacrifices. You put in hours to master any craft you do. Rome was not built in a day, nor was a model with all the skills in an hour. Modeling requires endless hours of practice, and sacrifices such as family, friends, sports, etc. Anyone can say they’re in modeling, however, it does not mean they are a model.

How can I get a model body?

It is assumed models do not eat or must be bone thin to be pretty. Those people are wrong. Everybody is different and beautiful. Models come in every shape and size. However, this does not excuse them from being unhealthy. For women, pilates and/or cardio is a great way to maintain a toned body, and for men, a consistent workout is a great way to stay in shape.  Models should stay proportional, with a 10” difference between the waist and hips, and maintain a healthy diet. Please note, however, if you are looking down at your body or preventing yourself from eating, you should confide in a trustworthy friend or family member. Please call 1-630-577-1130 if you are suffering from any eating disorders. Remember you are beautiful.

How do I look like a model in public?

An off-duty model can dress however they please. Note however they must maintain a stylish fashion sense. From casual to dress formal, it is up to the model to what to wear.

How should a model smile? How do models smile with their eyes?

Smiling typically falls under the commercial world, but in some cases, smiles can be used in editorial work. As Tyra Banks once said, “Smize.” Smizing means you should smile, but with your eyes. The eyes show the most emotion and true nature of the subject. You can smile with your eyes by imagining a certain event or object like a bunny or a dinosaur. Use your facial features such as smirking or raising your eyebrows to emphasize your look.


You can be a model no matter how old, young, old, or young you are. Your pursuit in the industry should be your niche, whether it be commercial, high fashion, plus size, or other types of modeling. Modeling is an ever-evolving industry looking for the perfect person for the best job. Do not let your weaknesses become your downfall, instead, let those traits strengthen who you are as a model.


Blogger and fashion enthusiast for 20 years. Experienced runway and commercial model located in Los Angeles. I love creating helpful content and sharing with the world. Reach me out for any questions or feedback.

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