How do I Become a Model Booker?

M.C. Huguelet

If you like the idea of working in the fashion industry as a talent scout as well as a manager, you may want to become a model booker. To secure a job in this field, you should begin by immersing yourself in the world of fashion to gain a working knowledge of the industry as well as build a cache of useful contacts. This may involve earning a degree in fashion or working as an intern or assistant for a modeling agency, photographer, or fashion event planner. You must also be able to recognize potentially successful models, and you should thus be thoroughly familiar with currently popular model types as well as the needs of designers, editors, and other individuals who commonly book models.

A model booker could book a model to be featured in a magazine.
A model booker could book a model to be featured in a magazine.

There are no formal educational qualifications required to become a model booker. As the position calls for managerial skills combined with a working knowledge of the fashion industry, however, you may find it useful to take courses in fashion business at an art or design college. This type of study can give you a valuable understanding of the commercial aspects of fashion, which may in turn help you to become an effective model manager.

Gaining experience in the fashion industry might help open the door to work as a model booker.
Gaining experience in the fashion industry might help open the door to work as a model booker.

The rules of entry to the fashion world can often best be described by the familiar adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Thus, real-world experience can prove even more helpful than formal education on your quest to become a model booker. For the greatest amount of opportunity, you may want to relocate to a city with a prominent fashion industry. In the US, this includes New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.

A model booker will schedule appointments for models.
A model booker will schedule appointments for models.

Next, consider interning at a modeling agency or working as an assistant to a fashion event planner, designer, or photographer. These positions will not only provide you with firsthand exposure to the industry, but through them you might also establish relationships with industry insiders. Such contacts might help you secure a booking position, and once you have obtained this position they may prove useful in landing prominent jobs for your models.

After you have become a model booker, whether at an established modeling agency or on a freelance basis, you will act in part as a talent scout. This may involve consulting with would-be models who visit your agency or spotting potential models on the street. In order to perform this job successfully, you must be able to quickly identify individuals whose stature and features will work well on the runway and in photographs. You can cultivate this skill by studying fashion magazines and attending runway shows and fashion shoots, taking care to observe the characteristics of their models.

Finally, once you become a model booker you will need to provide some management to your models. This may involve acting as a liaison between a model and a photographer or runway show coordinator, ensuring that the model understands her responsibilities and shows up to her job on time. Performing this function effectively requires a certain type of personality. You should be well-organized and unafraid to talk to new and sometimes prominent people. In addition, you should be able to show your models understanding, but also be firm when they have not satisfactorily met the responsibilities of a job.

To be a successful model booker, you must be able to tell which models will work well at photo shoots.
To be a successful model booker, you must be able to tell which models will work well at photo shoots.

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