It's something a lot of people wonder about, but maybe don't know the answer to. How tall are models really supposed to be? According to industry standards, fashion models are preferably tall but not too tall. Elite, a top modeling agency, specifies height requirements on its website. Women must be between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 11 inches tall. Men must be between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 3 inches. Models who want to enter the Ford Supermodel of the Year Search, should be at least 5 feet 8 inches.
Twiggy, known as the world's first supermodel, is 5 feet 6 inches.
Models must be able to fit the clothing samples that fashion designers provide. Ford Models encourages contestants in the agency's Supermodel of the Year Search to measure at least 5 feet 8 inches.
Challenging the standards
Shorter models received attention in the media in 2009 thanks to the television show, "America's Next Top Model." Creator and host Tyra Banks cast only women 5 feet 7 inches or shorter in the 13th season.
Some famous models include Tyra Banks, who is 5 feet 10 inches, and Gisele Bundchen, who is 5 feet 11 inches. Heidi Klum measures 5 feet 9.5 inches. At 5 feet 6.5 inches, supermodel Kate Moss is shorter than the industry standard.
Shorter models may not have much success in the industry despite exceptions. "I would not be looking for anyone under 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches. That's the absolute minimum," a top modeling agent told Vogue.com in a March 2009 interview in response to a search from "America's Next Top Model" for short models.
L. Melendez is a South Carolina-based freelance writer who has worked for newspapers and other publications across the country. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University, and has a been a working writer for 15 years.