How to Become a Model for Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister

Photo Source: Zackery Michael/Abercrombie & Fitch

Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Ashton Kutcher, January Jones, Tom Welling, Sienna Miller—what do all these talents have in common? They all got their early start in front of the camera not as actors, but as models for clothing brands Hollister Co. and Abercrombie & Fitch, among others.

The road to success as a model or actor looks different for everyone, of course, but if you’re specifically interested in working as a Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch model (the former of which is owned by the latter), Backstage has six quick tips on how to get your foot in the door.

1. Get to know the brand.
First and foremost, interested parties should know and love the brand that they’ll be selling. Look at Hollister’s different ad campaigns from years past and find their patterns in style. With the newly rebranded Abercrombie & Fitch, what distinct message do you think it sends that sets it apart from its retail contemporaries? Hollister sells youthful casual wear and the easy, breezy, California visuals that go with it. Abercrombie & Fitch is now going for a playful, simple, all-American aesthetic that’s perfect for a 20-something set. Studying up will also show you what kind of modeling is required of the brands’ hired talents. The ubiquity of these brands in particular lends itself well to prospective models because they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into.

2. Start young.
Because Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister are directly geared toward the youth and young adult market (Hollister skews a few years younger than Abercrombie with preteen and teen customers), it is best for interested models to start pursuing work with the brands while they still fit the picture of youth.

READ: “25 Essential Modeling Terms”

4. Get (and stay) fit.
Hitting the gym and staying in shape is essential for any working model today. Mark Fisher of Mark Fisher Fitness recommends resistance training, mindful amounts of exertion, and plenty of rest for those who want to stay lean. Specific to Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch fitness regimens, current British model and Abercrombie alum Paddy Mitchell recently told ftape.com that his type of modeling calls for a less buff, more lean build for men. “[My] agency is always reminding me not to get too muscly, so I base my fitness regime mainly on bodyweight stuff and a lot of cardio,” he said. It’s also been widely reported that that specific to Abercrombie, the ideal bust-waist-hip measurements in female models is in the 34”–24”–36” range.

3. Be mindful of what you put in your body.
With fitness expectations in mind, models also have to pay attention to their diets. Think you can eat whatever you want just because you’re burning calories at the gym? If only! “Regardless of your goal, nutrition plays a large part in fitness,” Fisher also writes. “What we eat determines how we look, feel, and perform. By focusing on a wide variety of non-processed foods, you’ll be off to a great start.”

READ: “How to Become a Model”

4. Get a Backstage subscription.
Now you’re off to that great start! But now what? Where should you take this physical health and fashion passion? To Backstage, of course! You can save up to 41 percent off cover price right now by signing up for the most trusted name in casting since 1960. Not only will a Backstage subscription give you the opportunity to audition and apply for the latest modeling gigs in New York City, but you’ll also get invaluable industry insight from professional actors, trainers, casting directors, agents, and the knowledgeable staff at Backstage and Backstage.com.

5. Research modeling agencies in your area—and apply!
Another great benefit of having a Backstage subscription is our Call Sheet resource, which can help you find and sign to a modeling agent almost anywhere with one quick search. Filtering search results for New York City print, fashion, and runway modeling agents, for instance, currently pulls up 61 companies such as DNA Models Management, Flaunt Model Management, Inc., and IMG Models. Backstage also lists head personnel, submission policies, and more.

For more information on how to use Call Sheet to find a modeling agent, click here. Most name-brand modeling agencies can almost certainly get you in the running for retail campaigns like Abercrombie; looking to models from their past campaigns, standout talent Hilary Rhoda was at Women Model Management when she began modeling for Abercrombie and Hollister, while Tom Welling was at Louisa Modeling Agency when he started. Do your research on models that interest you and see where they got their start. Those agencies may very well be a good place to look first.

READ: “Is Your Headshot for Acting or Modeling?”

6. Get a modeling headshot.
But before you apply to agencies, don’t forget the headshot. It is perhaps the most important tool for an aspiring model. It’s the first thing agencies will see on a prospect’s book and composite card, and it must be eye-catching and make them want to see more. There are some similarities between acting and modeling headshots, but one difference is that with modeling, headshots don’t have to be as tight on the face. Waist-up or bust line-up are commonplace in the industry—something that’s artistic and flatters the subject. You can also utilize Backstage’s Call Sheet to find a great headshot photographer in your area. Click here for more advice on hiring the right one for you.

Ready to become a model? Check out our modeling listings!

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Benjamin Lindsay
Benjamin Lindsay is a senior editor at Backstage, where if you’re reading it in our weekly magazine, he’s written or edited it first. He’s also producer and host of our inaugural on-camera interview series, Backstage Live, taking informative deep-dives with actors across mediums to discuss their craft, their work, and their advice for others getting started in the field.
See full bio and articles here!