What’s the difference between commercial and editorial modelling??

Commercial vs. editorial modeling

The easiest way to distinguish between editorial and commercial models is the height of the model. Editorial fashion models are tall (usually 5’9″ minimum) and uniquely attractive, on trend. These models are "fashion" models so not just pretty faces but beautiful and different looking, too.  Most editorial models are scouted young at age 16 or 17 years old they are the fresh new faces. Editorial models are thin- an example is Miranda Kerr, Aussie super model. See below her updated measurements.

Miranda Kerr Height-175 cm, Weight-54 kg, Body Statistics 34–24–34, Bra Size -32B.Miranda Kerr

The fashion industry takes a lot of criticism about creating unhealthy images for young (and not so young) women, but that doesn't change reality.  Editorial models are considered "clothes horses" so usually they are catwalk models although they shoot campaigns, majority of their income can be generated from fashion parades.  A 5’7” model is simply not tall enough for many fashion houses, and will end up becoming commercial models. Being a fit models for various brands, TV commericals - all great paying work and more often and not, better paying. But for some reason models all want to walk a runway .... and many are rubbish at it!

Of course there have been exceptions to the rules, we have all heard of Kate Moss not being 5’9″ (5’7″ is closer), Cindy Crawford at the height of her editorial career was more curvaceous and "heavy" than the the other high earning models- So why am I getting into all of this? Because most young people who consider the model industry are familiar only with editorial models, and so few should even contemplate an editorial career. Far more up-and-coming models would find more work if they chose commercial modeling instead of editorial

Commercial vs. editorial modeling

First, there are enormous differences between modelling commercially and editorial fashion models.

#1 you don’t build a “name” as a commercial model. Commercial models could be you! a commercial model can be anyone that looks "everyday" the "girl next door type"

Who are commercial models ? Well they are often actors, housewives, retirees and students some are very successful and make a good deal of money at it. But they are not commercial models in the same sense that editorial fashion models are editorial models.  You can of course be successful, in other words , regularly booked if you show up on time, dress appropriately, follow instructions and are easy to work with, all of these traits help an agency place you but, you will still not be a  "name brand". This “name” thing is a big deal.  When you are a name- you are ultimately a brand and you can then command money more freely and demand certain things. Think about it this way: If you’re not an industry insider, can you name a model that is not an editorial model?

#2 The “inventory” of a commercial agency is its clients (e.g., Coke, Kodak, and Xerox), and the “inventory” of an editorial agency is its models (Naomi, Gisele, Miranda, Adriana, etc.). In short, commercial agencies have clients and find models, but fashion agencies have models and find clients.

Model agencies give only exclusive contracts (2-5 years for a new face). They have the contacts with the fashion magazines to help you build that model "brand name,” and they expect to benefit from that relationship through this exclusive relationship. Their resources are directed solely to the development of the models they represent, which is why you see the term “Model Management” in so many of the agency names. If you want Naomi Campbell, you call ONE (London), not Ford. If you want Miranda Kerr for a job, call IMG, not Wilhelmina. Yes- often models move after contracts expire, it is after all a business.

Editorial models are living the dream…….

Rubbish!  Many models wait tables or something else part time to pay the rent. Furthermore, keep in mind that when you start you’ll have some jobs that are “TFP” (trade for prints) simply because these assignments or connections might help build you into a household  name later on. As agent I will guide you which TFP work will give you good exposure.

I cannot think of any other career where the “prestige” jobs pay so little. Many models would be shocked to learn how very little a money a model is paid for the cover of Vogue or Elle. or how foten an editorial layout  inside a magazine is done with exchange of clothing worn in the shoot.  So why do the free or cheap work?  Because that all helps me to build your name. The goal is to have a client see you and recognise you.  I want the client to call the agency, and ask for you by name, not by “feature” or a “type” (brunette, sporty, European, teen) just as the big brands are asking for Naomi Adriana, or Miranda.

There are thousands of beautiful models, but there is only one Miranda Kerr and because of all of hard work with magazine editorials/ covers she has become a brand unto herself. Miranda can now bank big time doing fashion ad work (commercial modelling). Why? Because the ad agency or designer want her- simple!! See some of her recent commercial work.


All editorial models have ups and downs; we have all had go-sees with no bookings. All editorial models have had to cut their hair, lose weight, do you still think Editorial models are “Living the dream?”

Editorial modelling is hard, but it’s supposed to be hard. It’s great because it’s hard. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Cinema Models Agency is a Mother agency so I have models that I find clients for, but sometimes I have clients that come to me for a look and I am able to suggest various models to them. Either way, there are some basic essentials that you require in order to get the bigger paying jobs.

  • You will need some great digitals/ polaroids of yourself with little to no makeup.
  • You need an introduction video saying a little about yourself and demonstrating various expressions.
  • You need to listen to instructions- and read instructions carefully.
  • You are required to be available, that means ANSWER YOUR PHONE.


Cinema Models is always happy to consider new applications and encourage you to try out- we often need fresh face for our Editorial and Commercial division. Visit our website  and click on APPLY. www.CinemaModels.com.au


Keep Smiling!  Bron X




Comments are closed.