The Model Market Sorting Hat: Which City Do You Belong In?

A lot of people have been asking about which cities would work best for them as models. Starting out, I remember my mother agents telling me something about “tunnel vision” while agencies were appraising me. Their deciding process has a lot to do with their branch offices due to the fact that each office has to give a “yes” to sign the a girl. Sometimes when a model is turned down from an agency like IMG it’s because some agent in some office did not agree (at least this is what I was told). So, New York could be on their knees begging for you but Paris is saying, “Quel Dommage”.

I decided to create this post to shed some light on model markets. With the help of my other model friends who are still in the industry, we created this list of models that seem to represent fashion meccas of the world and why they do. Trying to explain this entry to Brandon, I pulled out a Harry Potter reference.

“Like, you know how in Harry Potter there’s, like, that talking hat that helps decide which house they should go into? It’s like that but for models”

Ah, The Sorting Hat.

That’s what I wanted this to be: A Model Market Sorting Hat.


1. New York

  • Prime Example: Lexi Boling
  • Physical Attributes:

-Very thin.

-Versatile face. She has a simple yet beautiful look that can transformed completely with the flick of a mascara wand.

-Edginess. I know I talk about “cool-girl Parisian”, but Lexi is “cool-girl New York”. She’s alluring in a bad-ass way.

2. Paris

  • Prime Example: Kiki Willems
  • Physical Attributes:

-Effortless, cool-girl, Parisian (I hate to use this word but..) swag.

-Rail thin.

-Natural look.

3. London

  • Prime Example: Alice Gilbert
  • Physical Attributes:

– Thin boyish body.

– Beautifully androgynous.

– Could do grungy i-D Magazine as well as ASOS or Topshop.

– Quirkiness.

– Unique features: Freckles (you can’t see them in this photo but this girl has awesome “angel kisses”).

4. Milan

  • Prime Example: Barbara Palvin

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summer is around the corner! wohhoo🙈

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  • Physical Attributes:

-A bit more curvier than the typical model.

-Not too tall but not too short.

-Exudes a sexier look a la Bianca Balti.

5. Tokyo

  • Prime Example: Emma Landen

  • Physical attributes:

– (Big) Blue eyes, fair-skinned, and blonde. Of course there are brown-eyed girls and brunettes in Tokyo but the ones that work best are the light-eyed and fair-skinned.

– Doll-like features. Emma is the Japanese dream and what the little girls of Tokyo, Japan aspire to look like and be.

– On the shorter side. Japanese clients want girls who will fit into their clothes which are usually more petite.

6. Los Angeles

  • Prime Example: Hailey Clauson
  • Physical attributes:

-Curvier and more relatable.

-“Prom Queen look”. She’s got that all-American, “pretty-pretty” face.

-A bit more tan than the average model.

-Can do sexy AND cute.

Keep in mind, it isn’t black and white. A lot of these girls work in other markets, too. For example, Lexi not only kills it in New York, but she’s big in Paris as well.

Thank you so much to the girls who helped me out with this one! I couldn’t have done it without you guys 🙂


Megan Kennedy

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