Have you ever looked at the mirror and then just admire the slim deep curves of your nape? Or has a friend ever told you “Hey girl why don’t you model?” Or maybe a stranger had once asked if you were a model? Or do you just eat and eat but you just appear to put on weight and you’re like damn, “I really should take up modelling”? On the other hand, you may be a guy with a nice body and you’ve got game? Then don’t scroll past, this post is just for you. This post will give you more insights into the modelling industry with requirements and contact addresses to get into the top 10 modelling agencies in Nigeria.
What is modelling?
Forget what your mama told you about modelling. Modelling is not necessarily about wearing a bikini, flaunting your assets and revealing all that flesh. It is not immoral, it is not a sin and definitely, God will not punish you for choosing a modelling career. So throw all that traditional garbage about modelling you were told and get your pen and paper ready because modelling is a business and it pays big!
Modelling is an artistic way of passing lengthy information in a simpler way usually in a pictorial or visual form. It is the aesthetic representation of information or things usually on a smaller scale and in a way to capture, effortlessly, the audience’s attention. So you see, instead of a body-cream brand boring you to death with long text about their product and what it does for the skin, the company can simply put up an image of a beautiful clear-skinned model to represent all those boring information.
So, that’s it for the boring stuff. Now let’s get into the more fun stuff. What are the types of modelling, how much do they earn? And what are the top 10 modelling agencies in Nigeria?
Types of models and how much they earn
So you took a grab at your lower fat belly and you were like; “shoot can’t be a model with this baby” but then you have a really beautiful face. Or you don’t have quite the model face but your legs are like sugar cane? Well get seated you might just have a career in modelling. This is because there are so many types of modelling; however, we have six main types of models. They are:
- Fashion/Editorial Model
- Runway model
- Commercial Model
- Parts Model
- Fitness model
- Glamour Model
Fashion models as the name implies are models that work for top fashion brands. They are those beautiful perfect beauties you usually see in your magazines with clear skin, blue eyes and killer bodies. They usually feature in top brands like Vogue, Gucci, Playboy Mansion magazines, etc.
The requirements to become a fashion model is usually strict and highly selective. The body type requirements are 6’0 for height, very slim or thin, young, measurements are 33-23-33 (bust-waist-hips).
Fashion models earn between NGN20,000 – NGN150,000 or more. This usually depends on the type of brand or company and as well as the professional portfolio of the model.
Runway model (Catwalk models)
Resist every urge to call this “runaway model”. It is pronounced run-way model. These are models that usually advertise new clotheslines for brands on a runway, hence the name “Runway models or Catwalk models”.
Just as the fashion model, the requirements here are also strict. For females, you must be around 5’9 feet tall, measurements should be 34-23-34 (bust-waist-hips), age preferably 16-25. While male requirements are 5’11 feet tall, age preferably 18-25. Of course, there are older models like Naomi Campbell but they are rare. Moreover, older runway models were usually as successful when they were younger.
Lastly, you must always stay fit. Runway models usually end up almost starving because designers just make cloth and expect them to fit in perfectly. The expectations are high. Runway models usually earn around NGN25,000 – NGN80,000 per show. The more gigs a model gets, the more the model is paid. Put in work!
This category is all-encompassing as it admits both old and young models, with no specifics as to height or size. It is diverse and highly, lucrative, and as such widely sought after. Models in this category advertise a wide range of company products in catalogues, campaigns, and commercials.
Usually, models pose with the company’s product either given additional information as to the product or simply advertising the said product. Commercial models here earn between NGN100,000 – NGN5million depending on the brand/company and the experience or portfolio of the model
These models deal on body parts. Nah! Just kidding, they are models that model a part or various parts of their body. That means they do not model their whole body but rather a part, usually the body part they feel so comfortable or natural flaunting. It could be their b---s for a bra brand, teeth for a big toothpaste company like Close-Up, etc.
Just as in the commercial model, pay usually depends on the company and the professional portfolio of the model. A parts model usually earns between N10,000 – NGN85,000 per gig.
The first requirement is that fitness models are required to be fit, workout daily and maintain a proper diet.
They usually model for nutrition line/nutrition-based companies i.e. companies that focus on or emphasise healthy foods, wellness and life. The fitness aspects of it require models to workout and maintain an athletic type of body. A fitness/wellness model makes around NGN10,000 – NGN100,000 per gig.
This type of modelling lays serious emphasis on appearance – facial beauty, beautiful curves and glowing skin.
These models are usually curvier than editorial models and often book swimsuit and lingerie photoshoot sessions. Glamour models tend to pose more suggestively than typical editorial or commercial models. A glamour model racks in about NGN25,000 – NGN250,000 per gig.
How do I start my modelling career?
I bet you’re excited. You’ve seen how much a model can make and now you’re giddy; you just want to get there and start modelling. Then, it hits you? How do I start? Where do I begin? Do I sign up with a modelling agency? What are the top modelling agencies I can join?
First, I will tell you how NOT to start:
- Don’t take pictures with your low budget android phone and beg people to like it on your social platforms. Modelling is about class. Get some!
- Don’t take pictures because you think you’re cute. Remember modelling is all about information passed on a smaller scale and yeah, you’re that “smaller scale”.
- Most importantly don’t bump into another TY Bello’s photoshoot. Why? Well, there’s only one Olajumoke and from what I’ve read there’s only one Cinderella in Disney World.
So, how do I start?
- Make that decision! Tell yourself, “Yes I want to be a model!”
- Decide on the type of model you want to be. While at the beginning you may not be so sure on what type of model you want to be, but with time, you will find the one that suits your style and time; be it a runway model, a parts model, a commercial model, etc.
- Decide whether or not you will be a freelance model or sign up with a modelling agency
- Build your portfolio as a freelance model or sign up with a modelling agency
However, we understand the difficulty in choosing between being a freelance model and signing up with a modelling agency. Well, that’s why we are here for you – to give you the information you need to make that decision. Below is a detailed highlight of the pros and cons of both freelance modelling and signing up with a modelling agency.
A freelance model as the name implies is such that the model works independently of any agency. A freelance model source for gigs and promotes his/her work. To survive as a freelance model in Nigeria is usually tough and frustrating for an upcoming model. However, it has its pros and cons just like many things in life.
Pros of freelancing as a model
You call the shots: Freelance models act as their own agency representation. The source for gigs, determine the rates, time for the shoot and many more. They are their own boss.
- You chose your clients: Being able to select whom you want to work with is yet another type of freedom that freelancers enjoy. This will allow them to control the client the render services too and thus rules out any modelling agency from the practice of imposing wary clients on the model.
- No Contract: Most modelling agencies, by way of contracts, tend to restrict the type and nature of work a model can do. However, freelancers have the flexibility to market themselves towards as many modelling categories as they want.
- No commission: Perhaps the greatest benefit of being a freelancer is the fact that you don’t have to pay anybody commission. All the green bucks go into your pocket nice…yeah? Well before you decide, have a look at the cons.
Cons of freelancing
- Vulnerable to shady individuals/companies: Some clients (not all) target freelance models to hire because they know it’s more likely that the model will be easier to rip off. Most freelancers lack the network and capability to run a background check on these clients and with no agency to serve as a filter/protection, freelance models work with clients at their own risk.
- Less negotiating power: Most models most times are ignorant about service rate and most also lack the power to demand or bargain for a higher rate. One of the main reasons why clients work with freelance models is because they don’t have huge budgets to afford agency-represented models and commission fees.
- Daunting Workload: Being a freelance model means doing 120% of the work and you are entirely on your own.
What is a modelling agency?
A modelling agency is a company that represents models in the fashion industry. They are the middle person between the model and the company requiring their services. They are paid by way of commission. They get the best deals for models and as well represent them legally. However, modelling agencies just like Nigeria are wrought with faulty operating systems. Just as with freelance modelling, getting signed to an agency comes with its list of pros and cons. It is therefore important that aspiring models understand what they are in for before penning down a contract with a modelling agency.
Should I sign with a modelling agency? (Pros and cons)
Pros of signing with a modelling agency
- Legal protection from the agency: As we said earlier in the definition of a modelling agency. Modelling agencies serve as a model’s protection and are almost like a guardian. They provide a legal spine for the model and ensure the model does not sign up for gigs that are detrimental to their career. With their expertise, they negotiate rates and ensure the safety of their models while on assignment and deal with any legal issues that may occur.
- Secure the highest pay rates: Modelling agencies with their history and expertise understand the pay rates and market structure of the modelling industry more than the models, who may be ignorant of the facts. They know when a model is being underpaid and as such can negotiate a higher/better rate. It’s no brainer because when models make money, the agencies make money too. It becomes a simple case of “what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander”.
- Filter-out scam gigs: The agency ensures that clients booked for the model are 100% legit. This is done by going through the company’s name and history. Also by searching through a client’s record of accomplishments to ascertain whether such clients will be a good fit for their model. Hence filtering out individuals or clients with questionable motives.
- Exposure: With the network and connection that most agencies have, the model is left to do little or no work to get out there. The agency simply works their magic, as they know the right people, what they want, how they want it, and in no time takes the model to the top. Moreover, with an agency’s track record or repute, most big clients will feel comfortable working with them and their models. With the right agency, a model can gain much more exposure faster than they could by just freelancing.
- The dirty job: Agencies have the resources and manpower to do the bulk of the work that it takes to get a model recognised and hired for assignments. They take care of the grit part of the job such as booking gigs, negotiating rates as well as making sure the payment is received for completed work. The only job the model has to do is to look beautiful and show up for shoots.
- Logistics: Most modelling agencies work with their team or crew from clothing to make-up artists. They ensure the model gets to the shoot on time and that the model is camera-ready. Most modelling agencies go the extra mile to make sure the model remains fit by providing a good diet as well as proper skin and workout routine.
Cons of signing with a modelling agency
- You don’t call the shots: The modelling agency mostly does the work. They book gigs and get in touch with clients. The model must always be available as he or she could be called at any time. Most models may feel pushed around, as they don’t determine the rates, time of the shoot and the number of gigs. However, the more a model builds his/her portfolio the more in charge he/she becomes.
- Contract: Before a model signs up with a modelling agency, it is a common practice to pen down a contract with the modelling agency. Most contracts are restrictive so that models are oftentimes restricted to one agency at a time. That means that they don’t have the freedom to join with another agency nor accept any shoot or gig unless approved by their agency. Going contrary to contractual terms may result in legal consequences. A model should hire the services of a lawyer before signing any contract with an agency.
- Commission: Each time your agency books you a gig, they receive a commission. So all the green bucks don’t go into your wallet. It is usually split between the agency and the model. Most agencies currently command about 20% to 25% per booking (5-10 years ago, the commission rate used to be 10% to 15%).
How to join/sign up with a modelling agency?
- Pick a modelling agency: It is important always to choose a modelling agency that reflects your ideals and has its major services on the type of modelling you want to do. Importantly, make sure such an agency is focused more on grooming and improving the model than making money off the model.
- Visit their website: After you’ve chosen a modelling agency, it is wise to visit their sites and follow them up through their social handles to give you a better idea of what the modelling agency is all about.
- Write down their requirements: Each modelling agency has a specific body type they look out for in terms of body size, height, gender etc. Always write down these requirements and make sure you fit such.
- Apply: You can either join/sign up with a modelling agency by sending them an application through their contact address. This application should consist of your bio and required photo shots. Most modelling agencies usually require a frontal face shot.
- Go for castings: Most modelling agencies usually call for casting. By following a modelling agency on their social handles, you can keep you up to date with them and will know when they call for casting. Always look natural and comfortable.
So, that’s it for how to join/sign up with a modelling agency. However, I know you are wondering, which modelling agency should I sign up with? There again, we’re here for you. Below is a list of the top ten modelling agencies in Nigeria
Top 10 modelling agencies in Nigeria
Having discussed the pros and cons of a modelling agency, here are the top 10 modelling agencies in Nigeria to kick start or better your modelling career.
10. Beige model management
Beige Model Management is based in Rivers State and is mainly into personal Care, beauty schools and offering model grooming, modelling, modelling photography, ushering. Beige model management specialises in getting jobs for models of different types. So if you want to be a model and you have some kind of reservation, Beige Model Management got you covered. They have good online reviews; you should check them out.
Address: Number 8 Ohia Street, Ogbunabali, Obio- Alpori, Rivers state.
9. Zahara Model Management
Zahara Model Management is a modelling agency based in Lagos & Abuja, Nigeria. The agency officially opened its first branch in Abuja in February 2012. The Lagos branch was launched in August 2014.
Zahara Models is one of the top agencies in Abuja and is fast climbing the ranks in Lagos, Nigeria. The agency provides professional female and male models to designers, magazines, ad agencies and corporations. Zahara models remain one of the best paying amongst other modelling agencies in Nigeria. Considering their decent-paying rate, many aspiring models started their careers with the agency.
Address: 9 Koforidua St, Wuse, Abuja
8. Pillars & Pride of Afrika Model & Talent Management
This modelling agency is involved in models of all types be it child model, baby model, teenage model, adult model, etc. Pillar & Pride of Afrika Model & Talent Management are also known for their key roles in model development. They also indulge in constant evaluation and training, making them one of the very best modelling agencies in Africa. They don’t settle for less. Their services include:
- Providing models for conventions/trade shows
- Regional and national commercials
- Website: prideofafrika.com
- Address: Baico plaza (7th floor) 12 Abibu – Oki Street, Marina Lagos Island
- Phone: 01-6571196, +2347084955556
7. Y – Ray models
This agency has been around for more than a decade with links in African countries and Europe. They train models and emphasise good personality development. Their services include:
- TV commercials
- Brand promotion
- Fashion shows
- TV presentation
- Music video appearance (video vixen) bridal train etc.
- Website: http://www.yraymodels.com
- Address: 6 Kayode Animashaun Street, off Admiralty way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, 23401 Nigeria.
- Email: info@yraymodels
- Phone: +2340788882093
6. Fashion Instinct Modelling Agency
Fashion Instinct is a professional Modelling agency that carries on many activities like a fashion show, modelling training and management, which means more than being a model agency. Being completely out of the classical model agency understanding is more like a big family that has included in its organization a project development & marketing team, press introduction, mannequin, photo model, dancer, animator, presenter, introduction hostess, makeup specialist, hairdresser, photograph artist, dubbing artist, art director and technical team. Fashion Instinct is situated in Lagos; its central office is based in Florida, USA. The fashion Instinct modelling agency in Nigeria specialises in training and managing models for jobs like:
- Runway modelling
- Commercial modelling
- Actors / talents management
- website: thefashioninstinct.com
- Address: 388 Stuyvesant Avenue, Irvington, NJ, United States
- Address: 2nd floor, 34/36 Ikorodu Road, Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 01 – 82 47617, +2348029314720
5. Silverbird Group
Founded by Mr Ben Murray Bruce in 1980. This group is a multimedia company that includes a radio station, television, cinemas, and real estate. However, the silver bird group is also involved in promoting models. They also host one of the most recognised beauty pageant competitions in Nigeria including the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN), mother-daughter pageants and Mr Nigeria. This group holds the record of having produced the only black African to win the Miss World beauty pageants in 2001.
- Address: 33, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
- Email: email@example.com
4. Catch 22 Modelling agency
Catch 22 Model Management is a Nigerian model agency incorporated in the year 2015. Their services cut across the high fashion world, commercials and corporate events. The mission of Catch 22 Model Management is to groom new faces into well sought after supermodels who can compete with the international market.
If you want to be scouted by this agency, you’re required to be 5ft 9in tall and above for women and 6ft and above for men. You’ll need two photographs – one headshot and one full-length shot. Your age, contact details, height, bust, waist, and hip measurement. If you’re interested in being a Catch 22 model, send your application about all of the above to Catch 22 model management.
Address: 18 Oba Yekini Elegushi Road, Ikate, Lekki Lagos
3. Exquisite models international
It is one of Africa’s top modelling agencies with an international outlook. They only accept female models. They train young girls into world-class models. They are very active participants in AIDS and Breast Cancer charities. Their services include:
- International runways and
- Fashion prints.
- Address: suite 1 soda Cruz hotel and suites 4th Avenue, 400 roads, Festac town Lagos.
- phone: +23432371712
- Website: exquitemodels.co.uk
2. Anaconda Modelling Agency
Anaconda is a high-end professional modelling agency that was established in 2014. They are focused on producing commercial models for high-end corporations and discriminating clients for digital content ushering jobs, billboards advertising, and corporate yearly calendars and brand promotion.
Wilson Moore (director of marketing), Balaji Johnson (stage director), Chinyere Chukwu (marketing) Dynamic Ayomide (promotion) are members of their team uploaded on their website.
- Office: 7/9 Sawyer crescent, Gbagada estate phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria
- Website: https://anacondamodelingagency.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Beth Modelling Agency
This is one of Nigeria’s finest modelling agencies and was founded by Nnema Anosice.
Requirements: The Beth modelling agency doesn’t prioritise professional pictures during application. However, you must be 5’8 feet tall to apply. Just like every other agency, they require natural photos showing your bone structure. You are not required to submit body shot photos; you’ll be contacted when necessary. Makeup, sunglasses and the likes are not allowed. Your hair should be as natural as possible and should be kept away from the face. Lastly, the photo you submitted alongside your application needs to be a front-facing hand shot.
Beth Modelling Agency contact details:
- Website: http://Bethmodelafrica.com
- Address: 5B Karimu Kotun Street, Victoria Island Lagos
- Phone: +2348033278752
- Email: email@example.com
Modelling is less about looking cute and more about passing information. It is, therefore, essential that a model choose the right modelling agency to sign up with, of course, after crossing the hurdle of whether or not he/she will be a freelance model. Lastly, one should sign up with an agency that is more interested in developing training and grooming the model than an agency more interested and invested in making as much money as it could make off the model.
We hope the information above will go a long way to get your modelling career started and help you make the right decisions.