How to Become a Model in Chicago

Chicago Model

How to Become a Model in Chicago: A Step-by-Step Guide


Are you dreaming of becoming a model in the vibrant city of Chicago? If you've got the passion and determination to break into the competitive modeling world, you're in the right place. With its thriving fashion and modeling industry, Chicago offers numerous opportunities for aspiring models. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps you need to take to kickstart your modeling career in the Windy City.

Chicago has everything from runway shows to print campaigns and commercial gigs. Whether you're an aspiring fashion model, commercial model, or even a plus-size model, this guide will provide valuable insights to help you succeed. So, let's dive into the exciting journey of how to become a model in Chicago.

1. Develop Your Look

Before you take the first step towards becoming a model in Chicago, defining your unique look and style is crucial. Remember that the modeling industry values diversity, so don't feel pressured to conform to a single ideal. Instead, focus on enhancing your natural beauty, whether that's through skincare, fitness, or nutrition.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proper skin care can help you look and feel your best. If you're interested in fashion modeling, pay attention to the latest trends in clothing and makeup. Developing a versatile look will make you more appealing to potential clients and agencies in Chicago.

2. Build a Stellar Portfolio

Your modeling portfolio is your calling card in the industry. It showcases your talent, versatility, and potential to clients and agencies in Chicago. To create a compelling portfolio, consider working with professional photographers specializing in fashion and modeling. Collaborate with makeup artists and stylists to capture a variety of looks.

Include a mix of headshots, full-body shots, and close-ups, showcasing different expressions and poses. Highlight your best work and update your portfolio regularly as you gain more experience. Quality matters more than quantity, so prioritize showcasing your best images.

3, Find the Right Modeling Agency 

Signing up with a reputable modeling agency in Chicago can significantly boost your modeling career. Research and identify agencies specializing in your niche, whether fashion, commercial, or plus-size modeling. Look for agencies with a strong track record of representing successful models and a good reputation in the industry.

When approaching agencies, be prepared to submit your portfolio and attend castings or open calls. Dress professionally, arrive on time, and bring a positive attitude. Agencies often provide guidance and training to help you develop your skills and secure bookings.

4. Networking Is Key

Networking plays a vital role in the modeling industry. Attend industry events, fashion shows, and modeling workshops in Chicago to connect with professionals in the field. Building relationships with photographers, makeup artists, and designers can lead to valuable opportunities and collaborations.

Additionally, leverage social media platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn to showcase your portfolio and connect with industry insiders. Engage with relevant hashtags and follow influential figures in the Chicago modeling scene. Building a solid online presence can attract attention and open doors in your modeling journey.

5. Be Professional and Reliable

In the modeling industry, professionalism is non-negotiable. Always be punctual for castings, fittings, and bookings. Communicate clearly and professionally with clients, agencies, and fellow team members. Reliability and a positive attitude can help you establish a solid reputation in Chicago's competitive modeling market.

6. Attend Model Castings and Auditions

Model castings and auditions are the gateway to landing modeling gigs in Chicago. Monitor casting calls posted by agencies, fashion designers, and photographers. Attend as many auditions as possible to gain exposure and experience.

Follow the instructions carefully during auditions, and be prepared to showcase your versatility as a model. Confidence, poise and the ability to take direction are highly valued qualities.

7. Get Familiar with Chicago's Modeling Scene

Understanding the local modeling scene in Chicago is essential. Research fashion events, runway shows, and modeling agencies in the city. Stay informed about industry trends and developments to stay competitive.

Attending fashion events and shows can also help you make connections and gain exposure. Chicago hosts numerous fashion-related events, such as Fashion Week and designer showcases.

8. Embrace Rejection and Persistence

Rejection is a part of the modeling industry, even for experienced models. Don't be discouraged by setbacks, and always stay persistent. Use rejection as an opportunity to learn and improve. Keep building your portfolio, attending auditions, and networking.


Becoming a model in Chicago is an exciting journey that requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance. By developing your look, building a solid portfolio, finding the right agency, networking, and staying professional, you can pave the way for a successful modeling career in the Windy City. Remember that success may not happen overnight, but with determination and the right mindset, you can achieve your dreams of becoming a model in Chicago's thriving fashion and modeling industry.