Alternative modelling agencies in the UK
Read on for our big bold list of alternative modelling agencies in the UK. Be aware that your best bet may be to join a reputable model networking site…
The days of numerous alternative modelling agencies in the UK like ROGUEMAIDENS are gone. Many .alt models (e.g. with tattoos, piercings, dyed hair or any aspect of their looks that isn’t considered commercial mainstream) post their profiles on model network sites instead. These social networking and portfolio hosting sites enable models to act as their own agent to build up their portfolio (while networking with other alternative models. Talking to other models is very important as it can help you to source trusted photographers and stay safe).
With this in mind, you may find it useful to read our interview with three alternative models who share their tips on how they started.
However, a number of agencies in the UK will take alternative models on their books. Please be aware that tattoos and piercings may still prove a challenge in your quest for agency representation. Here are just some of the agencies out there. If you know of any more, let us know and we’ll add them to the list.
As a brand name, Anti-Agency works on several levels – but the good news is that it is looking for models with agency and a strong sense of who they are! Founded by Lucy Green and Pandora Lennard in 2013, the agency places a focus on London-based models with bags of personality and individual style. They’ve cast models for Dr Martins and NYLON Magazine amongst other brands, which is good to know. They choose “cool over beautiful”, said The Daily Telegraph.
The Twisted Agency
The Twisted Agency takes on alternative models, photographers and MUAs (makeup artists). They’re mainly based in the UK, but also have a presence in Europe (France and Switzerland) and the USA – they operate franchises and are looking to set up more. They say they specialise in brand advertising, event promotion, music videos and alternative culture/fashion, which might help you picture the kind of work you’d be doing. They aim to run an annual talent search between February and November with a 31st July deadline for initial applications. If you like the look of them, mark the date in your diary. Please note: they do appear to be a new agency.
Ugly Models is a renowned alternative modelling agency that aims for a wide range of diversity. They don’t do walk-ins, and set dates for when they choose to see prospective new models. They recommend you follow them on twitter (www.twitter.com/UglyModels) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/UglyModelsAgency) to stay in the loop on audition dates.
12+ UK Model Management
12+ is a plus-size modelling agency which was founded in 2000 by former model Sarah Watkinson. It has very simple submission guidelines – you can use an online form to upload a head shot, profile shot and full-length shot, with clear guidelines given on what is expected in the photos you provide. The website says that they are always scouting for new models, so there is no set time to approach them.
Alternative model networking sites in the UK and beyond
- Model Mayhem – this is the #1 portfolio site for models and photographers so it’s a key place to start, especially with their chat boards.
Please note: any agencies or websites referenced here have not been vetted for model safety. No-one wants to get involved with a scam agency. Whatever you do, stay informed and take care when considering any modelling work or applying for auditions. We strongly recommend that you browse the forums of Model Mayhem to see if you can find more details about any agency or contact you have your eye on.