A modeling agency is a company that represents fashion models, to work for the fashion industry.These agencies earn their income via commission, usually from the deal they make with the model and/or the head agency, or company who hires the model.
The agencies find work for models by presenting them to designers, photographers, and ad agencies. The agencies are also responsible for booking the jobs, billing for the jobs, and eventually making sure the model is paid by the companies who hire them for their time. By handling the details, an agency allows a model to focus on modeling and not on the business end.
Most agencies sign their top talent to exclusive contracts in each market, which vary in length based on the model’s industry status and experience. However, because a good agency finds their models work and negotiates top price for their talent, they earn a management commission (between 10% to 20%) from every job they book on a model’s behalf. An agency usually bills a client an additional 20% service charge for booking the model, so a typical agency will make between 10-40% on each booking of which no more than 20% comes out of the model’s pocket. This varies outside the US due to each country’s law and taxes.