Sunday, June 23, 2024

17 Short Models Who Break Fashion Norms

Short Models
See the most famous short models. Photo: DFree /

In the world of fashion, traditional models usually stand at 5’9″ or above, but short models have always had their place in the industry. Kate Moss famously broke the mold in the 90s with her 5’7″ frame. Before that, you have supermodel Twiggy in the 1960s, who only stands at 5’6″ tall.

When it comes to modeling, there’s always someone who can break the industry norms. Read on, and we will celebrate seventeen of the most successful short models who managed to own the runway, magazines, and ad campaigns despite their small stature.

Short Models

Many people wonder how tall models usually are. The average height for professional models starts at 5’9″ and above. This standard means that any height below that range is seen as shorter than the norm in the modeling industry.

Kate Moss – 5’7″

Kate Moss Short Model
Kate Moss at Fashion For Relief Charity Gala Show in Cannes, France. Photo: Imaginechina-Editorial / Deposit Photos

Before she became a household name, Kate Moss is credited with popularizing the “heroin chic” look of the 90s. She appeared in runway shows for brands such as Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, and Chanel.

Kate has been the face of just about every major fashion label and graced the cover of British Vogue 40 times. Other notable magazine covers she has appeared on include Vogue Paris, Vogue US, and Harper’s Bazaar US. And in 2016, the supermodel founded her own modeling agency, called Kate Moss Agency.

Cara Delevingne – 5’8″

Cara Delevingne Short Model
Cara Delevingne walks Prada fall-winter 2019 show. Photo: fashionstock / Deposit Photos

Cara Delevingne has a significant Instagram following and has walked the catwalk for designer labels like Saint Laurent, Burberry, and Fendi. She has graced numerous magazine covers from around the world. An advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, the British model uses her influence for important social justice causes.

Her height is often debated; in an interview with Into the Gloss, she mentioned, “I’m tiny for runway! I’m 5’8″ or 5’7″…a lot of people still tell me that I’m too short.” While she transitioned to acting, she continued to make appearances on the runway and in major advertisements.

Halima Aden – 5’5″

Halima Aden Short Model
Halima Aden. Photo: SharpShooter / Deposit Photos

Halima Aden’s prominence in the fashion world isn’t only because of her 5’5″ stature but also as one of the pioneering hijabi models. From a Kenyan refugee camp to international runways, Halima’s journey began with her hijab and burkini display in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant.

She’s walked for brands like Max Mara and Tommy Hilfiger and graced British Vogue and Allure covers, redefining beauty standards and championing inclusivity. After quitting modeling in 2020, she made a triumphant return in 2023, showing the power of resilience.

Charlotte Free – 5’7″

Charlotte Free Model
Charlotte Free at Chanel Cruise 2015 show. Photo courtesy Chanel

American model Charlotte Free has worked as a Maybelline face, and her pink-dyed hair gets a lot of attention on social media platforms like Instagram. She may be only 5’7″, but that has not stopped her from walking in shows like Chanel under Karl Lagerfeld.

She even opened the label’s cruise 2015 show and appeared in campaigns for the French house’s eyewear. Moschino designer Jeremy Scott also casts her in shows frequently.

Georgia May Jagger –  5’7″ 

Georgia May Jagger Short Model
Georgia May Jagger in Cannes, France. Photo: tanka_v / Deposit Photos

Georgia May Jagger became famous for being the daughter of rock and roll icon Mick Jagger and model royalty Jerry Hall. She followed in her mother’s footsteps despite only being 5’7″. In addition to her small stature, the blonde is known for her trademark gap teeth, giving her a unique look.

In her career, she became notable in her own right, walking for the likes of Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel. Her covers include magazines such as British Vogue, L’Officiel Paris, and Vogue Australia.

Sara Sampaio – 5’8″

Sara Sampaio Short Model
Sara Sampaio walks the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York City. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret

Sara Sampaio is famous for being a former Victoria’s Secret Angel. Like Cara, there are debates as to what her actual height happens to be, with it being listed at 5’8″. But in a past interview, she confirmed she is close to Kate Moss in height.

“Me and her are kind of the same height, so she always inspired me when people would say, ‘You’re too short for fashion, you’re too short for runway.’ But I don’t think I am; the other models are just too tall.”

No doubt she is one of the shortest Victoria’s Secret Angels, but it hasn’t slowed down her career. She also posed for Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue and serves as one of the most successful models to hail from Portugal.

Hailey Bieber – 5’7″ 

Hailey Bieber Short Model
Hailey Bieber. Photo: SharpShooter / Deposit Photos

Hailey Bieber rose to fame thanks to the social media site Instagram. Previously known as Hailey Baldwin, she walked the runway for leading brands such as Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, and Dolce & Gabbana. She also has covers for prestigious print magazines like Vogue Italia, Marie Claire US, Vogue US, and ELLE US.

And who could forget Hailey’s turn in advertising campaigns with labels such as Levi’s, Ralph, Lauren, Guess, and Calvin Klein (she posed alongside her husband Justin for CK Underwear)? With such an impressive resume, the blonde model proves short models can achieve so much. She also launched her own skincare brand Rhode in 2021, showing her business savvy.

Devon Aoki – 5’5″

Devon Aoki Short Model
Devon Aoki walks Jeremy Scott spring-summer 2018 runway show. Photo: SharpShooter / Deposit Photos

Devon Aoki is one of the shortest runway models to hit the catwalk at five foot five. But that did not stop her from walking in coveted fashion shows like Chanel, Moschino, or Versace. In addition to modeling, Devon also appeared in films like ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’, ‘Sin City’ and ‘War’.

As one of the world’s most successful petite models, her iconic looks are remembered to this day. With ancestry that is Japanese, English, and German, her unique features made her a stand-out model of the 2000s and today.

Eva Marcille – 5’6″

Eva Marcille Short Model
Eva Marcille. Photo: Jean Nelson / Deposit Photos

Eva Marcille, formerly known as Eva Pigford, burst into the limelight when she won the third cycle of America’s Next Top Model, a modeling completion show. Despite being 5’6″, her dynamic personality and photogenic qualities ensured her a spot. Post-ANTM, Eva graced runways for brands like Marc Bouwer.

Her versatility extends beyond the runway, with ads for the likes of CoverGirl and DKNY. Additionally, Eva appeared on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, marking a return to her roots.

Laetitia Casta – 5’7″

Laetitia Casta Short Model
Laetitia Casta at the Cannes Film Festival. Photo: magicinfoto / Deposit Photos

Laetitia Casta has hit the catwalks of Victoria’s Secret, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, and other major fashion houses despite only being 5’7″.

Since then, the brunette model went on to become a successful actress in her native France. Laetitia continues to model, though, posing for leading brands like Etam, Jacquemus, Ikks, and Dior.

Sofia Richie – 5’6″

Sofia Richie Short Model
Sofia Richie. Photo: everett225 / Deposit Photos

American model Sofia Richie is not just known for her famous lineage (daughter of music icon Lionel Richie) but has carved out a significant niche in the fashion industry. She has graced the runways for Chanel and fronted advertisements for Michael Kors and David Yurman.

The style star also helped bring the term quiet luxury to the mainstream with her highly talked about wedding.

Josie Maran – 5’7½”

Josie Maran Short Model
Josie Maran. Photo: Joe Seer /

Despite her short stature, Josie Maran did catalog and e-commerce stints with Victoria’s Secret. She then went on to become the face of both Guess Jeans and Maybelline. She also appeared in Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue three years in a row (2000 to 2002).

In June 2007, she established the natural cosmetics product line aptly named Josie Maran Cosmetics. It has the motto Luxury With A Conscience, and the main component of its products is fair trade argan oil, which is a product of cooperatives run by Moroccan women.

Lily-Rose Depp – 5’3″

Lily-Rose Depp Petite Model
Lily-Rose Depp. Photo: arp / Deposit Photos

Petite model Lily-Rose Depp is the daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. As one of the youngest and shortest models on this list, Lily-Rose Depp made her runway debut for Chanel and walked the catwalk on multiple occasions.

She also fronts plenty of campaigns for the famed fashion house, including beauty and ready-to-wear collections. Recently she has gotten into acting, appearing in projects such as The Idol, Voyagers, and The King.

Emily Ratajkowski – 5’7″

Emily Ratajkowski Short Model
Emily Ratajkowski. Photo: /

Emily Ratajkowski first rose to fame by appearing in the Blurred Lines music video. But now, she has one of the most successful working careers in the fashion industry. With campaigns for Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Tory Burch, and Versace under her belt, she is a true star.

Emrata appeared on magazine covers like Harper’s Bazaar US, ELLE UK, and many other notable titles in the publishing industry. The brunette beauty is also a swimsuit and lingerie designer, launching Inamorata in 2017.

Lila Moss – 5’5″

Lila Moss Short Model
Lila Moss. Photo: / Deposit PHotos

Lila Moss might be known initially as the daughter of fashion legend Kate Moss, but she’s swiftly making her own mark in the modeling world. From debuting as the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty to walking for brands like Miu Miu, Lila showcases that talent often runs in the family.

As she continues to rise, Lila underscores the idea that in fashion, it’s less about height and more about presence.

Iris Law – 5’5″

Iris Law Short Model
Iris Law. Photo: fashionstock / Deposit Photos

Iris Law, measuring 5’5″, might have initially stepped into the limelight due to her famous parents (daughter of actor Jude Law and actress Sadie Frost), but she’s rapidly established herself in the fashion world.

Working with renowned brands like Burberry and Miu Miu, Iris blends classic English elegance with a modern edge. Her vibrant features have graced the pages of Vogue, and her short bleach-blonde hair makes her stand out.

Camille Rowe – 5’7″

Camille Rowe Short Model
Camille Rowe. Photo: ChinaImages / Deposit Photos

Camille Rowe, standing at 5’7″, blends French elegance with American cool. Initially scouted while studying in Paris, she soon found herself modeling for brands like Dior, Chloé, and Louis Vuitton. Her undeniable charm and effortless style made her a favorite for Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire spreads

Why are petite models so rare?

Given that models are often taller than the average woman, one might question the reasons behind this preference. There are several reasons for this. First, designers and clients traditionally prefer a tall and thin frame since it puts a focus on the clothes rather than a model’s body.

Additionally, a tall model has a more powerful presence on the runway than one of a regular height. However, the 2020s have seen the industry move towards more inclusivity, ranging from body shapes to ethnic backgrounds and even height. Top agencies like IMG Models have gotten rid of their requirements for height in recent years.

Short Beauties

Cara Runway
From the runway to advertisements, standards for model heights are changing. Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency

In recent years, petite and short models have been gaining visibility in the fashion industry. Many brands have begun to embrace the notion that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Agencies such as Elite Model Management have signed those who don’t fit the typical standards.

These short female models will inspire those who want to enter the industry, from a Victoria’s Secret Angel to 90s icons to entrepreneurs; they show a modeling career is more than just one’s height.



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