Successful Models Who Are Shorter Than You Think

Celebs March 26, 2018 By Hugo

From the contours of the model's cheekbones to the measurements of their waists and busts, the fashion industry is a fickle industry where every measurement is judged and scrutinized, and height- at least for the runway- is just as imperative. 

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In fact, fashion designers will often design clothes with taller women in mind, and it's rare you'll see a runway model under 5'9". However, there are some notable exceptions, who proved there is a place for smaller models in an industry dominated by giants.

1. Kate Moss

An icon in the fashion industry, Kate Moss may not have been blessed with the Amazonian legs of Karlie Kloss, but her striking cheekbones, radiant skin and cool girl persona were enough to convince Strom Models founder Sarah Doukas to sign her up when she discovered a 14-year-old Moss at JFK airport in 1988.

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While Moss's 5'7" height was certainly a barrier to success, her willingness to become a top model soon turned her into one of the most successful faces in not just fashion- but the world. 

2. Cara Delevingne

While it has never been confirmed, Cara Delevingne's height is likely to be between 5'7" and 5'8". A leggy blonde, she most certainly is not, but just like her aforementioned British contemporary, Delevigne's bad girl persona and quirky personality made her a household name.

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But not everyone in the fashion world took kindly to Delevingne's non-runway standard height. At the Louis Vuitton's Fall 2012 show, Marc Jacobs refused to cast Delevigne and asked, "Why is that dwarf in there?"

3. Sara Sampaio 

At 5'7", the Victoria's Secret model doesn't quite meet the minimum 5'9" height requirements expected of a runway model, yet the Portuguese beauty has become one of the world's most in-demand fashion models.

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Just last year, she tried on clothes for Balmain, Mugler, Elie Saab, Alberta Ferretti, Baja East, Marchesa, Tory Burch, Prabal Gurung and Tommy Hilfiger, while her campaigns ranged from Moroccanoil, Victoria’s Secret to Blumarine and Hogan. Asked about her height in an industry dominated by tall people, Sampaio said, "Me and [Kate Moss] 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.".

4. Emily Ratajkowski

While the brazen model's antics on social media have drawn much criticism, you've got to respect the self-confidence of Ratajkowski, who broke into the industry despite being only 5'7".

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Getting her big break in 2013's controversial music video "Blurred Lines" and alongside Ben Affleck in 2014's movie adaptation of Gone Girl, Ratajkowski had been making waves as a model long before her acting days, decorating the covers of both GQ Spain and British Vogue.

5. Camille Rowe

While Rowe had already made significant headway as a fashion model, she became known to millions more when the press reported that she had entered a relationship with the One Direction star, Harry Styles. 


But Rowe's career didn't need a famous boyfriend to boost her name. As well as landing work with Chloé, Aldo, Dior Homme, H&M and countless other brands, the French model has already posed for the front cover of ELLE France and recently made her debut on the Victoria's Secret runway- despite being only 5'7". 

6. Devon Aoki

If beautiful faces aren't tall enough to strut their stuff on the catwalk, they can often make a living as commercial models, and for most models of Devon Aoki's 5'5" height, that would be the case. For Aoki, however, she defied the odds and became a top fashion model.

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In the late 90s, Aoki shot campaigns with Versace and Chanel,  and also enjoyed long-lasting relationships Kenzo, Moschino and Fendi.

7. Marisa Miller

At 5'8", Marisa Miller isn't the shortest woman on our list, but she has been another model written off over the years simply because her height doesn't quite meet the requirements of the notoriously picky fashion world.

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Now 38, (not that you'd know it) Miller is perhaps most famous for her work with Sports Illustrated and Victoria's Secret.

8. Hailey Baldwin

Hailey Baldwin is one of many 'influencers' and 'models' gaining publicity thanks, in no small part, to being the child of someone famous. Still, Baldwin's looks are certainly of a model-standard, even if her 5'7" height isn't.

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A close friend of the Jenner and Hadid sisters and the rumoured girlfriend of the pop singer Shawn Mendes, IMG signed Baldwin to much success, as she has since walked for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Jeremy Scott, Prabal Gurung, Elie Saab, and Tommy Hilfiger and booked campaigns for Guess, Karl Lagerfeld, Tommy Jeans and UGG.

9. Sofia Richie

Another influencer, this time in the mould of Lionel Richie's daughter, Sofia Richie has managed to step out of the shadows of her famous father by finding success in the modeling industry. Despite being only 5'6", the 18-year-old has been on the covers of both Complex and Wonderland and has also graced the runways of Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Yeezy and Philipp Plein.

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Her editorials include W, V Magazine, Vogue Japan and Seventeen. Richie is currently dating Scott Disick, the former husband of Kourtney Kardashian. 

10. Lily-Rose Depp

The shortest model included on our list of short models, Lily-Rose Depp may only be 5'3", but being a favorite of Karl Lagerfeld’s, she needn't worry. As you may already tell by her name, she is also the daughter of the Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp, which has no doubt helped her get to where she is.

Shutterstock/Matteo Chinellato

Still only 18, Lily-Rose has already worked with esteemed brands, including Chanel and Haute Couture Spring, the latter of whom have cast her in a string of beauty and eyewear campaigns. Her magazine covers for someone her age are also impressive, with LOVE, V Magazine, Vogue Paris, British Vogue, ELLE France, ELLE Greece and Vanity Fair France all fans of the rising star.

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