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How to Become an Import Model

Updated on February 20, 2012

Want to Become an Import Model?

I get asked quite often by young and older women, "How do I become an Import Model?" Although I'm not an import model myself, I've done some extensive research into the import modeling world and some of my closest friends are working import models in California.

Although there are several ways to go about becoming an import model, I'll reveal some facts and figures that shed some insight on getting into the import modeling biz! I'll also answer some of the most FAQ about import modeling!


FAQ 1: What are the Outfits?

Nude women are not usually lounging on these nice cars at import tuner shows. However, be prepared to don some skimpy outfits which sometimes include bikinis, lingerie, hot shorts/boy shorts, bras, sports bras, etc. There are some import models who chose to go bare for their careers. For example, Korean import model Natasha Yi posed for playboy, which actually worked in her favor in terms of garnering fame and exposure.

FAQ 2: Is There an Import Model Look?

Although there is no exact formula they look for in an import model, there are some repeating patterns. The majority of working import models are racially mixed; generally with some Asian heritage. Or, they are full Asian.

One of my favorite import models is Lisa Kim Fleming, who is actually half Korean and half Caucasian. However, what's hot today are import models who are Eurasian. (European descent with Asian ancestry). If you are none of these, it's still possible to become an import model. There are several out there that are just American or Mexican, etc.

Another important characteristic of a successful import model is the sex appeal. You are there to sell a hot car. Ergo, you must look hot along with it.

GOOD News! What's great about import modeling is that there is no bias towards petite woman. Unlike the mainstream modeling world, many working import models are 5'3" and shorter. In addition, import models are encouraged to look voluptuous and curvy. (Not overweight, just some curves!) Having a big chest helps, which is why many aspiring import models choose to get breast enhancements.

This may sound strange as well, but I've never really seen an import model with short hair. I guess long hair is the norm in the import modeling industry.

How to Become an Import Model?

Once you have decided that you are physically and emotionally ready to become an import model, there are a few steps you can take so that you are not just relying on luck! One of the first things to do is to get headshots, bodyshots taken by a professional photographer who has worked in the automotive field. It's important to have some kind of portfolio to send off to agencies.

Join modeling websites and create a profile. The most famous one?

Contact modeling agencies that frequently work with import models. Look up known import models and check out which agencies they are with. Some famed ones are Fast Lane Promotions, Prestigious Models, STX Productions and Xzotic Models. Also look up import models you like; sometimes they have their own import modeling agency and are actively looking for new talent. Be POLITE when contacting them and ask them if they're interested in seeing a portfolio.

Participate in amateur modeling contests. There are talent scouts at these things looking for fresh faces. Go try out for free modeling gigs too.

Go visit import shows! This is the perfect place for you to network with the people who create these shows, make import magazines, and with import photographers. Pass around you photos and contact information while making contacts. Be proactive at these shows and talk to other import models.Try shows like HIN/NOPI.

Learn How to Become a Model!

Eurasian Model
Eurasian Model | Source

How Much do Import Models Make?

To be honest, most import models make very little from just the import modeling circuit. Because it's a very competitive industry, many companies can hire girls for $100 or free just because they're looking for the exposure and experience! It's a highly competitive market. Also consider the geography. There's a reason that every famous import model moved to California to get started!

For prints, photos etc, you will most likely be paid by the hour. As a seasoned import model (but not famed) expect $25-$40 an hour. Many import models do side projects for income such as club promotions and parties. Just be ready to handle some side jobs because when first starting out, import models make nothing.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      How old do you have to be?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Recipe to become an import model

      Fake boobs, fake hair, fake eyelashes on the daily, 8 pounds of make up, skimpy clothes.

      High IQ not necessary

      Party social skills necessary

      Photogenic necessary

      Basically if you are somewhat pretty and looking for an easy way out go for it!

      People say its a hard job but it really isn't you get paid to be sexy, get dolled up, to get almost naked, and to party and drink! People fly you out just so they can admire your beauty, cause lets be honest that all they car about! If you aren't beautiful you ain't gonna get the attention.

      Be prepared for perverts, but realize that it's your fault you get perverted comments on you photos and video because you chose to wear practically nothing while taking plenty Boob and booty shots!

      You will get comments from young girls who say your the inspiration but just know that the main reason they admire you is because you are beautiful.

      You will never ever ever in a million year be acknowledge as classy cause lets face it we all seen your goodies!

      But look at this way, you get paid for looking good? who wouldn't want that? you will also be keeping old perceptions on women alive by showing to the world your contributions to it is just to beautiful and possibly bare children in the future! Woot woot!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You can post your photo to websites that feature import models, such as

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      Javier: Thanks! I guess Natasha Yi has gotten pretty big since I last updated this article.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I would also add that girls trying to make it as import models should try to get in mags--even if they don't get paid (for the exposure). Of course the big import magazines and some like OYE feature import models:

      BTW, I wouldn't really consider natashy yi an import model. she did pboy but she's more of mainstream model. great article though.

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      9 years ago from California

      JMAW: Thanks for the comment. Nobody likes a starved looking woman!

    • JMAW profile image


      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Never would have thought of this as a hub. Great idea, unique and excellent job. Note: agree with not being a fan of the starved look.

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      9 years ago from California

      Hi Katie: Thank you! Trying to break into the entertainment industry is a tough one. Good luck to your daughter, and yes, diversity is a much needed thing for modeling, tv and beyond. I love you comments!

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      9 years ago from Westerville

      What an informative and helpful piece on how to become an import model. Your honest and practical tips will help any one interested in becoming and import model or getting into the modeling profession alone. My daughter (12) is an actor and gets many offers to do import modeling for tweens clothing if Japan and China. Diversity is a big marketing need in the modeling industry. Great post and much appreciated. :) Katie

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      9 years ago from California

      Hi Cogerson; I'm glad you're not a fan of the starved look. Granted though, some of those models are naturally skinny. Thanks!

    • Cogerson profile image


      9 years ago from Virginia

      To me, I like the import model much better than the 6 foot 96 pound non-import(if that is what they are called)...great hub...I never even new about import models


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