NEW YORK, NY and NEW JERSEY - Frank Cleri, founder and CEO of Cleri Models, has been leading models to success for 30 years.

“You either have it or you don’t,” Cleri said of the flair for modeling. “It’s a God-given gift.” After being in the industry for so many years and working with so many models, Cleri and his team have the instinct – they just know if a prospective model has "the look".

It is so simple to get started, said Naomi Alves, lead booking agent with Cleri Models.

Sign Up for E-News

“Just send us simple snapshots -- no need to go through all of these modeling schools and expensive photography and create portfolios in the beginning,” Alves said.

There’s a reason so many magazine editors and major art buyers and casting directors  choose Cleri models: they have what the industry professionals are looking for.

“We have models just going through a development period getting jobs from their first photoshoot from a photographer we recommend,” said Cleri.

That kind of success comes from the strength of that Cleri logo next to the photo.

“We have many of those success stories – our models are getting jobs -- jobs that are into the thousands of dollars,” said Alves.

With more than 3,000 advertising clients, Cleri is in contact with a broad variety of advertising companies, production companies and photographers. Clients include Ralph Lauren, Disney, Glamour, Seventeen and Vogue.  "Our client list is vast and way beyond what is shown on our website," said Alves.

“When an agency pulls people in, they normally pull models in based on their client base,” said Cleri. “If you are an agency that is full service, you have a strong editorial division, lifestyle, commercial print, it shows… you’re broader. We will look to see where this individual fits in.”

When Cleri receives photos of an aspiring model, he and his team study the pictures and determine if the model has the right look. It’s hard to specify what that look is – it’s just that indefinable something that makes a model stand out.

“If there are possibilities, then we have the aspiring model come in for an evaluation. We see them in person and decide if there is or isn’t something there,” said Alves.

That kind of care and attention to detail are why it’s so important that aspiring models put their trust into the hands of a reputable modeling agency, Cleri said.

“If you do have the potential to succeed, then it is under our directive to determine exactly how you should be promoted, how you should be photographed,” he explained. “We may say come back in six months. We have to be honest and sincere. Many of the aspiring models thank us for our candor even if we don’t accept them.”

Cleri and his team believe in their responsibility to the models to properly develop the right look so they can get the modeling work they want.

Someone just looking to dabble in modeling would not be a candidate for Cleri. They are looking for longevity and commitment. It takes time to be successful, said Alves.

That said, however, models can continue with their normal work or school schedule. They attend auditions when they can and take jobs that suit their availability.

“Our models are in control of their own destiny,” said Alves. “They are not obligated to do a job because they are with our agency. We connect the model with the job. We are the liaison.”

There is no fee when models sign with Cleri Model Mgmt. When the model gets paid by the client, the agency is paid a commission.

“When we put our stamp of approval that we are going to work with somebody, our bookers have the responsibility to follow-up all the way through and make sure the model is being taken care of, developing as they should be, and  getting  jobs,” said Cleri.

Cleri has a long track record of successful model placements, but the ultimate decision is made by the advertising firm or the client.

“It really is a very exciting industry, and for me, it’s personally gratifying to see how excited a model gets when they get their first job,” said Alves.

To learn more about Cleri Models visit their website ( or call them at (732) 650-9630.

Cleri Models in Rift by Andrea Cremer book trailer.

Editor's note: Cleri Models is an advertiser with TAP into. To learn more about becoming an advertiser, please call (908)279-0303 or email