Archive for Ford +

Model Caroline Worsley Says, “The best thing you can do for yourself is to choose to live your life with people who you love.”

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Designers, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Funny Experiences, Inspiration, Models, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Sports, Trade Tips, Travel, Unique Beauty, Work, Your Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by Liz

What inspired you to get into the modeling industry?

After going through my teenage years in conservative Northern Virginia in the 90’s and trying to express myself some rather interesting outfits involving Laura Ashley and Doc Martin combinations, I knew that I was destined to work and live in a community that embraced diversity! That’s probably one of the reasons I ended up in NYC, and therefore working in fashion. The idea that I could work and travel, while meeting new people, really appealed to me.

How did you start your career? (We read that you first started as a “fit” model and then made the transition into “plus” modeling.)

I was studying International Relations at NYU and playing with my new city friends at the same time. After I graduated, I needed to work while I decided if I was going to pursue the law degree I always thought I wanted. Instead, thanks to a dear friend and stylist, I ended up in an episode of House of Style and in a music video. She also directed me to fit modeling, which I was paid for in clothes! I was hooked. I started plus modeling in Miami–it’s a pretty typical tale, I was at a party and I met a booker who told me I should try plus modeling, which I had never heard of before. I called him up, and ended up working with his agency immediately! The rest is history.

What are the differences between a straight, fit, and plus model?

Straight size models are your runway models, who have crazy proportions that allow the clothes to hang on them like hangers. Thin, tall, narrow hips. Fit models are a perfect size for runway–usually a 4; for catalogs, a 6-8, for plus, a 16-18. I was a 4 at the time–narrow, but, at 5’9″, not tall enough for runway. Plus models are now basically an 8 and up in NYC; in other markets, you need to be a “full” 12-14 (not 10-12) because in the American markets, you need to be able to fit in sample size 14, which is usually pinned to a fit model who is a size 18. It’s all crazy! Basically, the most important part of any of these divisions of modeling is that you need to be perfectly proportioned in order to wear the clothes well. A pin here, a clip there–it will work wonders, whether on a size 2 or 12. Oh, and the differences in the models? Well, plus models are the coolest, the most fun, and the best to work with, of course!

What advice would you give to aspiring models?

Do it! We live in an amazing, changing world where women and men of all sizes and ethnicities are showcased–it’s not just about one look anymore. But be realistic–no one loves the grunge look anymore. If you are going to visit a potential agency, it is absolutely imperative that you are pressed–that is, clean hair, clean face, clean look. You’re more likely to get noticed if you keep it simple. Remember, modeling is not acting–it’s your job to make the clothes look good, not to be the star of the show. Behind the scenes–stay professional but be charismatic! It’s a tough business and there is a lot of competition, so a client will remember the girl who is on time, looks well rested, and has a great laugh and smile. Networking is the single most important factor to focus on when you are working as a model–talk with other models about their agencies, communicate with the makeup artist, stylists, and production crew, and stay friendly! It will always benefit you to learn more about the business.

What do you love about your job?

I love the travel, but it can be a true challenge. That’s my most honest answer! I’ve been lucky enough to live and travel extensively through modeling. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to make friends around the world, and–more importantly–to be able to visit friends and family. If I worked a typical job with two weeks off a year, I would never be able to visit my friends and family as much as I have over the past 10 years of modeling. On the same note, I’ve been booked for a big job the same weekend as a friend’s wedding, and had to take the job. It’s totally Murphy’s law–as soon as you plan time off, or a vacation–you’ll get that job you’ve been waiting for! Since you essentially work for yourself, it’s very difficult to say “no” to any work, because it’s just as easy for the client to work with someone else, and you may not get the opportunity again. I also love the community of modeling–especially in the plus community, which started out much smaller than it is today. Now, there are genuine superstars, and plus girls are in mainstream magazines throughout the US, like V Magazine, Glamour, and Vogue. In Europe, plus girls have been working and recognized much more than they have here in the States. I say, it’s about time!

In terms of your career, what has been the best advice you have ever been given?

Stay out of the sun! It is not your friend. You may think it makes you look fresh and youthful, but the reality is, the sun sucks the beauty and moisture out of your skin and replaces it with spots and wrinkles. I’m a water girl–I grew up sailing and going to beaches. I LOVE the outdoors. But now, I wear a hat and SPF 100. My friends think I’m crazy! But you know what? I’ve noticed a big difference–so wear your sunscreen!

Photo taken by- http://www.jessicalavoiephotography.com

Out of all of the places your modeling career has taken you, where has been the most memorable?

Modeling made it possible for me to live seasonally, following the warm weather and sunshine. It also gave me the ability to work and live in the Netherlands, and when I went to live there for a summer a few years ago, I met my amazing husband! So now we live between the US and Europe.

Do you have any funny modeling stories you would like to share with us?

WOW. There are so many fun stories–honestly, it’s a great job, you get to meet so many people and typically you are all thrown together in a small room with clothes, makeup and hair, so you can get a little loopy after a while. Maybe when I had to do a wedding shoot and I looked like something Axl Rose threw out in the garbage? Rocker hair with extensions that didn’t match, and a wedding dress?!!? A makeup artist that wanted to SHAVE my eyebrows? That was a nutty day.

Please tell us about your blog, Miami Style Watch!

MiamiStyleWatch has been evolving since 2005! It’s about everything I love in Miami, and beyond. I’ve re-named it EverythingCaroline, because it’s really more about what I like, rather than just Miami. It’s a big world out there! I’m just moving my focus more to travel and writing, rather than simple blog entries–one of my best friends has been pushing me to write a book, so I think I’m going to use my blog as a test market.

Have you ever struggled from self-esteem or body image issues? If so, what advice would you give to young girls and women who are currently struggling?

I went to all girls’ school growing up, so I was lucky enough to be surrounded by other girls going through the same issues, but minus the boys. Sports were a requirement, as well, so between volleyball, soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, I pretty much ran off most of my issues. I dieted like everyone else, of course, but I have a wonderful mom who told me (and still tells me) that I am perfect just as I am. When you hear that enough, you actually start to believe it. I love food too much to ever deprive myself for too long. My advice to women who are struggling with issues would be to look around and make sure that they are surrounding themselves with positive influences and good people–the best thing you can do for yourself is to choose to live your life with people who you love. For girls, I have to say that the best thing is to look forward, and realize that your hormones and emotions are haywire because you are growing into your body! Many of the details that you don’t love about yourself will probably end up being your favorite parts once you get past your teens.

What do you wish you would have known in high school?

I wish that I wasn’t in such a rush to “grow up!” Our school was very competitive, and I was on a fast track to a top college, so I never stopped to breathe, take time, and think about what I really wanted. But then again, I was 17 when I graduated. Does anyone know anything then? Where you ever teased or bullied? Totally, completely, 100% bullied. I rode a bus to school for 6th and 7th grade and there were a bunch of boys that absolutely tortured me. I would sit at the back of the bus, or the middle, or the front, and they would yell things at me–really awful, hurtful things, and I would just take it. What could I do? I would just wait until we got to the girls’ school so I could get off the bus and start my day. Those same boys would prank call me later on, and then walk by my house. It was some sort of Neanderthal way to get my attention, I suppose. I never told anyone of authority about it because it made me sad and I was embarrassed. One of the boys that teased me grew up to be a rocker, performed in South Beach, invited me to his show, and dedicated a song to me. Really? But life goes on, it definitely made me stronger, and I’ve learned how to talk to my kids (when I have them) about dealing with bullies. And after that, please–you think dealing with a tough agent or client is difficult? I only need to put myself back on that bus and remember–in the grand scheme of life–it just doesn’t matter.

How do you define beauty?

Life is beauty!! Everyone is beautiful if they are good to others! I believe in energy, life, and love–how would it be possible for anyone to judge another. But modeling isn’t just about beauty–it’s about marketability. It’s nothing personal. One person’s definition of beauty is so very different from another’s–that is why it’s so important to have your own conviction, and to believe it yourself.

What makes you uniquely beautiful? (what do you love about yourself and why?)

I have a fierce determination to get what I want, and I will literally stop at nothing until I’ve succeeded. Not in a weird, psycho, stalker way–I just don’t understand the word “no!” What is a fun fact about you? I talk to my cats–a lot, and often. They are brother and sister, 14 years old, and I got them on a road trip from NYC to LA one year. I bring them everywhere with me–they’ve been on the road from NYC to Miami over a dozen times, they’ve flown across the country, and we all flew to the Netherlands last year to live for the summer. I had been on the trans-Atlantic flight so often, the airline attendants knew me–and they gave my cat his own seat!

You consider yourself a “healthy-nut”, what does being healthy mean to you?

Watch what you put in your body, and on your body. I rarely eat packaged foods–I’ve been a “pescetarian” (vegetarian, but I eat fish) since I was 14, so meat, pork, and poultry are not a part of my life. Believe it or not, this eliminates a lot of bad choices when you go to a restaurant. My favorite foods are fruits and vegetables. I don’t really eat dairy, and I’m also a believer in a raw diet, so I try to eat as fresh as possible. That said, I’m not at the farmer’s market at 6 am picking out the best tomatoes, but I do love my Trader Joe’s!

What would we find in your make-up bag?

My girlfriend just turned me on to L’oreal primer. It’s amazing. Other than that, eyelash curler, mascara, Nars blush (which I all too often use as eyeshadow, too). And lip gloss always. And, of course, sunscreen.

Do you have any quick make-up tips to share with us?

Wash your face, don’t forget the sunscreen, condition your hair, and wear mascara.

What is your signature scent?

It’s from a little French company and very hard to track down… a little secret.

What are you most proud of?

That I have maintained a close relationship with my family and friends for my entire life, and I can pick up the phone and call any one of them and know that we’ll have a great conversation.

Who is your role model or hero? Why?

I don’t have any particular role model, but I do admire strong women whether or not I believe in their politics, it’s the conviction that impresses me. In books, I always gravitate towards strong female leads.

What are some of your favorite books?

Wow, I read a lot, and it’s not all intellectual. I am a big escapism; I think it’s from being raised an only child. Right now, I’m reading the Game of Thrones series, but there is a long list of books that I often re-visit, as well. I love fantasies! I also happen to adore Jane Austin, especially my favorite, Pride and Prejudice.

Who do you have on speed dial?

About 10 people who I talk to on a regular basis, including my husband, my mother, my father, and my best friends.

What is your most treasured possession?

My brain.

What music is on at home?

Lush is one of our favorite online radio stations, mostly female vocals with an electro beat. I’m definitely into bluegrass, and I also love rock, but that’s more for driving, running, and biking!

Guilty pleasure?

100%, definitely, absolutely–shopping, reading English tabloids–the Daily Mail is my favorite, Page Six every morning, and Philip Galanes “Social Q’s” in the NY Times. Also, I always read about real estate, wherever I travel. The best kind of window shopping!

On a day off in Miami, what would your perfect day consist of?

Wow, that’s a difficult question–there are so many wonderful ways to spend a day in Miami! I recently had an amazing Friday there–we started with cafe con leche and empanadas at Charlotte Bakery (one of my Miami vices!), followed by lunch and an afternoon of swimming at the Soho Beach House, a quick stop at the Mondrian Pool, a pass-by Monty’s Happy Hour, and then dinner at Burger & Beer Joint. All on bicycle, of course!

Who is your style icon and why?

I can’t help but love watching Kate Moss. Also, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michelle Williams, Diane Kruger, and Diane Keaton. I absolutely adore Dolly Parton, though I don’t think her style suits me 🙂 Funny enough, I don’t dress like any of these women!

How would you describe your style and what is your go-to outfit?

Creative Caroline. I’ll wear almost anything, as long as I don’t think anyone else is wearing it. My go-to outfit is definitely a dress with a jean jacket and sunglasses. If it’s cold, then skinny jeans and boots with a huge scarf.

What is your go-to statement accessory?

Sunglasses, my wedding ring, and a smile!!!

Where do you love to shop for clothes?

Everywhere! Favorite pair of jeans? I’m totally digging a pair of Joe’s Jeans I just bought–distressed cargos with zippers and padding and fun things like that. They’re tight, but I’m not really into baggy clothes. When you have curves, you want to show them off, not hide them! I also have a great pair of William Rast for Target skinny jeans in a great wash that I’ve been rocking.

Are you an online shopper? What are your favorite sites to shop from?

eBay is pretty amazing, but sometimes I get “eBay goggles” and end up buying some weird stuff. That’s why I use eSnipe- you set a price and it bids for you. Sooooo key to preventing bad shopping decisions!

Do you have a favorite model? Why?

Maggie Rizer is gorgeous–I went to a Victor & Rolf exhibition in Antwerp that featured her in one of the rooms, and it totally changed my perspective on her. They did an entire show with only her–under layers and layers of clothing. It was spectacular. Tilda Swinton is from another planet and we should love her for that. I think Cindy Crawford is absolutely amazing, and epitomizes healthy living. I also think Kristy Hume is ethereal. My favorite plus model is Tara Lynn–she has an amazing figure and a face to match. And that new girl, Lindsay Wixson, has the most amazing lips ever!

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?

Still working, traveling with my family, and loving life!

What are you passionate about?

Family, friends, and living life to its fullest.

What is one of your most favorite childhood memories?

Sailing with my family, going to the beach, enjoying the outdoors. Playing with my little brother because he was the cutest baby ever!

What are you passionate about?

Family, friends, and living life to its fullest.

What are you excited about right now?

I’m looking forward to an amazing summer! Thank you for this interview!

*Thank you, Caroline!

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Australian Model Geo Burke Says, “The sooner you can appreciate and respect who you are the happier you will be.”

Posted in Australia, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Funny Experiences, Inspiration, Models, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Unique Beauty, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2011 by Liz

Geo Burke is a plus-size model from Australia who is signed with BELLA Model Management, FORD NY, Milk Models, Viviens Models, and Okay Models.

How did you start your career as a model?

At age six, I was asked to model as the flower girl at the Brisbane City Bridal fair for two years. I always remained interested in fashion and intended to become a hair dresser and would spend hours at Toginis hair salon–this lead to being taken to Sydney for the hair expo as a hair model for two consecutive expos. At this time, I entered Miss Australia Model competition and won the first heat. I then went on to Sydney and won Miss Teen Australia 2007. After success in several model competitions, I realised I didn’t want the competitions I just wanted to be a model.

What has surprised you most about the modeling industry?

That I can be comfortable being who I am and be successful in this industry.

In one word, how would you describe Bella Model Management?

PROFESSIONAL

Do you have any funny modeling stories you would like to share with us?

One modelling show, I was made up to represent something on lines of a gothic/emo creature. Then I went shopping and could not work out why I was getting the most horrid looks.

What do you wish you would have known in high school?

That school is such a small environment and we really start learning so much about life after we leave. Also, I think young girls around my age group certainly look at the dolled up, skinny, and rebellious looks rather than an elegant, rich, and romantic looks that a real woman should posses. Like I said before, skinny models and the media are causing a lot of trouble out there and it’s exactly what’s happening to our society in general. I think they girls need to look up to models who posses natural beauty, a beautiful smile, and elegance in their looks.

What kinds of pressures do you see the girls in your life facing these days?  What can we, as mentors, do to better address these issues?

False impressions from the media forming pressures on them to try to be someone they are not. Help them understand that everybody is unique and it’s important to be themselves with their family and friends.

Who taught you about real beauty?

I think it is in yourself–to find it yourself.

What do you love about yourself and why?

Probably the experience I have gained in being involved with horses since I was five years old. This has taught me patience, commitment, a level of competitiveness, structure, and at times, courage.

Where you ever teased as a child?

Yes. I was teased and bullied at school and it was a very difficult time in my life, but I learnt to deal with it and move on.

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem or body image issues? If so, what advice would you give to girls and women who are currently struggling?

Yes. I believe everybody struggles with body issues at some stage but everyone must realise there are some things about your image or body you can change or work on and there are others that you cannot. So the sooner you can appreciate and respect who you are the happier you will be.

How do you stay fit and healthy? 

I try to eat healthfully, do personal training sessions, and train and school my horse.

What does being healthy mean to you?

To me, healthy is feeling good about yourself, eating well, and knowing you are looking after your body.

What would we find in your refrigerator?

Fresh fruit, vegetables, and of course, chocolate.

How do you start your day?

I wake up at 6:30 am to feed and muck out stables.

Do you have a quick beauty tip to share with us?

Always put primer on your skin before you apply makeup.

In my make-up bag you would find…

Way too much–it won’t even zip up… But, you would find only Mac makeup.

Lip gloss or Lipstick?

Lipstick… by Mac called Vegas Volt

What is your go-to outfit?

At the moment, my black Bettina Liano Play suit… You can dress it up or dress it down!

Where do you love to shop for clothes?

I shop everywhere and buy anything that will compliment my curves.

What are you reading?

Hungry by Crystal Renn

Do you have a favourite picture of yourself?  Why?

My latest Cosmo shoot… As I think it brought it close to home for me that I actually am good enough to be in print in one of my favourite magazine that I actually read.

Fashion Obsessions…

Heels

Who is your role model or hero?  Why?

Gillian Rolton, the Olympic horse rider, as she showed true commitment to go on and win a medal when she had multiple broken bones.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?

On the front cover of Vogue, travelling the world, and having a big house with a white picket fence, a sporty husband, and a golden retriever.

What is Geo’s philosophy?

Helping people without being fake.

Can’t wait to…

Go overseas with modelling.

If I weren’t modeling…

I would be studying a Law Degree.

Celebrity Crush?

Ryan Reynolds

On a day off, what would your perfect day consist of?

Riding my horses and playing with my puppy dogs.

Biggest Splurge…

Horse Gear

What are you excited about right now?

That my modelling career is starting to kick off…

*Thank you, Geo!

Alison Hamata Says, “Be comfortable in your own skin, love what you have, and work it!”

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Designers, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Ford +, Inspiration, Models, New York, Unique Beauty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by Liz

Alison Hamata is a plus model from Canada who is signed with Liz Bell in Vancouver, Canada and Ford + in New York.

Tell us how you felt when you signed with Ford NY!

Signing with Ford was an awesome experience. I was definitely a little nervous, but so excited to start this new chapter in my life. When I first walked into their office, I was a little intimidated, but everyone there was so welcoming and enthusiastic so it was definitely a cool experience.

What has your experience been like so far… being a Ford + Model and living in NYC!!!

Being a Ford + Model has been a really great experience. Living in NYC and being a Ford Model has been really cool. I think it has matured me and made me a stronger and more confident person.

How do you define the term ‘plus’ model?  What is the reaction you get when you tell others you are a ‘plus’ model?

Well technically, it’s someone above size 6. But I define it as a healthy, beautiful, and confident girl. The reaction I get is always a positive one. Mainly the reaction I get is that they say we are such great role models, and that makes me proud.

What do your friends think of your modeling career?

I have the best friends; they are all incredibly supportive.

What did your parents say when you told them that you wanted to be a model?

I first got approached when I was 11; actually by Ford NY. Of course, my parents said no way because I was far too young. But later on when I was about 16, I was approached again by Liz Bell Agency, an Agency in Vancouver, and they were much more comfortable with the idea.

What are your goals for your future?

I would love to go to University get a degree as well as play volleyball on the University team, go to cooking school, travel the world, get really good at hockey, learn to play the drums, oh, and world domination.

In your spare time, what do you enjoy doing for fun?

I really love cooking. I watch the Food Network way too much for my own good. I also love playing any type of sports, especially volleyball, soccer, and field hockey. I read a lot and of course hanging out with my friends and boyfriend.

What would be your ideal date?

My ideal date would be doing something spontaneous like going on an adventure or doing something out of the ordinary. However, it should always end with lounging on the couch with popcorn and a movie. I think you can get to know someone best when you take them out of the everyday routine.

What 5 items are in your handbag that you couldn’t live without?

Gum, hand lotion, iPod, a novel, and lip balm.

What’s playing on your iPod?

The new Chromeo album, Miike Snow, The Strokes, The Black Keys, Counting Crows, Cut Copy… too much to name!

How do you stay fit and healthy?

I usually go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. My routine is 40 minutes cardio, 20 minutes strength, and 20 minutes core. As far as eating, I think you can have everything as long as it’s in moderation. I’m a vegetarian too, so I think that helps with being healthy.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as edgy but with feminine accents.

What is your go-to outfit?

Right now my go-to outfit would be my black skinny jeans, my dark grey suede combat boots, white and navy striped t-shirt, my military green style belted anorak, and because it’s freezing out, a scarf and slouchy pompom toque.

Favorite jeans…

I just bought a pair of black Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans from Anthropology and they are crazy soft!! I love them.

Style Icon…
I love Zooey Deschanel’s style. Her outfits always have classic cuts with a 1940’s girly style, but with a cool twist.

Signature Scent…

Mark Jacobs Daisy

How do you define beauty?

Well, my Mom always says “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”. And that’s so true. Beauty to me is not only what’s outside, but mainly what is on the inside. Outer beauty will fade with age, but what you are like as a person will always remain.

What is the best beauty advice you have ever been given?

Be comfortable in your own skin, love what you have, and work it!

Lipstick or Lip gloss?

Lip Gloss. My very favourite is Smith’s Rosebud Salve. It’s not sticky and it makes my lips so soft.

What makes you uniquely beautiful?

I think I am a genuine person, I try to always be kind and caring.

What is one of your fondest childhood memories?

Spaghetti Fridays with my family. Also learning to cook and bake with my Grandma Karen.

What do you miss most about your homeland, Canada?

I miss everything! The mountains, beaches, and all its beauty. My family, friends, and boyfriend of course. Oh, and poutine. Which I’m 98% sure you don’t know what that is. Let me tell you. Fries covered in gravy covered in cheese curds. Yes, genius.

What is a fun fact about you?

I’m obsessed with the TV show The Office. Jim is amazing. I will marry him one day.

What is your philosophy?

Do what makes you happy, treat others as you’d like to be treated, stay true to yourself no matter what, and no regrets.

Thank you, Alison!

The Women Behind Madison Plus

Posted in Designers, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Ford +, Hobbies, Lane Bryant, Media, Models, Music, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by Plus-Size Models Unite

Aimee Cheshire

MadisonPlus.com is the premiere fashion website for the modern plus size woman. Created by Aimee Cheshire and Erica Young, fashion professionals, who were frustrated with the lack of excitement and choice in the plus market. In 2008, Aimee and Erica, who are based in New York City, started brainstorming what is now MadisonPlus.com.

Kari Hansbarger, Aimee Cheshire, and Erica Young  photographed by Myung Choi

How did you and your business partner Erica meet and come together to form Madison Plus?

Erica and I were both students at LIM College in NYC. We would chat in class and that’s when I told her about my internship at Roaman’s, a plus-size catalog, and how much I enjoyed working there. I gave her a brief introduction to the world of plus and all the amazing untapped opportunities. She signed up for an internship soon after. Before we knew it, we were sitting next to each other in the office and working on the same sportswear team. We did not expect to be put on the same team together, and our working relationship grew from there. Very quickly, we were both promoted to managerial positions at a new brand within the company, but we started to grow tired of fighting the system in regards to the lack of cool and exciting plus clothing options. So, we decided to build it ourselves.

Where did the name Madison Plus come from?

Coming up with a name for a business can be a fun challenge. We had baby name books that we found ourselves browsing through to find the “name” for us to run with. We had temporary names that we would sit with for a period of time and practice saying it, to see if we would get sick of it. One day when Erica and I were doing research at the SIBL library on Madison Avenue, we had a light bulb moment and the Madison Plus name was born.

What is the most frequently asked questions you receive from your viewers?

Many women want to be plus models, and that is definitely the number one question that we receive. Unfortunately, not everyone can be a plus model. What I really interpret from the “plus model” question is that they actually want to be in some way involved with the development of the plus-size industry. There are so many ways to bring your view and your expertise to the plus industry and there is so much room to grow.

What has been one of the most unforgettable moments Madison Plus has experienced, one that you will never forget?

We have worked so hard to develop a brand that we can confidently stand behind and feel that fully represents what the plus industry was craving. There are two amazing moments that mean a lot to me and to MP. The first being when we teamed up with Ford+ Models to launch the “All Ashley” issue that broke just before the ‘boobgate’ controversy with Lane Bryant’s commercial, which featured the talented Ashley and allowed everyone to get to know her. Before we knew it, we saw “MadisonPlus.com” up on Entertainment Tonight. To see that type of recognition made all the work worthwhile and helped fuel the fire to continue with what we are doing, which was relaunching Madison Plus.

Before the holidays and after a year of building the brand Erica, Kari (our creative director), and I re-launched the new Madison Plus. We wanted to create a shopping website that was curated by us. We wanted to expand beyond our blog, bring the best of plus clothing to you wrapped up like your favorite fashion magazine. A day after we relaunched, I went to Mexico. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent on the beach, but what I enjoyed most was knowing that the new MP was live.

Plus-Size Models Unite is ultimately about inspiring others to love their own unique self. What do you love about yourself and why?

Perseverance! My whole life I knew that I would be involved in the plus industry, that there was no reason for it to lack the same attention that the straight size industry gets. Growing up plus size and having to experience the common situations that plus girls find themselves. Every summer for many years, I would go to weight loss camp in California and I remember sitting on the steps of the stage with the owner asking her if I could come back when I was older and put on a plus-size fashion show. I had this bug hit me at a young age and it stayed with me though all my experiences of growing up. It was my way of making the struggles worth it. This feeling of perseverance that I always had to push through, knowing that it may be pretty crappy now, but when I make it, it will be worth it. What an amazing reward it has been.

Your site covers everything from fashion to beauty tips to celebrity news–you name it! Please tell us what your favorite beauty products or must-haves are?

I have never been a huge product girl until recently. The flood gates were open when I discovered dry shampoo. Whenever I would read about people washing their hair every other day, I could never grasp how they could do that, well dry shampoo is the answer. I use Rene Futerer Naturia Dray Shampoo, when I use it my hair immediately becomes voluminous and holds whatever styling I need it to. The days I do wash my hair I add some Sam Brocato Beach Spray, and it gives me that texture I crave. I keep an easy routine of Cetaphil to wash my face, Nars moisturizer, and Nars skin brightening serum, which I am addicted to, it just brings my skin to life. Also, I cannot leave my apartment without a spritz of Bond no9 perfume called Nuit De Noho, it’s just part of my personality now. I may freshen it up a little for spring by layering on some Highline another fave from Bond.

I love when the girls stop by and talk about their favorite outfits!!  What are your go-to outfits?

We do too! It’s amazing how much inspiration you can find from the lovely ladies that stop by our office. Each season, I tend to switch up my trendy pieces but I do have some go-to pieces that are season-less. Right now, it is my bondage skirt from Topshop, black ponte sheath dress, and last but not least, my Paige denim skinny jeans.

What is your definition of beauty?

I like pure, non-fussy beauty. I want the real nose, the real boobs, and real bum, which allows for the real you to shine through.

What are you listening to right now?

Music is my escape, and I love being surrounded by amazing bands and live shows in Brooklyn. I try to see a show at least once a month. The bands that have been getting the most play on my ipod have been The Constellations, Gogol Bordello, The Black Keys, and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings.

Favorite books?

My lovely husband just bought me a Kindle and I have been reading nonstop since I opened it. When you own your own business, sometimes the only way you can relax and unplug is by keeping it occupied with books. If you were shopping my bookshelf I would insist on these books; The Girls, Rush Home Road, Chesapeake, Dominion, The Glass Castle, Cutting For Stone, and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Favorite places to shop online?

It is a very rare thing to see me actually shop in person. I have been shopping online since the beginning, originally it was due to my size. I was a size 20 and then when you layer on a 35″ inseam, and size 11 shoe your selection becomes limited. So quickly, I was trained to go online for my shopping. Right now, I am shopping The Outnet, Net-A-Porter, JCrew, and Anthropologie. When I go shopping in the city, I love to hit up Topshop and DVF.

What is a fun fact about you?

I am obsessed with card and board games. I am in the process of learning bridge with my husband and some friends. I figure by the time I’m in an old age home, I will be an expert. When my husband and I started dating we would play games for money, and I bought some kitschy piggy banks from Vegas, and whoever had the most amount of money in the end of the year won. I never won, my husband always took home the pot and the winnings were definitely not big enough for a trip back to Vegas.

Favorite restaurant?

I am truly spoiled with amazing restaurants living in NYC and being surrounded by so many delicious restaurants which have lead to a discerning palette.  I love it when you go for a meal and you leave with an experience. The best dining experience is at the Kabob Café in Queens. It seats no more than 12 people and the kitchen is right next to you while you eat. The amazing owner/chef Ali keeps you entertained for hours! When my evening out demands a little more “fancy” you can find me at Junoon, Marlow & Sons and Dresslers. To compliment, I enjoy pairing my meal with a nice cocktaiI or bottle of wine.

What are you excited about right now?

I am so excited for the year ahead, 2010 was so good to me and the MP team. So many personal and professional goals were accomplished. It really gives me so much momentum into this new year. Stay tuned…we have more exciting developments at Madison Plus.

Best,

Aimee Cheshire
Co-Founder & Co-Owner
www.MadisonPlus.com
Your Style Discovered
facebook.com/MadisonPlus
twitter.com/MadisonPlus

Video Link

http://www.vimeo.com/19135791

*Thank you, Aimee!

Abby Valdes Talks About Fashion, Motherhood, Beauty, New York Fashion Week, Modeling Tips, Not Feeling Perfect Enough, and The Best Advice She’s Ever Been Given!

Posted in Australia, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Designers, Fashion, Ford +, Inspiration, Models, New York, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, TV, Unique Beauty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by Liz

Abby on a shoot in Istanbul,Turkey for Faik Sönmez.

Abby Valdes is a plus model from Australia, who currently lives in New York City. She is signed with FORD NY and Bella Model Management. Abby has six sisters and one brother. She has lived many places throughout Australia. As a child, she spent her time with her “mum,” siblings, and cousins in mud baths, water holes, water fountains, and under a Chai Tent.

Ford + NY lured Abby to sign with them two years ago, which she says, “was an easy decision to make as I’m still a bit of a gypsy. I’d rather sit on the floor than sit on my couch!” She travels to Europe and Australia often for work. She most frequently travels to South Africa, Spain, Germany, and Australia.

She loves reading books on subjects such as esoteric philosophy, world religions, art, metaphysics, and critical mass; and she reads a million fashion magazines, which are piled up all over her apartment.

Abby is a single woman, which she says, “is not good because I want to have eight kids! So, I need to get a move on! Well, maybe six kids… or I could settle for four, but that’s the lowest!”

How did you get started in the plus modeling industry?

I guess how I got started is an age-old models tale. My best friend always said that I should model, but I was busy working in finance in Australia. One day, on a TV show called “Today Tonight”, she saw a competition for Bella Model Management. They were searching for ‘plus size’ models. She sent in a picture of me for the competition and was contacted by Bella Model Management soon after. She was told that I had made it to the televised finals in Sydney. This is when she told me the news! But I was convinced that my finance career was the way to go so I contacted Chelsea Bonner of Bella Model Management and told her that although I was very flattered that I had made it to the finals, I actually had a different career and couldn’t come to Sydney! Chelsea was so lovely that she offered me a contract on the spot! So, I decided to do some modeling on the side and see if I could make some extra cash. And that I did! So much so that after about six months or so, I had to make some decisions about which career I wanted to pursue because I couldn’t continue to do both as they were both very time consuming. I decided to move to Sydney to see where modeling could take me. It wasn’t long before I was traveling around the world for work and then finally moved to New York City! I’ll always be grateful to Chelsea for having the foresight and faith in me! 🙂

Who are some of the clients you have worked with?

In Oz (Australia) I did all the brands that we know and love like Berlie/Platex, Bonds, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Cleo, Womans Weekly, Maggie T, Sara, Freewoman, Mysize, David Jones, Myers, and I could I could go on…

In New York, I have amazing clients such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor, Bloomingdales, Marina Rinaldi, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. I have worked extensively throughout Europe, in particular London and Germany. I have just recently finished shooting in Berlin for Otto and in Istanbul, Turkey for a client called Faik Sonmez.

Australian Women’s Weekly Magazine.  Photographer David Gubert. Stylist Julie Russell.

What advice do you have for aspiring plus models?

I would tell any aspiring plus-size model that they have made a good choice! The plus-size industry is the best of both worlds! You are encouraged to be healthy, which means that you are allowed to eat, ladies! You must eat a balanced diet and not be too skinny! Thank the lord!

You should approach several agencies in your state. See what advice they have for you and try to follow their constructive ‘advice’. Do remember that ‘plus size’ models, in general, are required to fit the same modeling criteria as straight-size models but without the ‘skinny part’. You should be tall and attractive (not necessarily Claudia Schiffer beauty) and attractive girl next door works too!

Everyone starts out somewhere, so learn your craft. Study magazines and how models move. What expressions they show on their face and practice, practice, practice! Before you know it, you will be a pro!

How do you prepare for a shoot?

I make sure I get plenty of rest so that I look fresh and relaxed. I make sure my hair and nails are perfectly maintained, and that my skin is moisturized and hydrated with loads of water and vitamin C powder. Then I show up to the shoot with heaps of my usual morning energy that usually make everyone wonder what special little pills I’m on! Which are vitamins, honey!

Abby on a shoot in Istanbul,Turkey for Faik Sönmez.

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem or body image issues? If so, what advice do you have to girls and women currently struggling?

Gosh, all the time and every day! For me, I have always struggled with the idea that I was not perfect enough. And, although I love my curves, they meant I was always going to be considered a ‘big’ girl. When in reality, I grew up surrounded by women who had hips and shape that had taught me otherwise!

So every day, or on the days I am not feeling my true worth, I counsel myself. I tell myself what every mother should tell their child. That I am valuable and, that like all people in this world, I am acceptable and valid. I am beautiful because I am woman. No matter what society tries to trick you into believing, my body is healthy, sexy, and womanly! And I will not change it for anyone else’s preferences.

What has been the best advice you have been given?

Well, I advise myself to always follow my own heart no matter what. You are bound to make mistakes, but when you follow your own heart, you learn what you need to know!

Australian Women’s Weekly Magazine.  Photographer David Gubert. Stylist Julie Russell.

How would you describe New York City.

Is nothing like Oz! New York City is a melting pot of some of the most creative and inspiring people I have met. NYC is a buzz with chaotic energy, which is what I love. There are a million amazing people and things to do, and the people are all from somewhere else, but living in New York!

How do you define beauty?

I define beauty as a feeling! Do you feel beautiful? You should! We ALL have beautiful qualities both spiritually and physically. If someone else fails to recognize this, then they are shortsighted and victims of a fast becoming archaic society of one standard of beauty!

What are some of your favorite beauty products or must-haves?

Hmmm…Well typically, I try not to be a big product kind of girl. However, I do have a cupboard filled with all sorts of products that I never use! But my must haves are: Strawberry Chap stick that I massage onto my lips for a plumping effect, Dove Essential Nutrients Protective Tinted Moisturizer for the face in a honey tint for both protection from the sun and a refreshing natural moisturizer, Maybelline New York Define-a-Brow eyebrow pencil to fill in my gaps, and also Maybelline Volume Express to pump up my eye lashes. I love my mascara! Other than that, I use Frederic Fekkai Ageless Creme Luxe Hair Treatment to help my hair recover from all of the hot tools used to torture it daily.

Marina Rinaldi Campaign

Where do you love to shop for clothes?

I love ‘Opp Shopping’ and I can’t seem to pass one by without popping in quickly! ‘Opp shopping’ is what Australians call a ‘Thrift Shop’. It stands for ‘Opportunity;’ someone else’s trash is another person’s opportunity… Something like that. I just went to the Garage with a friend and found two of the most amazing 1930’s dresses! I can’t wait to find somewhere to wear them!  At the moment, I am obsessed with lace. I buy vintage and new lace tops and wear my strapless black bra underneath! Love it! That’s what you’ll see me wearing every other day right now, with my dark grey fedora from Sydney. 🙂

But, I also love me some online shopping at the moment as it is easy to do from anywhere in the world.  I shop online at www.style.com, www.planetblue.com, www.freepeople.com, and www.singer.com. I also love a new and awesome Australian store that opened recently in Darlinghurst called ‘Desordre’ –they have the hottest new trends! I also love House of Harlow for vintage inspired accessories and clothes.

Who are your favorite clothing designers?

Ooohhh, if I had an unlimited budget I would cover myself in Balmain and Balenciaga boots! I also Herve Leger dresses when you want to show off your ample curves! In Oz, I love Sass & Bide. Romance Was Born is making some cool stuff. I like Paul & Joe. I also like Karen Walker for her mix of streamline and eclectic fashion.

What is your go-to outfit?

My go-to outfit is a pair of skinny grey jeans, t-shirt, and a Bolero.

Australian Women’s Weekly Magazine.  Photographer David Gubert. Stylist Julie Russell.

What do you like to do in your down time?

In my down time, I am either reading about Quantum Physics (yes, really!), The Power of the Subconscious Mind, or something obscure. I also LOVE markets, especially flea markets, and I like hanging with my mates.

What do you love most about motherhood?

I love everything about motherhood! Even when it’s tough and heart breaking. I couldn’t imagine anything known to man who is more rewarding and magical that growing a human being inside of you! We are amazing beings! Plus, the kisses and cuddles are the best – when you can get them!

Abby on a shoot in Istanbul,Turkey for Faik Sönmez.

The OneStopPlus.Com Fashion Show  was the first plus-size show held during New York Fashion Week. Please tell us about it.

OneStopPlus.com Fashion Show was awesome! There were eighteen of us plus-size girls and it was held in the Lincoln Centre, smack bang in the middle of Fashion Week. We didn’t realize what a big deal it would be but, it turns out that it was news worldwide! About bloody time!

I’m happy to say, I made it into the New York Post (see below)! The energy was so amazing, and you could just feel how excited everyone was to see the show! It was a fun show and well received. Let’s hope this is just one of many more to come! In truth, I would love to see all the fashion shows have a couple of plus-size models in each and every show and not even making a big deal out of it because its ‘normal’ and not a big production based on a ‘new trend’ or about being ‘diverse,’ but rather because they are showing that they represent all women! That would be awesome!

Picture from New York Post. Abby (in middle) during New York Fashion Week at the OneStopPlus.com’s Fashion Show.

Of all of the places your modeling has taken you, which is your favorite destination thus far?

It has to be all the islands of the coast of Italy and France! That’s the life! I dream of island living! Sun, good food, water, friends, and family are my idea of heaven.

What are you excited about right now?

I’m excited about life! You never know what is waiting for you around the corner. I love to be surprised! But, specifically I am looking forward to starting my own business and hopefully finding love! 🙂

*Thank you, Abby!

Kate Dillon has Brains, Beauty, and is an Advocate For Environmental & Humanitarian Causes Such As The Komera Project

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Designers, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Media, Models, New York, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Travel, Unique Beauty, Work, Your Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2010 by Liz

Kate Dillon is known in the fashion industry as a groundbreaker and a passionate advocate for environmental and humanitarian causes. For 19 years, she has leveraged her career in fashion to campaign for positive body image in the media, eating disorders awareness, and global poverty reduction. Her work has been widely featured in the media, including on Anderson Cooper 360, Good Morning America, and the PBS NOVA series as well as in Vogue, Glamour, and People. In order to be a more effective advocate, Kate completed a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2009 where she won two academic awards. Now back in the fashion industry full-time, Kate continues to model while serving as vice-president of the Komera Project, a fund that provides scholarships for secondary education to girls in Rwanda.

Who are you signed on with and who are some of your clients?

I signed with Ford about two months ago after fourteen years with Wilhelmina, and my major clients are: Marina Rinaldi, The Avenue, JC Penneys, Kohl’s, Talbots, Bloomingdales.com, and Macys.com

Please tell us how you got started in the modeling business and about your transition from “straight” modeling to “plus-size” modeling. Was that a difficult transition for you to make?

I started modeling when I was seventeen years old. I was at my usual hangout, a coffee shop in San Diego where I grew up, when I met a photographer who got me into modeling. I was not especially into fashion, and I certainly did NOT think of myself as model material, but it seemed like a great opportunity. I started working out of LA until I finished high school, and I loved having this double life – nerdy high school chick most of the time, burgeoning fashion model in LA once a week or so… The trouble was I could not stay super skinny. I moved to NYC and Paris when I graduated high school and I loved the travel and the people I met in the fashion business, but the pressure to be thin was killing me – MOREOVER I hated that I was perpetuating this illusion, this super-thin ideal. Here I was starving myself to be thin and then foisting this image on women – this was NOT the impact I wanted to have on the world. So, I quit modeling and was pretty much clueless about what to do for about two years. I gained about 40 pounds (about a size 10) as soon as I quit and started doing some soul-searching. Then a friend mentioned plus-size modeling. I  had worked alongside Christine Alt and Emme as a skinny model, and I remembered thinking they were so cool and brave –  I actually thought, “I would never have the guts to be that big”… Well, I found the guts and the transition to plus was super easy because I was so sure of myself. I knew that being beautiful, fashionable, and successful had NOTHING to do with size, and I loved kind of challenging the fashion world to recognize that. I have always been a bit of a rebel. =) The only real challenge was in the beginning – and this happens to a lot of plus models, I think – at first I started to feel guilty if I worked out or ate a salad so I gained A LOT of weight in my first year as a plus-size model. Some people really remember me at that size – like a 14 – but it wasn’t sustainable for me… Eventually I realized exercise and healthy eating is just fine and returned to my “natural” size…

Was there a specific event or sequence of events that led to your decision to stop modeling for the “straight” modeling industry?

I did a lot of shows and editorial, but I was always told to lose like 5-20 pounds (at 120 I have no clue how to do that!).  Before one show season, I got a bad intestinal virus that lasted about ten days – use your imagination. =) Well, needless to say, I lost a lot of weight, and when I turned up at the shows Paris all these editors were like “you look amaaaaaaaaazing” and I remember thinking, “Wow, THAT’S what it takes to be beautiful around here? Yuck.” That was pretty much the beginning of the end…

Would you define what the term “plus” means in the modeling industry? (We get this question all the time from our readers who are not in the industry. It would be wonderful for someone like you [so well-known, established, intelligent, and admired] to answer that question.)

Well, thank you for the compliments!!!!  I get this a lot, too. In the industry “plus size” means size 14W and up. A “plus size” model models those clothes for the catalogs and advertisements of those who produce those sizes. Occasionally – like my work for Talbots and Gucci – a brand that does not cater to “plus sizes” will hire a plus size model. Plus-size models come in many shapes and sizes – it’s pretty cool, actually. Some clients like bigger girls and some like smaller girls. Some mix it up. There is a lot of diversity…

You have been open regarding your struggles with body image issues. How did your struggles affect your self-esteem? How did you reach the point of accepting and loving your body as it is?

I accepted my body, as is, when I was twenty-one years old. I was walking down the beach feeling so self-conscious about my “big” arms and my thigh cellulite. Suddenly, I realized that it was very likely that every woman on the beach was ruining this gorgeous day at the beach – just as I was – obsessing over her imperfections. I decided to get over it – that it was more important to be happy, grateful for life’s mystery, and as smart as possible. It really was like a switch flipped in my brain. And I never looked back. Since then, I have had a pretty healthy self-esteem body-wise. However, that’s largely because my sense of self-worth is actually NOT tied to my appearance. I love to be pretty and sexy, but I am more concerned about making a contribution to the world and being a kind person – these are the things I struggle to achieve these days – I am working on it! But, my self-esteem lags when I’ve been judgmental or bitchy or when I am not doing enough… When I was in graduate school I was so overwhelmed by all the talented people around me – my self-esteem really took a beating! But I think it’s normal – and healthy – to have periods of high and low self-esteem.

What advice would you give to young girls or women who are struggling with self-esteem, confidence, or body image?

Well, in our society it is certainly understandable for a woman to have body-image/confidence issues. My advice is to cut yourself some slack, acknowledge you have issues, and then decide to focus on something more meaningful. Decide to get an A on your next test, volunteer at an animal shelter or a retirement home, something… Think about what you love and care about and devote yourself to that – the act of following your dreams and/or being altruistic will boost your confidence. And always always always treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend.

Have you read any good books that help promote positive self-esteem and healthy body image that you would recommend for girls, pre-teens, teens, or women?

The poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou has been in the back of my mind since I was twenty-one years old (fifteen years).

How would you describe your current approach to potential clients and your modeling career?

Grateful, professional, and I try to give them something exciting – I try never to go on autopilot. I learned that from Crystal Renn, actually. She gives it up like its Italian Vogue every time.

Do you feel that furthering your education and earning a degree in International Development at Harvard helped build your confidence or changed your perception of yourself or life?

Emotionally, Harvard was really difficult for me. As I mentioned above I was very intimidated by my classmates (even though they are the sweetest, most compassionate, most supportive group of people on the planet, and truly amazing human beings), and the coursework was extremely challenging. I lost about ten pounds during graduate school because I was so stressed! But it was probably the first time in my life I had to struggle and it was sooooooo good for me ultimately. I was deeply humbled. Studying International Development, I expected my perception of the world to change, but it really didn’t. However, my perception of myself changed dramatically. I am still trying to figure out what to do with my degree. I have been thinking a lot about the impact of the fashion industry on the development issues I care about most: the environment and empowerment strategies for women and girls. This April, I designed and moderated a panel on fashion and sustainable economic development at the Harvard International Development Conference. It’s a work in progress. =)

We know that you are an environmental activist. With that in mind, we would like to know where you like to shop for clothes and who your favorite designers are?

Excellent question! I am pretty militant about the clothes I buy these days – I go for environmentally sustainable fabrics like bamboo and hemp and stick to organic cotton. In New York, I shop at Kaight and Barneys where I can find Loomstate, John Patrick Organic (my absolute fave), Josh Podoll, Samantha Pleet, and Camilla Norrback. The mainstream exception I make is the Gap, Inc. They are great company that is truly committed to improving the lives of the workers who produce their clothes, and I expect they will announce an organic line any day now… Redcats, who own the Avenue, are also a great company – they sponsor eco-fashion week in Paris and have a strong environmental policy…

What are your favorite beauty must haves?

I use Suki everything for skin care. Suki pure facial moisturizer and the foaming exfoliating cleanser rock my world. For make-up, I love Korres concealer and lipsticks. Both brands are environmentally conscious. Suki is all organic and fair trade.

Do you have a favorite workout routine?

Hahaha. Well since I got pregnant, I don’t do much anymore! I used to run 3-6 miles three times a week and did vinyasa yoga about twice a week. These days I do a 30-minute elliptical workout or a swim a few days a week and go to prenatal yoga once a week. In my non-pregnant state, I love to do races – triathlons and runs so I am usually training for something. But I avoid gyms. I like to exercise outside – even in the cold! I ran a 15K last December in 25-degree weather – my crowning athletic achievement. 🙂

What does being healthy mean to you?

Being able to be physically active, being reasonably flexible, and laughing every day.

Out of all the places your modeling has taken you – where is the most memorable?

Morocco

Who do you consider a hero or role model?

Role models: My mom and dad. Hero: Girls all over the world who struggle – against unimaginable odds – to be educated and empowered.

Please tell us about the Komera project.

The Komera Project provides scholarships to girls in Rwanda who have the ability and desire to attend secondary school, but who lack the financial resources to do so. I co-founded this initiative with my friend, Margaret Butler – a former professional runner, who lived in Rwinkwavu, Rwanda for a year. I became interested in educating girls in Africa in 2007 when I visited a school in Zimbabwe – it was freezing and I was wearing about a thousand bucks worth of Patagonia’s finest fleece, and most of the students didn’t even have shoes. They wore torn cotton sweaters and shorts and skirts with no tights. The teacher had to lead them in a song and dance in between lessons to keep themselves warm. Then I found out that many of them walked one to three miles just to get to school every day, and that because there was no secondary school in the village most would not attend high school. It was so awe-inspiring to see how hard these kids worked in formidable circumstances. They knew education was the only chance in the world they had. Komera has a website with more in-depth descriptions of our mission and programs as well as some data about educating girls. www.komeraproject.org

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Running for public office. Teaching high school. Modeling. Who knows!

What are you excited about right now?

My baby boy due December 14. =)

*Thank you and congratulations, Kate!

**To learn more about the Komera Project or help Kate’s cause please visit www.komeraproject.org.

***’W Curve,’ the division for full-figured models at Wilhelmina, have formed Curves for Change (C4C)- a platform to collectively pursue charitable activities. They will be a hosting a fundraising event which will be a 5k run/walk this fall in NYC (date to be announced). Proceeds will go to the Komera Project and Healthy Girls Hardy Women. Here is the Curves for Change link if you want to find out more about the upcoming fundraiser. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/curvesforchange?ref=ts

Catherine Mimbimi Shares Her Daily Beauty Routine, Favorite Scent, and Biggest Beauty Disaster

Posted in Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Confidence, Inspiration, Models, Plus-Size Modeling, Trade Tips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Becca Thorpe

Catherine Mimbimi is a plus model, mother of a ten-year-old daughter, wife, and a college graduate. She was born in Cameroon, West Africa and currently lives in Michigan. She loves cooking, traveling, and spending time with her girlfriends. Catherine is signed with Click NY and Ford Chicago. She has worked for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Kohl’s, JC Penney, K-Mart, Meijer, Just My Size, Macy’s, Monroe & Main, Figure Magazine, and Liz Claiborne to name a few.

Please describe your daily beauty routine.

My daily beauty routine is Neutrogena Skin ID- morning and night. I use a cleanser, toner, and lotion. At night, I do the same routine. I just add Renovage eye cream. I also use the Clairsonic skin care brush. I wear sunscreen EVERY day, even in the winter – Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 15. I actually avoid the sun a lot; I wear lots of hats.

What is your favorite fragrance?

My favorite fragrances are by Jo Malone. Lime Basil Mandarin is such a great summer scent and Blue Agave and Cocao is my signature fall/winter go to.

What is your biggest beauty disaster?

My biggest beauty disaster was probably trying to pop my own pimples when I was younger. I scarred my face. Now I rely on an esthetician or my dermatologist! The best beauty advice I ever received was to keep my skin hydrated; oily/hydrated skin doesn’t wrinkle as quickly. That is why I drink at least a gallon of water every day, and I’m always wearing moisturizer. I also get chemical peels whenever I can. I think they do wonders for the skin and they cleared up any scarring or hyper-pigmentation from acne that I had. I don’t think that products need to be expensive in order to be effective!

*What is your favorite fragrance? What is your daily beauty routine? What is your biggest beauty disaster?