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EVOLVE Josie Gibson MIA AMBER DAVIS Eastenders Tameka Empson




October 2011


ow time flys!! October has arrived and I can’t believe how fast this year is moving!! Even more exciting is the fact that this is the 4th Issue of Evolve Magazine!! How quickly my baby is growing…. For all those wondering where we have been, Evolve took a slight break over the summer to make a few changes but now we are BACK!! Bigger and stronger than ever! This issue focuses on positivity and uplifting issues and great interviews like speaking to Eastenders Tameka Foster on what makes her proud and our cover girl the beautiful Kai Morae the 1st plus size model to be the FACE of Apple Bottom Clothing as our cover model! Check out the cover story as she tells us about her rise in plus size modelling. Ayanda & Zandela from ITV’s The Biggest Loser show and previously Evolve Cover models, have joined the our writing team!! Check out their new health & fitness column, showing us that we CAN be curvy & fit. Autumn is definately here and we show you how to do it with style in our fashion pages. But on a sadder note we pay tribute to Miss Mia Amber – plus size model/Icon that we sadly lost recently. Please check out her page and read up why she was such an inspiration to so many people in the industry including me!!! Along with all the relevant news for our industry we hope you enjoy this plus much much more in this month of Evolve Magazine. See you for our BUMPER fashion Xmas Edition – out December We welcome your comments and suggestions please email Thank you for all your continued support – I really do appreciate it Be Proud… Be You Rianne Ward Big hugs and kisses xx

3 Readers Style 4 Fashion News 6 Mia Amber - Remembered

12 15 16 34 42

22 24 26 28 32

Interview with Josie Gibson Where are all the Curves Friends with benefits COVER STORY: Kia Morae The Forgotten Girls


Style Guide Stylist Spotlight : Carloine Bilkey Fashion Fiction - 6 page spread Evolve Essentials Interview with Dianne Fowler chief buyer for Curvissa

36 Jill Scot 38 Lush - A new senstation


35 Twin Talk 40 Interview with Tameka Foster 41 Phenomenal Lifestyle

10 Model spotlight: Olivia Campbell


Eastenders Tameka Foster


Editor in Chief Rianne Ward Art Direction & Design Sylwia Szyszka Contributing Writers Nefferth Bernadina Zowie Edwards Ayanda Soares Olga Crosse Zandela Soares Natalie Beeley Zena Tuitt Ruby Binns Cagney Caroline Bilkey Rianne Ward Photographers Michelle Alexandra


Jos Gibsoie n



Website Salman Muhammed


We asked the Evolve readers to send in pictures of them looking fab and showing us how they are Proud to be Them!!!

readers Style Lashonda Tayl or

I am sooooo excit ed to have come upon Evolve Magazine!! I love being curvy, and am elated that there is a m agazine that cate rs to OUR BEAUTY!!! Than ks again for bring limelight to beau ing the ty, with curves!!! Hope you like the pics!!! Photo Information : Dress: Lucky Bran d Jeans (Khaki, Orange, & White Tie Dye) Shoes: Nine Wes t (Style: Nwadalaina, in Na tural) Belt: Lane Bryant (Cognac) Headband: Fore ver 21 (Gold) Location: In Las Vegas at Bellagio

owell Emma H the ears old, I am 32 y g n weari outfit I am Up Girl in P is from is I adore th Clothing. me s e k a m it dress as . ion dollars feel a mill

Jessie JessieMae Mae Im Imnot notsure sureififthis thisisismy mybest bestoutfits outfitsbut butI I thinkit’s it’spretty prettynice!! nice!!Hope Hopeyou youlike!! like!! think Cherries Cherriesdress dress- -‘Collectif’ ‘Collectif’. .




Have you heard about Simply Be new store opening?? They have recently opened up their very first high street store in Liverpool. Curvy Lisa Riley was there to cut the ribbon! We are soo pleased for them we can not wait for the London stores to open……

Are leggings making us fat?

Love them or loathe them, there are many many things you can say about leggings but are they really making us FAT? In a recent Daily Mail article physiotherapist Sammy Margo said “They hold in and support the quadriceps (thigh muscles), buttocks and core muscles in your tummy, and do the job the muscles are supposed to do. As a result the muscles are allowed to relax and switch off ... so they are not as svelte or firm as they otherwise would be,” I don’t know about you but my first thought was ‘How tight are these leggings Margo is wearing?’ My leggings certainly don’t constrict my muscles. If the concept of leggings is making us fat then surely the same applies to tights, stockings; come to think of it, any tight fitting garment! Leggings are comfortable, convenient and when styled correctly, a fashion staple. I can’t see myself parting with mine anytime soon, how about you? Tell us your Like this


Gok Wan Storms Parliament

Recently Gok Wan and a team of Body Confidence Experts, including Body Gossip’s Ruth Rogers and Evolve’s very own Natasha Devon, taught the largest ever body confidence lesson to a class of more than 120 pupils from throughout the UK. Gok and his team then stormed parliament and presented a speech to a group of MPs, asking for schools throughout the country to dedicate one hour per year to body confidence lessons. Natasha says: “young people may have all the academic qualifications in the World, but they can never truly be successful and happy unless they are comfortable in their own skins. That is why Body Gossip wholeheartedly endorses Gok’s campaign and we were very honored to have been asked to take part”. Highlights from the day will be shown in Gok’s forthcoming documentary ‘Gok’s Teens’, which will be aired on Channel 4. For more info go to

Simply – Lingerie

Simply Be and Simply Yours have got together with Gossard to bring you a truly great giveaway. There giving you the chance to win a year’s supply of lingerie – that’s 12 gorgeous bra and knicker sets! To enter, you need to send a pic of yourself showing a little peek of your bra straps (fully clothed) Be as imaginative as possible in terms of location – time to get creative! Send your photos to along with your name and whether you’re a Simply Be or a Simply Yours customer.


We at Evolve HQ we are loving OneStopPlus new A/W lookbook. They are right on trend with their stylish prints and toasty tones as well as some fantastic fashionable layers – to keep you warm this season. Check out Evolve Essentials for more info. For more info go to


FEATURES Remembering

Legend, icon, and friend by Ruby Binns Cagney


was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Mia Amber’s death on 10 May, aged 36, following complications from knee surgery. She has finally been laid to rest in the company of her family and close friends. A leading plus-size model she was the voice of plus-size and curvy women, and was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. She was incredibly humble and almost unaware of the positive influence she had on her audience. An influence so tremendous that Evolve magazine’s CEO Rianne Ward was motivated to create the magazine to contribute to Mia Amber’s legacy of elevating the self-esteem of proud plus-size and curvy women, and to also advise them to be plus-size and healthy. Mia Amber Davis was an incredible woman. She had qualities plus-size women aspire to have. She had integrity, grace, drive and determination and was proud of her size, contagiously happy, encouraged others to be their best confident selves at Fuller Woman Expos and modelling workshops, and


confidently made a real difference to the lives of plus-size and curvy women, empowering them through her life as a plus-size model. After Mia Amber began to make a stand for plus-size and curvy women a real difference could be seen on some catwalks and later in print, like outsize supermodel Kate Dillon’s spread in American Vogue, and Jean Paul Gautier’s inclusion of plus size model Crystal Renn in a fashion week runway show which is an amazing achievement for Mia Amber. She was intelligent, courageous, and multi-talented, becoming the face of Jill Scott’s “Butterfly Bra,” and Ashley Stewart’s Plus Size clothing line before a first foray into movie acting, landing the cameo role of “Rhonda,” in “Road Trip” in 2000 (Dream Works SKG) playing opposite actor DJ Squalls which spawned her a new legion of adoring fans. In 2009 Mia Amber took her compelling views about obesity in America to CNN, stating how she was proud of her size. Such was her passion and determination to give

plus-size and curvy women a voice. On hearing of her passing, Plus Model magazine editorin-chief Madeline Jones, said “her love for the women she represented kept pushing her when the industry itself did not embrace her.” Such was Mia Amber’s selflessness and generosity of spirit. Mia Amber first came to notice as a producer on television shows such as “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Change of Heart” and “Divorce Court.” Later, she made appearances on shows such as BET’s “Rip the Runway”, “Kimora’ s Life in the Fab Lane” “The View”, “The Tyra Banks show” and the now cancelled “The Janice Dickinson Modelling Agency,” where Dickinson controversially exclaimed that “high fashion is size zero” and Mia Amber bravely stood up to her. Her legacy serves to remind us all that as beautiful plus-size, curvy women we should strive to be all we can be, and inspire others to do the same. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her, knew of her and admired her from afar and her legacy will continue to be a focus here at Evolve Magazine for a long time to come. Donations can be made at her memorial fund site which has been created by her family. Quotes from industry people to be placed are the copy. “Sizeism is the last acceptable prejudice, plus- size women are targets but are also invisible everywhere else. The media doesn’t showcase overweight women; overweight women are not seen in Hollywood.” Mia Amber Davis 2009 “I’ve been sobbing continuously since hearing the news of her death. Mia Amber was a kind, gentle, sweet girl and had a heart of gold…She has touched the hearts of everyone.” Janice Dickinson “I’m so sad. She will always be a meaningful person in my life path. RIP.” DJ Squalls – “Kyle Edwards” - (Road Trip – Dreamworks -2000). Mia remained steadfast in her career, knowing that she was not just doing it for her own benefit, but for women of all ages. Mia was about lifting up people and connecting them with others to help them on their journey, and never asking for anything in return.” Madeline Jones – Editor in Chief, Plus Model Magazine “I first met Mia in Feb when we both did BET’s Rip The Runway fashion show; she instantly took me under her wing as big sister would and she was just so sweet and nice. I made sure I stayed in contact and her passing came way to soon. My heart goes out to her husband and family and she will always be someone I remember and respect! RIP Mia Amber Davis.” Kai Morae



Olivia Campbell Interview with

by Olga Crosse


n the 17 November, London will see its 1st couture fashion show for plus size women called ‘Curves in Couture’ created by Models of Diversity and sponsored and supported by the British Fashion Council and your very own Evolve Magazine this will be held at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill. We are very pleased to sit down with 1 of the amazing models that will be walking the catwalk at this groundbreaking event, young aspiring plus size model Olivia Campbell. We chatted like old pals for ages and both of us struggled to get a word in edgeways which was great. A London girl, Olivia has had her fair share of struggles and issues with her weight and was mercilessly bullied in school so much so she had to leave it at 15, but you know what through sheer grit and determination she is all set to prove those bullies wrong and good on her. How and when did you first break into modelling? I started dabbling a few years ago when I was asked to do the first Curvety shoot and I loved it, however I was uneasy about my size and didn’t feel as confident as I do now so just briefly dabbled in it. I’m a size 18 now but I have been every size since I was 15 when I peaked at a size 28. How do you find the modelling industry as a career? I really really love it, plus size is such a niche part of the industry that I find everyone very supportive and lovely. How did you get signed to do this show for Models for Diversity? I attended an open casting call about 3 months ago after chatting to my Mum about setting some goals which was to really give modelling a chance, I sent some pictures


and a message to Angel Sinclair and its been non stop ever since. I love working with people and on things that match my values. Could you describe the attitudes you have come across to plus size modelling? Very positive especially from men, I get chatted up all the time by them out of all my friends I am the biggest but the one with the most confidence. I generally get asked ‘what is a plus size model’?. Describe your style influences? I don’t really have a style influence as such, some days I am eclectic, others extreme playboy bunny, then 50’S housewife. I like anyone who wears clothes with gumption. Who are your fashion influences? I like sirens and old style Marilyn and Audrey, Beyonce and Courtney Love are my current influences. What would be your dream campaign? Vogue – I want to be able to cross boundaries. I can’t see why ‘normal’ and ‘plus size’ have to be separate. Kate Moss introduced the skinny look and it changed the industry. I cannot see why it can’t happen for plus size. Plus size shouldn’t be niche. I would also love to do a beauty campaign like Clinque and Estee Lauder which are my favourites. I like Mac, Gosh but nothing beats a good mascara, eyeliner and blusher. What are your views on size zero models? If that’s your natural size then good on you, however no-one should starve themselves. I personally like being a

What advice would you give a young girl starting in modelling? I’ve been there, I’ve been a size 26 – 28 I’ve been bullied for my size, I stopped going to school at 15 because it was so bad. I would advise anyone to forget about these people and just go for it. When I finally got the thought that I don’t care about those people my life changed for the better. I feel confident now. Its only at school that these bullies peak, that is their finest hour. Its not about losing weight its about finding happiness within and find a happy weight. I would advise youngsters to try and find a person to aspire to my inspiration is Tara Lynn who is plus size and glorious. I’ve interviewed Robyn Lawley who is also great.

bigger girl, I love the fuller figured MTV girls, I love food and I am meant to be a 16+. Have you encountered any negatives within the modelling industry? No, but I am waiting for it after the shows. All of us models are expecting it actually and we are fully prepared to brush it off. Some of the comments will of course be a shock and I have to accept that some people won’t find me attractive and will say so. What are your long term goals and ambitions? I’m not signed yet but fingers crossed I will. I’ll start with conquering Britain break some boundaries and then move onto France (very plus size friendly), Australia and NYC. I have family in Australia (Tasmania) and a lot of the models I work with are Australian and its very accepting of plus size which is great. I am hoping this show will change things.

What advice would you give a young person who was sitting at home worried about their weight and looks? Just try to follow your dreams. I was scouted at 16 but my weight held me back, I never followed up on that opportunity. I was bullied badly and was nicknamed Oblivion and Buffalo, if I could change that I would and who knows what that would have lead to. I allowed the bullies to get to me and I shouldn’t have but they peaked at school and they haven’t won in the end have they? I exercise and am healthy, I have no qualms about wearing lycra or a unitard. Just focus on you. If I can help one person to get on and over this, then I will have achieved something. So there you have Olivia Campbell, a sparky, opinionated, full of life and beautiful girl who is daring to follow her dream in an industry that can be an unforgiving as those idiots who made her life hell. She deserves to shine and do well and I can’t help rooting for her and all those others out there who are going through similar experiences. If anyone espouses Evolve’s values it is Olivia. Evolve, Be Proud, Be You!



Style Guide by Caroline Bilkey

GIRLS NIGHT OUT For the summer BBQ season embrace colour! Mix, match and even clash them. Just about anything goes at the moment with colour and print. Both a maxi dress and jumpsuit will make any body shape appear taller, and therefore slimmer. Put a slim belt around your waist to draw attention and give the waist a slimming effect or create one if you are more of a boyish shape. The slimmer the belt the slimmer your tummy will look. Again, with shorts and trousers anything belted will create definition at the tummy. Moving into the evening after a day of BBQing add a tailored jacket and chunky sandels for a more glam look. And don’t forget, accessorise, accessorise, accessorise, stack bangles and rings and make the most of the season where you can get away with funky, quirky touches.


WEDDING For the summer BBQ season embrace colour! Mix, match and even clash them. Just about anything goes at the moment with colour and print. Both a maxi dress and jumpsuit will make any body shape appear taller, and therefore slimmer. Put a slim belt around your waist to draw attention and give the waist a slimming effect or create one if you are more of a boyish shape. The slimmer the belt the slimmer your tummy will look. Again, with shorts and trousers anything belted will create definition at the tummy. Moving into the evening after a day of BBQing add a tailored jacket and chunky sandels for a more glam look. And don’t forget, accessorise, accessorise, accessorise, stack bangles and rings and make the most of the season where you can get away with funky, quirky touches.


Our aim is to inspire, enable growth and success, communication, education and assistance for all women. When you join this network you will be participating with a group of women whose common purpose is examining choices, explaining feelings, gaining fulfilment and well being and cultivating confidence and competence. It’s our aim to provide the source of inspiration for women who have lost direction, focus and confidence. Read and participate in discussions on relationships issues, career challenges, health and family issues and finding mentors in the workplace/academia.

There is something for everyone. Join us and be nurtured. Be inspired.

Sherry Dixon Founding Director


Caroline Bilkey Her flair for colour, fabrics and styles are evident through her success with her loyal clientèle.


taroline Bilkey is a freelance fashion stylist and designer. In late 2006 she created her business De Vallenger design to house all of her many fashion attributes under one roof. With over 15 years experience in the fashion industry - with roles including buying, merchandising, contract design and production as well as fashion styling and image consulting, she is now a sought after stylist. Her flair for colour, fabrics and styles are evident through her success with her loyal clientèle. Currently residing in London, Caroline has become particularly focused on personal styling and image consulting. She prides herself on having clientèle of every shape and size and making them look beautiful and confident, whatever the occasion. Whether you need assistance with an outfit for a special event, a wardrobe filter, or help revamping your look with accessories; Caroline has the answer! For more information on Caroline or to book a free consultation - exclusive to Evolve readers when mentioning this article – visit


Fashion Fiction Photographer: Michelle Alexandra

Model: Mariesther Venegas


Josie Gibson

Interview with

by Olga Crosse



popped along to the Café de Paris with a brief to review the new Curvissa range and grab an interview with its poster girl Josie Gibson BB winner 2010. I’ve read the press, I joined the sniffy mob in decrying BB contestants. Any preconceived notions firmly flew out the window once I met the wonderfully engaging and incredibly pretty Josie. Instead of me interviewing her for the range I found myself touting to be interviewed as wait for it……. Josie’s older sister – job I had just created there and then and was desperate for. I bumped into her before my official timeslot came up, she was looking resplendent in a purple

and black chiffon maxi and chatting to the girls from NOW. OC - How are you finding living in London and the move from Bristol? JG - I am missing Bristol and finding the capital hard to manage and expensive and I would like to go out more. I went to Shoreditch House the other week with the girls from Now and I loved it the pool is great, but I would like to go where real people go. I love a good night out. (It was at this point I offered to take her!) OC - Don’t we all! How did you find walking across a narrow catwalk.I personally couldn’t do it in those shoes? JG - I am surprised I didn’t fall off the stage with nerves ( that said it was a small stage and the shoes looked murderous but she kept upright and looked great, and was now in flats ). OC - You look amazing lately whats the secret? JG – I had my confidence knocked lately but I am feeling sexy and good again. (we all know by who!)

OC - Where do you usually shop? JG - I buy just about whatever fits in her in whatever colour and whatever shop, so no real brand loyalty until now! OC- How did you get chosen to be the Curvissa Muse? JG - I chose Curvissa because of my own curves and to encourage other curvy women. OC - Who is your style icon? JG- My style icon is Jennifer Lopez. OC - What are your plans now you have moved to London? JG - I have a lot of things planned, I am busy doing her OK agony aunt column, is single (why and how is beyond me!), modelling for Curvissa and has some interviewing work on the horizon. Josie is a genuine, sweet, engaging and kooky and I for one think she’s great. I grabbed a few cupcakes from the table on the way out and caught the no 88 home! Catch Josie modelling the Curvissa range on Olga Crosse



Where are all the celebrity

what it is doing to the people who are being written about. It speaks volumes about the mindsets of the media and what it really think of curves – unsightly, unattractive, scary. Who can blame celebrities (think Gemma TOWIE) down in the park half killing themselves and signing up at a rate of knots to Strictly – where lets face it, all anyone talks about is how much weight they have lost – Pamela, Patsy anyone!


nother day another raft of celebrity photographs accompanied by the usual sniggering comments about their appearance (particularly if they have gained weight) in some publication or website. Regardless of the reason, (and it could well be a bad shot or pregnancy) it always carries the same message, that it’s somehow shameful and weak to be curvy. It got me thinking how does this make me feel? Quite frankly, terrible, an awful lot worse when I scroll down to readers comments. It appears the media has now become a legitimate forum for adult bullying. Pillorying these celebrities (usually women) has become the modern day equivalent of chaining local miscreants to stocks or public burnings at the stake egged on by a jeering mob and they called those ‘The Dark Ages’! If I, who am not famous, feel like hiding myself away as a result of these witch hunts with a giant packet of Sensations, can you imagine


So, what is classed as acceptable these days? In short, extreme thinness, flat chest, straight up and down, in other words an adolescent boy, except in Italy! This pocket of resistance (shockingly it was Vogue!), had the ‘courage’ (their words not mine) to publish 3 ‘Plus size’ models in their underwear on the front cover of VoguAe Italia last week. Its not courageous, its realism and closer to readership profiles than most titles. The models (who were gorgeous), were no more than a 14 (in other words average, healthy normal) are being touted as plus size, that’s a worrying message, when the UK average is currently a 16, but it’s a start! It has implications for us all. It’s a form of social engineering and history indicates that usually doesn’t end well! Today alone I learned that Gemma (TOWIE) is on a diet and exercise programme, Cheryl Cole was asked to lose 2 stone, from where? - her hair! Next up is Crystal Renn who alleges she only went for a walk and the weight fell off! Oh and not forgetting Fern Britton’s gastric band which nearly has its own column its mentioned that often. What are the odds that Adele will be 3 stone lighter by Christmas?! Moving onto shots of Nigella looking

magnificent accompanied by a sneering article inferring she may be eating a few too many of her dishes – what else are they for? most men out there would only be too happy with her full attention - just the way she is. Christina Hendrick’s glorious embonpoint was treated like an endangered and slightly dangerous species when spotted on Lake Como, (they need to be declared a protected UNESCO world heritage as they are in serious peril once she gets back to Hollywood). All this in one day, its exhausting and demoralising! The explicit message is, make no mistake about it, that in order to have a successful career/money/glamour/love it must be done minus the curves and those in the spotlight cannot get on those diets quickly enough! Who can blame them. I’m certainly not.

Usually the more accepting I am, the happier I am, the easier it is to lose weight, if I feel like it, but constantly being viewed with derision and disgust then its not hard to see where it goes from there.

Now I am not encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle or colluding to promote obesity which can and will shorten someone’s life and definitely impact on the quality of it. However, this constant stream of negativity towards curves is leading us all into vicious cycles of self loathing and denial which has undeniable health implications.

If these women are bullied into slimming down by the media in order to sustain careers, what hope is there for the rest of us, because the message spreads like a germ in all directions. Think of all that lost potential? So, I’ll ask the impossible but I’ll ask it anyway, please lay off sneering at the celebrities and if you can’t say something nice then its better to say nothing at all and that applies to the unflattering pictures. It affects us all. Olga Crosse




his autumn saw the release of ‘Just Friends’, a typically saccharine sweet rom com starring Justin ‘’Unlikely Heartthrob’ Timberlake and Mila ‘Inexplicably-Perpetually-CastAs-Girl-Next-Door-Despite-Being-AlmostInhumanly-Attractive’ Kunis. Although the film isn’t going to win any awards for innovation, it does explore some interesting territory vis a vie the practical viability of a ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement. I did a brief straw poll of my acquaintances to glean their opinions on this thorny issue. Typically, the men I questioned seemed to believe that no-strings sex with a friend is not only possible, but a desirable lifestyle choice. The women were generally attracted to the idea in principle, but invariably concluded that it just wouldn’t work, in practice. Whilst it would be easy to pursue the traditional argument – That women are emotional creatures, whose hearts overrule their minds and who feel a powerful connection to anyone they get naked with, regardless of how they felt before engaging in sexy times - this might be oversimplifying the matter. So, in the name of research, I embarked on a no-strings style sex arrangement with a good male friend, in a bid to ascertain what all the fuss is about. Yes, there are no lengths I won’t go to for you, dear Evolve readers. On paper, I’m the ideal candidate for a friend ‘avec’ benefits. My hectic work schedule means I don’t really have time for a relationship and I’ve started to find dating a little exhausting –There’s nothing like spending hours getting trussed up in all your finery and proceeding to spend the next three hours oppressing all your human foibles in a bid to pretend that you’re a flawless, super sexy goddess to needlessly sap your energy. Having said that, I don’t see why my devotion to carving out a successful career for myself should render me totally devoid of a sex life. That seems like cruel and unusual punishment, to me. So


I picked an attractive, single male friend (let’s call him Jack) and proposed attempting an ‘arrangement’. Jack, naturally, was delighted. And so was I…..for a while. We tended to meet up on Sundays and to be for all intents and purposes a couple, for that day. We’d engage in bouts of vigorous sexual activity in between reading the papers, munching tea and toast and putting the universe to rights. All these perks with no guilt, no responsibility and no having to wash his dirty underpants.Score. It was only around three months in, when our usual Sunday arrangement was punctuated by his frequent checking of his mobile phone to text a girl he’d been on a few dates with, that some cavewoman-esque inner neediness reared it’s girly, squealing head. I didn’t want Jack to be my boyfriend. He’s far too flaky for my tastes. He doesn’t do ‘feelings’. He loves video games a little bit too much. And his ability to subsist in pigsty-style messiness knows no bounds. He’d drive me bonkers. Yet I realised that I wanted to be exclusive ‘friends with benefits’- I didn’t like the idea of him sleeping with anyone else – Partly because I didn’t relish the prospect of my bedroom techniques being compared to those of another girl, but mostly because of the general ‘ick’ factor. I had the hump. And I couldn’t tell him why, because I’d literally made the bed I had to lie in. I was in an emotional quandary of the exact kind eschewing a relationship was supposed to spare me. And what, one wonders, is the difference between a close male friend you have an exclusive and regular shagging arrangement with, and a boyfriend? So, I had to retract my agreement with Jack. And now, things are weird. We can never rekindle our original, easy breezy friendship. I’ve seen him naked and everything has changed. So, ladies, however progressive you believe yourself to be my advice to you is not to add benefits to your friendship with a bloke – Unless it is a friendship you’re prepared to lose.


Evolve Magazine got to interview this talented curvaceous young lady, to discover her drive and plans for the future. We introduce to you: Kai Morae. by Natalie Beeley and Nefferth Bernadina


he is the niece of Da Brat, the first solo female rapper to sell platinum and costarring with her mother LisaRaye McCoy in reality television show The Real McCoy. Growing up in the lime light, you would think Kai Morae was predestined for the music industry or the acting world. Nothing is more far from the truth. Paving her own way as the first plus size model for clothing line Apple Bottom, she is showing the world she is a force to be reckoned with. Evolve Magazine got to interview this talented curvaceous young lady, to discover her drive and plans for the future. We introduce to you: Kai Morae. Evolve Magazine: You are the 1st plus size model for Apple Bottom, how does it feel? How did you get the contract? Kai Morae: It started as a sponsorship for our

reality show The Real McCoy which was put together by producer Choke No Joke. It eventually branched into a modelling contract with Nelly that I’m super excited about. EM: How did you get into modelling? Why? KM: I actually use to model when I was younger but once I grew up and grew into my body I decided to try it out again and ended up gaining a real passion for the industry. EM: What would you say to other curvy women considering modelling? How do you stand out in the crowd? KM: I think that they should really think it through carefully because it’s not for everyone and many girls don’t realise what goes on behind the scenes. Therefore I think they should consider doing test



shoots to get a feel for what a professional photo shoot is like because at the end of the day, this is a business, not all fun as it sometimes appears to be. EM: How do you choose a good agent? KM: Great question because I’m looking for one myself. (Laughs) EM: Your mother, Lisa Raye is a famous actress; do you see this as an advantage or a hindrance? KM: I would say that it’s bitter sweet. The name can only get you through the door but if you don’t have the talent to remain in the door, it’s pointless. EM: Have you always been curvy and confident? KM: Pretty much. I was always a bit fuller than my classmates but my confidence wasn’t at the level it is now. But I never had a low self-esteem. EM: Why do you think it’s important for big brands like Apple Bottom to be using plus size models? KM: People don’t realise that the average woman is a size 14 and therefore the everyday woman can relate more to plus size models. So I think it’s very important to reach out to people of all sizes. EM: What’s next for Kai Morae? KM: A bunch of things. I actually just finished doing the summer ad for UK

plus size clothing store Evans which I’m ecstatic about among some other upcoming projects. EM: Have you ever been to London? Any plans to visit/again? KM: Yes! I actually used to go to college in Buckingham near Milton Keynes so I took the train to London all the time. I love the city and can’t wait to come back and visit. EM: There was recently a lot of controversy surrounding the Lane Bryant lingerie ad featuring Ashley Graham, have you seen the ad, what are your thoughts? KM: I did try to google the ad but I’m not sure if I saw the correct one. From the lingerie images I did see, I think she looks gorgeous and definitely representing for the thicker girls. EM: How do you stay curvy and healthy? KM: I don’t stick to any certain eating regiment but I do try to eat smaller portions and workout a few times a week whenever I can. EM: Evolve’s motto is ‘Be Proud, Be You’ – what makes you proud to be you? KM: I’m proud to be me because I’m my own individual person from my outer curvy appearance to my sociable personality. Thank you






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-Bet yli t n I S ‘ ion n the h s a F ts o r o Rep


size they carry is a meager size 12. Unfortunately for women it’s just not representative of our bodies. We are the ‘In-Betweenies’, and why shouldn’t we be able to buy ourselves a beautifully designed outfit, if pricing doesn’t exclude us then why should size?

tyle transcends size! In my opinion, a size 18 woman can look as stylish and fashionable as a woman who wears a size 8. When it comes to style, why should size matter, and why the need to define how we look by the sizes printed in our labels? Currently, in the fashion industry, women are fitted into two categories; ‘straight size’ and ‘plus size’, but what about those of us wearing a size 12-18; who bridge the gap between these catorgories? It’s my mission to bring the meaning of the ‘in-betweenies’ to people’s attention.

Like my mother, I have always been an ‘In-Betweenie’, and she has long been my inspiration. Having owned her own fashion academy, she has always managed to interpret and tailor the latest runway trends to suit. This is how I have grown up knowing it was possible to live in the notion that style knows no size! So why, now that I am in the position of being able to splash out on a designer item am I so disappointed to discover that there is very little to offer a woman of my size? Working as a fashion stylist I am able to source stylish and fashionable look-a-like designer outfits on a budget, but not all ‘In-Betweenies’ have the time, even though they might have the money. Women these days lead busy lives and want the ease of buying beautiful items and wearing them with pride!

Top fashion designers still use ‘regular’, models to show their creations, which wouldn’t be a problem if it were not for the fact that these are anything but regular size girls. For most high-fashion labels the largest

The plus size fashion collections I have found on the high street are often unfit for the ‘In-Betweenies’. The fit is either too big, shapeless or just plain thoughtless. As Mayra de Wilde, a size 18 remarks, “Lots of


shops mess up by just ‘enlarging’ the garment, instead of really working on the fit for a size 14 and up!” You have a far better chance of succeeding in ‘Straight size’ shops by picking out the XL sizes in a style you like, and with a bit of luck you will find something that is more current. Fortunately there are numerous big fashion chains catching on to our demands, such as Topshop, River Island, New Look and Primark, and updating their collections to a larger range of sizes. Even the aesthetic of today’s role models have changed, such as singers Adele and Caro Emerald, being examples of confident, stylish women that have gained fame and success ‘despite’ being curvy. Fashion needs to change too, famous labels need to make designer items in larger sizes and by larger we mean bigger than a 14. And so I have a dream, and that is that high end fashion samples would be made and shown in two sizes, size 8 and size 14. Fashion magazines should be filled with all kinds of models, varying in size and age. Only this would be an accurate reflection of today’s women. So that we, as ‘In-Betweenie’ fashion lovers can buy that designer item we always dreamed of, instead of settling for yet another pair of shoes.


EVOLVE ESSENTIAL Each issue our editor will give you her favourite MUST HAVE fashion items right here 85 0 K£ £12 –U P rve S u o t C O p (u os kirt er s ss – As £29.99 h t a Le Dre &M –H uin Seq l Coat y e Dkn Cam 0) ag B 2 y e d siz en y Tr Dkn



Twins talk Losing weight has changed our lives and we’re both now in a position where we want to share our success with all of you


i everybody - we’re so excited to be here!

Our names are Zandela and Ayanda Soares and we both appeared in the most recent series of the ITV1 prime time show, The Biggest Loser. Losing weight has changed our lives and we’re both now in a position where we want to share our success with all of you – and inspire you to reach for your dreams, because they are within your grasp. Every issue, we’ll be sharing our opinions and experiences on key topics that impact health, fitness and well-being. We might be twins, but we sometimes have very different opinions so we hope you enjoy hearing both sides of the coin. We also like celebrity gossip - so we’ll be sharing anything and everything we hear on the grapevine... We hope you enjoy the ride! We attended a beautiful residential boot-camp in Scotland where we both lost an incredible 10lbs and 6inches each. Since leaving the Biggest Loser house we have been busy bee’s; fundraising activities, taking care of family, running our businesses and appearing at different events. Zandela had her first plus size modelling appearance in April on QVC. Ayanda decided to re-launch her hair extensions company ‘Reekye Style’. On top of everything else we have decided to take up another massive challenge and YES it’s a weight loss challenge again. We have decided to do a two month, two stone weight loss challenge with an excellent personal trainer in South London. Stick with us and in every issue you can follow us on our journey as we keep you posted on our ups and downs to build a healthier and happier us. Until next time remember, don’t put off until tomorrow something that can be done today! Be Proud, aBe You and remember, you don’t have to be thin to be healthy.

Tips for life!


Fresh is best –Fill up on fresh fruit and vegetables. Aim for more than your 5 a day.

2. 3.

Eat slowly- Savour and enjoy what you eat and take time to chew your food. Use a smaller plate- At home serve your food on a small plate for a simple way to make you feel fuller.

4. 5.

Keep hydrated- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. If you don’t like it blend it- A Fruit or Veggie smoothie is an excellent way to get in some of your 5 a day. Add fruit to a veg smoothie to help with the taste.


Exercise - The most effective way to improve your health and maximise your weight loss And enjoy!- Your making a positive change, So just relax and enjoy.



Who is Jill Scott? On her first studio album, she introduced us to the raw, in-yourface realness of life. Her songs were made for those, that had loved, been loved, or lost love. by Nefferth Bernadina



n the summer edition of Ebony Magazine writer, Grammy award winning singer and actress Jill Scott struts a new hairdo and a 50 pounds lighter physique. One thing that hasn’t changed, is her ever beautiful beaming smile. Miss Scott is back with her upcoming fourth studio album, The Light of the Sun, that was released at the end of June. Debuting back in 2001 with double platinum album Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol.1, she stood out because of her strong lyrical skills. She introduced a greater audience to the spoken word on sound, her songs cutting right through the bone. Each song portrays every day life as a big piece of art. Join me on a journey to meet this sister-friend, mother and teacher of love and life.

Her characteristic poetry skills take you to a moment, defying you to feel that emotion. No wonder, this soulful vocalist and poetess has numerous awards under her belt. From winning the Grammy’s three times in a row, to performing with some of the greatest in the music industry, she is well on her way to another level of diva stardom. Jill Scott is me We cannot deny how close we feel to Miss Scott, while listening to her music. Whatever discipline she practices, from reciting sultry poetry to our ears, or empowering us with her strong emotional lyrics; she captivates us with her realness on and off screen. Resulting us chanting in one choir:

Keeping it real The answer to “Who is Jill Scott?” isn’t an easy one to formulate. In spite of growing up in the rough parts of North Philadelphia, This fierce lady is made out of so many different layers. We would have Miss Scott describes her upbringing as a warm loving nest. In Jet to explore them one by one. Thankfully we can use her own lyrics as a Magazine she mentions feeling a “much loved child” by her mother and guide to her fabulous mind. grandmother Blue Babe. Her spirit filled childhood formed the foundation of a life journey on her way to stardom. But before breaking through into When Jill Scott appeared on the scene with classic songs like the music business she had other ambitions. “Getting In The Way” and “A Long Walk”, she introduced us to a kind of Although she was influenced from Mozart to Aretha Franklin, poetry real stortytelling within a song. The first song potrayed a woman dealing has always been a constant factor in her life. On American music program with another lady trying to steal her man. A few lines of this song, shows BET’s 106 & Park she defines herself as a writer first. “It starts with the the raw emotion of her state of mind. words”, she declares and reconfirms the big importance of poetry in her “I been a lady up to now don’t know how much more I can take music. Queens shouldn’t swing if you know what I mean” . The second song Since she was a youngster, she was performing poetry at local celebrated her love encounter with then-fiancé, Lyzel. If you have dealt theatres. After graduating high school, she with these issues before you hear Jill Scott and studied to be an English teacher, to give you feel Jill Scott. The answer to “Who back to the community. In her third year of is Jill Scott?” isn’t an college, she realized her pupils were having “Feeling is saying” problem memorizing. To improve their skills, easy one to formulate. A lot has happened since her debut album. she introduced her unique teaching method by This fierce lady is She got engaged, became mother to a son , split mixing melody and singing in the classroom. made out of so many from her father’s son and moved from Philly to Unfortunately her creativity was perceived different layers. California. Despite all these challenges of life, as idealistic and naive. This disappointing Mrs Scott tweets “Life is so good. I wouldn’t experience didn’t slow her journey down. On the contrary, she was choose anything else”. And that is the chore of Mrs. Scott songs. Engage offered to tour with the Canadian cast of Rent. This opportunity opened in life, live - love. Experience the joys and the pain. up doors within the performing arts community. With her fifth studio album The Light Of The Sun, she takes realness Shortly after she collaborated with hiphop band, The Roots which to another level. On her official website she resulted in the smashing hit “You Got Me”. The band ended up winning explains the origin of the album title, being “refreshing, renewing, you a Grammy award with Jill Scott as a co-writer. From here this soul vixen can’t hide”. This album tackles grown up women issues. The songs are ventured into the music scene adding another dash behind her name honest about topics we may want to keep in the dark. as a singer. On So Gone (What My Mind Says) she sings about the addiction to a man with sexual dexterity. When she’s asked how a woman can get Words and Sounds loose from being caught up in a physical aspect of intimicay, it is said Her neo-soul sound entices you to pay attention to what it’s all about: simply “mind over matter, soul under God”. Making You Wait covers the the words. Her metaphorical references about love and the daily affairs art of courting and seducing lovers. She sings about making you wait till bring us closer to ourselves. It is about feeling the honesty of emotions. the fifth date.“It’s not fresh, it just feels fresh”. Only Miss Scott can tell us There is no faking-till-you-make-it with Jill Scott, it’s about feeling true the truth so beautifully and without getting vulgar. Shame on the other emotions. On her first studio album, she introduced us to the raw, inhand adresses the value of a woman. And with the help of Philladelphian your-face realness of life. Her songs were made for those, that had rapper Eve, we will all be chearing along ““I’m magnificent, I’m a queen loved, been loved, or lost love. on a throne, I’m magnificent”. The common themes we find within R&B such as love, friendship, intimacy and sexuality are also a consistent topic in her songs. Except, Miss Scott can be explicative in her vocals without becoming vulgar. On So Gone (What My Mind Says) she sings about the addiction to a man with sexual dexterity. Making You Wait covers the art of courting and seducing lovers. Only Miss Scott can tell us the truth so beautifully.

It is clear, Miss Scott is on a mission to share. We can be assured that she’s telling her story from her heart. “If I weren’t have been there, I wouldn’t be able to talk about it”. When asked how she wants her fans to experience the upcoming album, she resumes wanting her fans to “play it in their cars, make love to it, give birth to it ... just [let the record] be infused in their lives”. Her music is made for the people.



Lush Interview with

up and coming great performer


hen asked by Rianne to carry out this assignment I’ll admit I was dubious. I thought my days of going to gigs, following bands and artists around were long gone, but a bit like riding a bicycle it takes a few seconds in the saddle before you are off again as if you never left it. I then met Lush who is absolutely gorgeous in the flesh think a much younger Haley Berry but better looking, with whiter teeth, and a lovely talented person to boot. We had a great chat. Here are some excerpts from the encounter. OC - You are great looking, where are you from originally? I am originally from Sydenham, South London and I live with my Mum, I come from a West Indian/Indian (Grandad) heritage and my sister who makes cupcakes for a living goes by the name of sugarcakes. OC - Do you have any bad points? I am a Taurus (so am stubborn). I don’t drink or smoke. OC - Do you have a boyfriend? (Laughs) No I do not have time. For the record- I do not believe this for one single minute!. OC - How did you get started? I was influenced originally by the garage scene, moved into rapping, I performed mainly in my bedroom and then saved for my own studio. I also attended dance school at South Thames College in Wandsworth where I won Young Performer of the Year 2006. I write my own material, I raps, I dance, I model, and I competed for 11 years baton twirling. My alter ego was Lady Daffy (I groan and laugh) but I changed it to Lush after my friends told me I


should call myself that! – I agree this was a very good thing and they are very good friends! OC - You had quite a year last year, where you supported AR Rahman (he of the Slumdog Millionaire fame) on his worldwide tour. You even found time to pop up on Lady Gaga’s Just Dance single! You also played to huge audiences (120,000) in China. What was that like and what was your favourite place? The whole tour was an amazing experience and I got to travel to some amazing places like India, Muscat, Oman (where she covered up!), Australia to name but a few. China was definitely my favourite place, I love the people, they are lovely and calm. I love the culture especially and can’t wait to go back. I also really liked Sydney and I got on ABC breakfast over there which was great. Do you get nervous playing to big crowds?

You get used to it, you learn to be disciplined and just go out there and perform. I am now nervous on her behalf! OC - What are your plans for this year? My album is finished and due out soon (no name yet but something like Welcome to the Jungle was mooted), promoting the album, recording

with grammy winning producers, performing for and opening the Fashion Rocks campaign and a MENCAP gig thats coming up soon, recording a charity song called ‘Make a Change’ with Jamaican reggae stars Cecile, Alaine, Christopher Martin, Mavado and others for drought victims in Kenya. OC - Who is your artistic inspiration? I draw my musical and dance inspiration from James Brown (Get up off my thing being one of my favourites), Prince (one of yours!), Michael Jackson (RIP), Janet Jackson, Nicholas Bros, Fred Astaire (yup you read right). I tend to sing what comes out of my head and never really use pen or paper. OC - Who is your fashion inspiration? I’m sponsored by UK fashion brand ‘Punky Fish clothing’ .... OC - Funny enough I could see you in this! What are your hopes and dreams for the future? I really want to keep performing and I want people to come and enjoy themselves at my concerts. I want to go on tour more and am looking forward to recording more songs. Keep up with Lush and her movements on!/lushonline!/lushedition Olga Crosse



Phenomenal Healthstyle Interview – by Zena Tuitt

Tameka Empson who plays Kim Fox, owner of Kimberley’s Palace in EastEnders has started writing Tickle Tuesday at www.


’ve had a great laugh these last few weeks (which we all know is good for the health!) part of the reason for that has been due to Tameka Empson who plays Kim Fox, owner of Kimberley’s Palace in EastEnders has started writing Tickle Tuesday at www. I took some time to catch up with her to find out what she has been doing to create a phenomenal healthstyle Why is health and fitness important to you? As I get older, things change. I want to be the best I can be. I found out I had fibroids which was a shock. A lot of women don’t know they have it. When I found out I knew I had to change. Part of that was my diet but also my health and fitness levels and general lifestyle, e.g. sleeping more and not getting stressed. You have a PT. Why did you decide to get one? I wanted to go that extra mile. We can all say we go to the gym for an hour but can we really say we have been working for that hour. I needed someone to give me the technique and I needed the motivation. If you want to see results, they will push you to see results quicker. If you are not seeing results. What’s the point! So what does success look like to you? To be trim, especially my stomach and thighs and to have more energy. Is there much pressure from the media to look a certain way? Yes and also no because TV does make you look bigger but at the same time I don’t want to be a size 0. I just want to be the best I can be. I feel more confident


when I’m fitter, it is less to worry about so I can just focus on my lines, in a sense it is in my nature [to want to be fit] What is your fitness mantra? I saw a quote on a Nike postcard that I liked “I gotta keep my arse in check cause that’s what people will be seeing” but my personal mantra would be ‘TRIM & EDGE’ – because that’s how I like to look, and ‘If you don’t work out today, work out tomorrow and make sure you workout tomorrow!”

Phenomenal lifestyle Interview – by Zena Tuitt

Bella-Marie is passionate about fitness and works with people with busy lifestyles to help them find ways to fit healthstyle into their life.


also caught up with another of the Phenomenal Healthstyle (Small Steps Saturday) writers BellaMarie. Bella-Marie is passionate about fitness and works with people with busy lifestyles to help them find ways to fit healthstyle into their life. Why did you become a PT? I love fitness and wanted to share my knowledge with as many people as possible, especially women. I want to focus on the mental challenge of losing weight. As women we are so much more easily distracted. So I like to help women to stay on track not just for themselves but also for the benefit of their whole household. You have worked with a few celebrities now what is the most challenging thing you have found working out with them? Their schedule is a nightmare. When they have to go to the studio or be on set they need to be up at 5am. The hardest thing is to get them to eat breakfast. Before you know it, they have been on the job without eating for the whole day. Their food consumption is the hardest thing to control.

What advice would you give to people who are on the journey to a healthier lifestyle? 1.Write down a food diary (writing down everything you eat). It is frightening once you do it. We take it for granted that everything we eat is fine but when we see it and we ask - did I really eat that much bread and cakes? - your food diary will highlight where you need help. 2. Get your schedule weeks in advance and plan times when you can go to the gym or go to the park. Always have a plan in place. 3. Have a training plan, workout plan and a food plan and only change when you have completed the plan.

How do you help your clients stay on track? Constant communication – phonecalls and texts. What’s your mantra? My success is to see you succeed



Its great to see a new label launched at the market specifically targeting curvier ladies and even more inspiring to see them use a ‘real’ lady like Josie for that they deserve every success and praise.


Interview with Diane Fowler Curvissa I popped along to the Café de Paris to review the new Curvissa range and interview its poster girl Josie Gibson BB winner 2010. The range is young, fresh , trendy and current and also incredibly reasonable. In the middle of these glamorous surroundings, I met Diane Fowler the chief buyer for Curvissa. Diane was friendly, upbeat and more than happy to share her enthusiasm for the new range with me. OC - Tell me more about how Curvissa started? DF -Curvissa was launched on 26 March 2011 and is based in Bradford specifically targeting the 14 – 32 range and is part of Freemans PLC. We have over 3,500 lines at any one time and pride ourselves on having the biggest range for curvier ladies on the market. All sizes (14-32) are the same price. We devised the concept some time ago but we wanted to make sure that technically everything was in order before launching. OC - What especially interests me is your innovative new concept – the shape calculator

available on your website, whereby you can work out your shape before making a howler before committing to a purchase. How does it work? DF - You input your vital statistics, shape etc on the website and it will come up with styles to suit your shape and of course tell you what shape you are. Curvissa’s ethos is to really care about and understand our target audience. To that end we have completed extensive market research and focus groups in order to know and understand our customer base and their needs comprehensively. OC - What in your expert opinion will the key trends be this year? DF - The key trends this year will be shorts, woolly hats and occasion wear. I also predicted that the black tights with a lace trim will be huge and are already proving very popular. OC - Personally I really liked the green waterfall tunic with black leggings. I also loved the black jersey dress with polka dot lace sleeves and the black lacey dress with white underlay. The

woollen range is also very current. OC – Why did Curvissa chose Josie Gibson as your poster girl? DF - Josie’s appeal is her great personality – tick, gorgeous looking – tick, appealed to the younger market – tick and is comfortable with her curves – tick. OC - Are you specifically UK based or are there any plans to launch in Europe? DF - For Irish readers, there are plans afoot to launch on the Irish market at some stage soon once the UK market has been established. There are also plans to launch in Europe at a later stage. The AW11 collection was launched at the end of August and new lines will be added regularly. Its great to see a new label launched at the market specifically targeting curvier ladies and even more inspiring to see them use a ‘real’ lady like Josie for that they deserve every success and praise. Olga Crosse


Profile for Rianne Ward

Evolve Magazine - Oct 2011  

Evolve Magazines October 2011 Issue

Evolve Magazine - Oct 2011  

Evolve Magazines October 2011 Issue


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