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CONTENTS INSIGHT inspiration letter from the editor reader's react

BEAUTY tara: natural beauty artemis: defying your age top beauty favorites with Iavetta get the look

FASHION executive fashion director monique's accessories report reah's style file ... what I love right now! marie's 'go fashionably green' diy 'upcycling' w ith kristen

EDITORIAL pmm rocks usa today beauty passport color splash get to know cover model jeanna sabatino bohemian rhapsody behind the scenes v ideo

ENTERTAINMENT always beaut iful. .. sage, tracie, randi, karen interview with ashley stewart's kathy clair igigi: meet the maven yul iya raque l swak's sarah sapora: making it all happen tracie stern ... this is just not working anymore model musings with Iarissa laurel in the bag: t iona's favorites spotlight model caryn

PMM AROUND TOWN west coast highli ghts

• ONLINE plusmodelmag.com fb/@plusmodelmag twitter/@plusmodelmag

• MARKETING DIRECTOR tulin reid tulin@plusmodelmagazine.com

• CONTACT admin@plusmodelmagazine.com

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PLUS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Madeline Jones EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Valery Amador EXECUTIVE MARKETING & CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tulin Reid DIGITAL APPLICATION MANAGER Jennene Biggins EXECUTIVE FASH ION DIRECTOR Reah Norman FASHION & STYL E ED ITOR Marie Denee SHOPPING ED ITOR Monique Frausto STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Luke Jones EAST COAST BEAUTY EDITOR Tar a Taylor

WEST COAST BEAUTY EDITOR Artemis

HOST, PLUS MODE L RADIO Chenese Lewis CELEBRITY CONTRIBUTOR Tia Rudd MODEL DEVEL OPMENT DIRECTOR Tracie Stern COPY EDITOR Shannon Hiett FEATU RES & CONTRIBUTORS Tiffany Bank, Suzette Banzo, Teslyn Butler, Crystal I. Cunning ham Angela Doyle, Deborah Fr ied man, Shante Gordon, Shannon Hiett, Jennifer Jonassen, Lar issa Laurel, Michelle Rene, Danielle You ng, Yve Edmond MARKETING ASSISTANT Chri ssy Alvey INTERN Jamila Har bin PLUSSIZEVIP.COM ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Teslyn Butler PUBLISHER 3G Publishing, Inc.


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e1ne ones Editor-in-Chief I wou ld like to thank everyone for the great feedback on the March 201 2 issue. The issue was very dear to my heart; our intent was to encourage women to embrace the Spring fash ion trends and think outside the fash ion box. This month, we have so much to share w ith you! Ashley Stewart's new campaigns will feature plus size supermodel Fluvia Lacerda, along with veteran model Randi Graves. Fluvia is the second size 18 model used by the plus s ize clothing brand for campaign, the first being Mia Amber Davis. What was rea lly exciting was being invited to the shoot and speaking with the brand's new VP of Marketing, Kathy Clair. She is committed to the plus size consumer and we love how this sounds! Media Planet released its second USA Today supplement just a few weeks ago to rave reviews. The cover. produced by PLUS Model Magazine, features models ranging in size from 12 - 18, dressed in convertible dresses by Monif C. We wanted to bring a new vibe to the supplement this year by featuring models that embrace their curves and represent the 65% of women in the U.S. who are a size 12 and above. In this month's issue, we give you more of

these models; includ ing Laura Wells, Lizzie Miller, Joanne Borgella, Jennifer Maitland, Allison McGevna and Denise Bidot. Making her come back into the modeling industry in this month's issue is Jeanna Sabatino in her first cover for PLUS Model Magazine. The blue eyed beauty is featured in SWAK Designs for our "Bohem ian Rhapsody" editorial, which is one of the most exciting editorials to come out of Los Angeles for our magazine. I ended the month of March w ith a trip to Californ ia for meetings and extended my stay to meet with some of our wonderful clients, fr iends, models, bloggers and staff members. Despite the hectic scheduling, I had a real ly remarkable time. Special thanks to Tulin Reid and Reah Norman for your hospitality during this important week. Enjoy! Madeline Jones


We love to hear frorn you! 'fell us what you think of the rnagazine! We would love to know what you 'i\'Ould like to see. Your feedback on all things plus size frorn fashion, to n1odeling, to television, or just because, share your voice! Thank you for all your support and encouragement you're the best Maddy ,and it's ALWAYS a pleasure working with PMM! - E. Harlowe Love w hat you do! Love the positive message you send out! - 0 . Durante

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I just discovered your online magazine by chance. I love it ! wish that more women knew about this. Current fashions, beautiful models, relevant articles and much more. Keep up the good wor k. Just get it out there so more women see it. I am a teacher and cannot tell you how sad it is that we cannot show our girls more images on a daily basis in print of "plus sized" models. The more they see all different body types, the healthier they are mentally, emotionally and physically. Thank you for your great online magazine. - W. Poehlmann This issue is hot, different & fresh! NO ONE is doing what this mag is do in, others have tried & failed, PMM Keep doing your thing! You have my support 150% & so should everyone else :) - Chuey Martinez I love the magazine. Its great to see a team like you all portray ing the beauty of a full f igure woman. - Arcy Garcia This was a great issue. Can't wait to see what you come up with this year. =D So many more choices these days. Love it! - Sabine Luise

We

To Hear From You!

Tell us what is on your mind, your feedback and input is important to the team at PLUS Model Magazine. Contact us: info@plusmodelmagazine.com

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Defying Your Age A

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WEST COAST BEAUTY EDITOR

By Artemis, West Coast Beauty Editor

One of my favorite beauty compliments is when someone assumes that I am about 10 years younger than I am. When I tell them my age, they want to know how I take care of my skin. This month I turn 37 & happy 37th to me! Looking 10 years younger is very attainable if you are doing right by your skin, while you age gracefully. Many clients tell me "I don't believe in creams and such because my grandmother used (something like Crisco) on her face and never used sunscreen." Your grandmother (and mine) spent most of their lives in a much less polluted, or perhaps even unpolluted, area and the ozone layer had yet to be damaged. The dynamics have changed drastically and a great number of us are in more polluted urban areas, and have already stressed out our skin with environmental damage before we even turn 30. When we are young, we are abundant in our natural production of collagen, elastic and hyaluronic acid. As we age, the network of cells that produce these things weaken and eventually deplete, leaving us with dehydrated, dull, wrinkly, sagging skin, so we must look for products that help to rebuild and replenish these properties in the skin. The earlier you start to take care of yourself, the happier your skin will be. Here are some great products & tips on how to keep your skin looking just a bit younger:

Damage Defense Defend & protect your skin from environmental damage. Sunscreen will not help you fix or correct your skins existing damage, but it will ward off new damage.

Try: My absolute favorite daily sunscreen is the UV PLUS HP 40 Day Screen by Clarins [it has 700% mineral filters, is lightweight and oil-free for daily wear, perfect under makeup, and has an anti-pollution complex to ward off daily skin stressors, even electromagnetic waves from your cell phone! Now there is a new tinted version in light, medium, and deep shades].


Wrinkle Fighters Serums and moisturizers should have an array of ingredients that promote collagen and elastic production, as well as strengthen the network of cells that create those properties of the skin. They should also be chock full of antioxidants to fight off free radicals that damage these cells. Look for words like peptides, retinol, alpha hydroxy acid, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, hyaluronic acid.

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Dark Spot Minimizers Dark spots are caused by melanin producing cells that normally produce a tan; the skins natural defense mechanism against a sunburn. Some of these melanocytes (the cells) have gone rogue and decided that you are in danger and want to keep protecting you, therefore darkening small areas of the skin. Once you begin using brightening products, you should start to see minimal results in about 30 days because of natural cell turnover. The brightening products will help reprogram cells to produce less and less, but when you stop using such products, the dark spots will return because they want to send melanin up to the surface, so you have to be very patient and diligent. Also, you must wear sunscreen when using brightening products, as you do not want to invite new damage while clarifying your skin.

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Try: Origins Brighter by Nature [high-potency brightening peel that uses fruit acids to reveal brighter, smoother more radiant skin. It works as hard as a professional 3D% glycolic acid peel without side effect of redness}. Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector {a serum that produces a visible reduction ofdark spots at 4, 8 and 12 weeks with a 58% improvement at the 12-week mark. Use serums below moisturizer because serums work in lower levels of the skin and will help your moisturizer absorb a bit deeper}. Patricia Wexler M.D. Skin Brightening Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 {perfect dose of proven botanical brighteners, pep tides and Vitamin C that repair signs ofskin damage and restore overall luminous skin tone}.


Plus Model Lavetta just cannot leave home without ... Pure Aloe Vera Gel Great for removing make-up and for treating blemishes Cortisone Creme Great for those pesky irritations caused by dirty brushes on shoots St. lves Collagen Elastin Shower Wash Great for keeping skin moisturized Microfiber Wash Cloths usually found in Asian spas or dollar stores in Koreatown; they keep your skin smooth by exfoliating skin daily Murad•s Acne Spot Treatment Great for stopping a pimple from flourishing to a full on pimple and if used early on, will prevent a pimple from leaving a mark

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Light to Medium coverage foundation Conceal under, inner and outer corners of eyes, sides of nostrils, corners of lips and any other blemishes Set foundation and concealer with a pressed or loose translucent powder For center of lid, apply a shimmery golden peach eyes had ow from lashes to brow Apply a golden purple shimmery shade of eyes had ow from tear duct to brow From the outer corner of eye diagonally up to brow, sweep a deep bronze eyeshadow Add the same deep bronze into and under lower lashes Line the upper and lower waterline with a black kohl eyeliner pencil Brush groomed or un-groomed eyebrows upward Curl lashes and coat with a very black mascara on upper and lower lashes Dust a matte peach blush on the apples of cheeks Finish off with a shimmery soft peach lipstick Tip: Don It worry too much about being precise with this fun, free-form. psychedelic makeup look!


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Executive Fashion Director Hard to believe t hat it's alr eady April , but I am thrilled that it has f inally arrived so we ca n sha r e t his amazing issue w ith you! You got a sneak peek of t his month's fabulousness on the cover of USA Today's 'Full-Figured Fashion' supplement, and as Maddy mentioned, in t his month's issue of PMM, we f inally get to share the ent ire feature w ith you! Five of the industr ies most go r geous plus models, ranging f rom size 12 to 1 8, wearing vibrant, f lattering fas hion, and showcasing the bea uty of size diversityw hat more could we ask fo r ? This is w hat we should be seeing everywhere we look, and what we are working so hard to accomplish! It is an absolute dream! One of the most exciting and r eward ing pa r ts of my posit ion as a fashion ed itor and stylist, is creating an ed itor ia l concept that inspires me fr om t he str aight size fas hion world and bringing it to life w ith plus s ize fas hion, and t his month t eam PMM did just t hat w ith our Sealed With A Kiss Designs editor ial.

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I was inspired by the vibrant col ors and prints in their new collection, so we chose to take a very vintage inspired, eclectic bohemian approach to showcasing the new SWAK collect ion in a fr esh way that is c hic and speaks t o the trends we love for the spring/summer season. Also in this month's issue we are honoring our mother Earth and celebrating Earth Day (April 22nd) , by going gr een w ith the best in eco-fashion, tips on thinking "fashionably green" and guest contributor & DIY Queen, Kristen Turner, shar es her must have materials t o "upscycle" your fash ion. Taking care of Mother Earth is ever yone's r esponsibility and we can ALL contribute to keeping her beautiful- even w hen it comes to fashion! I hope you enjoy the fas hion in this issue of PL US, and that it inspires you to celebrate the beauty of t he spr ing season, and all it encompasses, and of course, inspires you to "thin k outside t he fashion box"!

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Spring is on our heels and w ith the change of seasons comes the insatiable need to splurge on the newness of spring fashion. But before we do that and after we inventory what we have, what do we do with the items we no longer need? Think Green. How? Well you know those jeans you no longer wear, the dresses that still have the tags on them, and those items we have saved for whatever reason we have given ourselves? Rather than tossing those items in the trash, we must think fashionably green; find ing other ways to reduce, reuse, or recycle our clothes! But where do you begin? No worries! I have just the t ips for you to get started to make room for spring,s latest fashions. Who doesn,t love a reason to get together with your girlfriends to sip and swap items of clothing? It is li ke a win/win solution here! Fab drinks, a great t ime, and fash ion! As creative as you can have your imagination stretch, know that sky is the lim it in creating a night in with your fr iends to swap for items previously coveted in your friends closetl If your closet sits on the higher end of fash ion and donating is not the best route for you, then consignment may work! In this case, you bring in your items to a store and they sell it on your beha lf. There is usually a set time frame and percentage of the sale that is negotiated for or with you! Once the item is sold, you either have store cred it or cash out leaving your closet lighter and pockets heavier to f ill in your closet! If donating is near and dear to you and want to make an impact then you may want to check out loca l companies whose mission is to pay it forward. What works here is that your donations are tax deductible and your clothes go to women in need of items to take their new lease on life for whatever personal reason. This is definitely a really great opportun ity to pay it forward.


One of the tried and true places to release your no longer wanted items is Goodwill. With the least fuss and quickest way to remove your items out of your closet! With tax deductable donations given to you straight away, you can be in and out w ith your donations in under 30 minutes! Unless you are looking to shop of course!

What? You ask? Oh yes! With the advent of social med ia, you can find a few unconventional ways to r id the items from your closet and still be able to make a small profit. Facebook albums, Big Cartel, Blog Shops, Twitter, Craigslist and more are only a few ways that you can have your items sold, making room for spring's latest fash ions.

No matter the way you get rid of your clothes, know that there are quite a few options for you to keep it fash ionably green w ith the option to pull a profit- or not! And if none of these options move you, you can always gift your clothes away to someone you know who would appreciate it without the next steps. No matter what you do, before you toss your clothes, think Fashionably Green!


ButtCJ~ Just changing the buttons can breathe new life into an old top. Swap out those basic wh ite buttons for swarvoski in crusted buttons or buttons w ith a fun design on them .

.htu~ With the help of a little strong hold glue (my personal favorite is E6DOOJ you can add studs to almost any article of clothing.

Distress jeans never go out of style. You can keep them casual but chic by pairing them w ith glitter flats. Or you can dress them up w ith a pair of pumps, a blazer and a statement necklace. Before you throw out that outdated pa ir of jeans, think about destressing them. Simply take your scissor s and cut holes or slits where desired. Then, rub the sandpaper over the cut until the jeans fray. If you can't get your hands on sandpaper, rub them over the concrete for the same effect.


~~~lc c!g~ Fabric Dye w ill can change the color on almost anyth ing article of clothing. Chang ing the color is like making a brand new purchase. My persona l favorite fabric dye is Rit Dye. It's very easy to use, but it may take a little practice. You can also use fabric dye to achieve that oh so popular ombre effect. An oversized ombre shirt is perfect for Spring.

-h(L~C1-fj~t You've can use fabr ic dye to change t he color of your clothes, but how about chang ing the color of those shoes, sunglasses or maybe necklace? A can a spray paint can bring color to your old, drabby and outdated accessories.


Jeanna Sabatino came into our lives when we first noticed her on the plus size lingerie site, Hips and Curves. Jeanna is the fourth child out of five and grew up in San Fernando, CA When she was very young she moved to NY and spent much of her young adult life in Brooklyn, but decided to relocate back to California to pursue a professional career as a makeup artist. How did she discover the plus size modeling industry? It's a great story, enjoy! What motivated your plus size-modeling career? Originally, when someone suggested that I model plus size clothing, I was a little taken back, I was once straight sized and a size 4 (before having my daughter - I know MANY women can relate to this!) and I was hoping to return there. Now I was sporting my mama curves and decided that I should embrace my new look. My motivation for modeling is mostly because I believe that women of all sizes deserve to feel beautiful and to have cute clothes! Especially after having a baby! No one wants to look like a box and there weren't a lot of options for a long time. I went to an open call at Wilhelmina and they were not interested so I focused on makeup gigs. One day I was browsing for makeup jobs on craigslist, and I came across an ad for a plus size lingerie model and decided to submit because I just knew lingerie would be such a great opportunrtyto feel sexy and embrace my body. I was called right away, much to my surprise, but I chickened out and ALMOST didn't go to the go-see, my cousin forced me and Hips and Curves contracted me right away. Then, you scouted me and sent my pictures over to Heffner Model Management and they offered me a mother agency contract Everything was happening so fast, and I felt like I was running before I could walk I booked Kohl's, and the next thing I knew, I was pregnant! PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

You recently came back with a new look to the modeling scene after a brief break. Can you tell us about how you are feeling now that you are back? I took a hiatus and really got to see the modeling industry from an outside perspective. I was learning a lot about how you have to invest in yourself, and market yourself, and it all seemed overwhelming to balance along wit h makeup work, and being a mom. I almost decided to call it quits, but something told me not to give up so easily. After gathering info and researching, I decided to take what I was learning and just see where it took me. I feel like I'm much more knowledgeable in the BUSINESS side of modeling now, and I think that really puts me in a new place that I most certain~ was not before my hiatus. How do you feel about plus size fashion and where it's going? I'm always being blown away by plus fashion, whether its new designers or established designers incorporating plus into their lines. Fashion is fun for everyone now! I love Eloquii I love Monif C and I order from Forever 21


PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

and Torrid all the time! lgigi is gorgeous, Kiy onna is beautiful, Sealed with a Kiss is fantastic, Claire France OMG, Nordstrom, Macys ... I could really go on and on! What is your favorite part of modeling? My favorite part of modeling is traveling. I love to see new places. I can't wait to see more of the world! I look forward to returning to New York for modeling. One of t he points I made to you during this shoot was that I wanted movement and you were spot on. Can you give aspiring models tips about working with a client? Thank you!! Advice I would give is to listen to direction, don't make someone tell you the same thing twice. Do your homework, if you know you are going to shoot for a specific client, look them up and get a feel for what they like. It's your job to make the clothes look good.

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You're a makeup artist, model and mom. How do you do it all? It takes a lot to find a proper balance. I alw ays put my kids first. I never worry and never panic. I always go w ith the flow and take each obstacle as it comes, knowing WELL that everything ALWAYS works out. I don't alw ays know which piece to this puzzle of life I am putting in to make the big picture, but it w ill all come together exactly as it should, I just alw ays have to do my best.


SAGE SALZER MILLER Years Modeling: 15+ How did you first get into the industry?

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I originally started modeling when I was 14 years old after winning a trip to Paris and an exclusive contract with a top agency. For a year I worked in New York, LA, and Tokyo, and appeared in Seventeen several times among other magazines and catalogues. After a year of exhausting dieting and exercise, I started to have hea lth problems so I stopped. I spent the next ten plus years hating my body. As a child of pop cu lture, I bought into the media's narrow definition of beauty. At that t ime, the only ful l figured woman on TV was Roseanne Barr. Curvy women didn't appear in fash ion magazines (although at least then they weren't double zero sizes)! I was pursuing self-esteem in a vacuum basically. My perception started to change because of Mode Magazine. This is why I love Hardy Girls, Hea lthy Women (HGHW). Most programs of the last 15 years focused on self-esteem and the interior, psychological self. HGHW is one of the few programs that addresses girls' and womens' lives in relation and social context. HGHW (http://www.hghw.com) believes it is not the girls, but rather the culture in which they live that needs repa ir. I couldn't agree more!


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What is one of your most memorable jobs so far?

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My most memorable job so far was modeling on the white sandy beach of South Africa. I'm dying to go back there!

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Is there anyone you look up to in the industry? The people I look up to most in this industry are the creators of sites like Plus Model Magazine! They are the ones in the media that provide invaluable inspiration and support to curvier ind ividuals! These websites are a perfect example of med ia that enhances our self-esteem!

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How has the plus size modeling industry changed since you began modeling?

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The fu ll figured modeling business has changed in several ways since I f irst started. Somewhat recently it has taken a turn and more clients are asking for new faces and young plus models. It used to be that the models in their thirties tended to work the most. Us gals still work, but there aren't as many of us working as there used to be. The reason I mention this is because it's a good time for aspiring models! And, f inally, my dream for this business is coming true. In the past, as a straight-size model, you had to be a size 00, 0, or 2 to work and as a plus-size model you needed to be 12/14 to work. A few years before I broke into the business the size that worked the most was an 18. Now we're seeing more of a variety of sizes. I know models in our division at Wilhelmina New York who are a size 6, 8 and 10 and working steadily. Ideally, all sizes, shapes, and ages are represented!

What qualities will help models make it?

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Paying close attention to mind ing the business side of modeling is more important than looks. Unfortunately, I've seen some of the most beautiful women in the world blow it. Most of it is pretty basic, like just being considerate and thoughtfu l of other people. Hang up your clothes after each shot for example. The stylist isn't there to pick up after you. It's important that after working for a client through one agency that you don't work for them again through a Another example of different one. someth ing along the same lines is if one agency sends you to a casting, don't work the job through a different agency than the one that sent you. Most of it's common sense. That's not to say I haven't made mistakes in this business, but I learn from them.

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I guess memorable depends on what kind of memory. I have memories of jobs where I've been sick; or there were memories of locations where I've shot. like the vacant mansion in Germany that was being fixed up, complete w ith a grand staircase. dance hall and crystal chandeliers. Or the shoot that took me into a Spanish castle where people paid to get in and I was paid to be there. Or the trip I had to South Africa where I ate the best seafood I've ever had in my entire life. Oh, and the jobs that have introduced me to people who have changed my life. like the first job I had with Randi Graves. We were working for August Max Woman (now closed]. sitting at a bistro table for the shot and laughing so hard our eyes were watering and the client was getting mad. The client eventually had to separate us. Or the job where a German photographer insulted me by saying he couldn't see the prop because I was too big. I remember calling my agent in a fury and my agent reminding me of how much money I was making per minute and that those minutes would eventually run out and I wouldn't have to see that guy again. I remember the smile I had after that call. There are jobs I haven't had yet that I know will be memorable. That is one thing I know for sure about this industry, you will always have a memory.

How has the plus size fashion scene changed since you began modeling? The clothes of today are far nicer. trendier and more plentiful than when I started, and yet society still isn't happy.

However. the concept of plus in fashion has not changed at all. I believe the plus society is actually making our industry worse because of their voices on social media. Is it really a surprise that companies are going under? Their marketing and models are all over the place and the consumers aren't helping at all. Every time a model is used for a company, the consumers don't wa it long enough to see what the company is thinking. They immediately jump on the critique bandwagon. In my opinion, what we need is a cohesive acceptance of size and shape regardless of the number on the label. As long as a company is using a healthy example of a model. we should be happy.


RANDI GRAVES Years Modeling: 14 How did you first get into the industry? It was actually on a dare, and I won! I was signed with Wilhelmina a year later.

What is one of your most memorable jobs so far?

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A photo shoot in Argentina with one of my dearest friends; Philippa Allam and Mia Tyler, for Lane Bryant. I'm smiling from ear to ear just thinking about it. We were a fantastic hot mess; just naughty & nice.

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My sista' from anotha' mistah: Tracie Stern. She has such love for this industry, and such drive. It's absolutely contagious.

How has the plus size fashion scene changed since you began modeling?


How has the plus size fashion scene changed since you began modeling? I think it's c ome full circle like most things in life. There are a lot more women getting their plus hustle on with speaking engagements, hosting, blogs, magazines. and workshops. It's so wonderful!

Which qualities will help models make it? Determ ination, determ ination and determination.

Is there anything you have not accomplished yet that you'd like to? OH YES! Tons! I'm a daily wor k in progress.

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KAREN TALLON Years Modeling: 21 How did you begin your modeling career? I was at a Girl Scout career exploration event when I was in eighth grade and one of the workshops was at a local modeling agency intended to teach girls how to present themselves well for an interview. After the workshop was over, one of the women from the agency approached me and asked me, "How tall are you?" I was 5 '9" and a size 12. She planted the idea of modeling in my head, but I didn't take it too seriously because I knew, although I wasn't overweight, I was not the super skinny model idea l, despite my height. Soon after, I moved to Florida and my brother knew some people at a modeling agency in Orlando. One day they had a woman from a plus size agency; Plus Models in New York come in to do some scouting. I came in to meet her and she enthusiastica lly invited me to come up to New York and do some testing . I went a few weeks later with my mom and tested with two photographers. This was shortly before my 15th birthday. Not long after, I began working and the rest is history!


I worked all the way through high school, played varsity basketba ll and volleyball, graduated third in my class and headed to the University of M iami. By then much of my work was in Miam i and Plus Models had opened a Miam i division. It was at th is point when I began working w ith my current booker Dorothy Combs. I graduated w ith a degree in Biology and Chemistry, minor in secondary education, while working on the side. I always said modeling sure beat f lipping burgers for a high school or college job! I got married after college to my husband and we now have three beautiful daughters.

What are your most memorable jobs? In my mind, my most memorable jobs usually have nothing to do with the job itself, but rather the people w ith whom I work. Some clients like JC Penney, Ulla Popkin Germany and U.S., Otto, and Kling le, I worked w ith for 10 to 15 years and the team becomes like a family to me. Over the years, working with some clients, photographers, stylists, make-up artists and other models, it has been fun to run into the same people over and over again, yet always meeting new people too. It's a funny thing this industry; as a model, you don't make the decisions, so you never know when or if you will see people again.

Is there anyone in the industry you look up to? From a fash ion perspective, my favor ite clothes I have worn for photoshoots have been from a Turkish company called Faik Sonmez. The company is run by the son of two old-school tailors who designed custom clothing for large women in

Istanbul. Now, the company has their own designers and stylists who put out a beautiful and fashionable collection for large women in Europe in the trad ition of tailored excellence. In the industry, I think I must say I have always looked up to another model who has been both a mentor and fr iend to me, Jerri Morrison. Her t imeless class and beauty, her com ic and kind persona lity and her humble and generous spirit have been an example to me as I grew up in this industry.

Which qualities do you believe a plus size model should have? Being a model is a job, not an identity. It is what you do, not who you are. Th is, I believe is an important understanding for models to have. The majority of the most successful girls, I have observed, are ones that also have other things going on for them. These are the girls who have an education, who have other aspirations and ideas.


Kathy Clair is very passionate about her role as Vice President of Marketing for Ash ley Stewart. Only four months in, and a lready she is making major changes . At the top of her li st, she is building the bridge between the brand and it's customer. I sat down with Kathy at the Mother's Day shoot in NYC to discuss models, fas h ion and w hat she hopes to bring to plus size wome n. Lad ies, meet your n ew p lus size advocate! by Madeline 0ones


PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

Maddy: I'm so happy to meet you. can you tell us about working for one of the top specialty brands for plus size women? Kathy: I see my job as an opportunit y to work for an underserved market. The people at Ashley Stewart are amazing. The product is gorgeous and it s stuff that my sister, mother and I want to wear. I knew this was where I had to be, I got goose bumps when I interviewed. Maddy: What do you hope to bring to Ashley Stewart? Kathy: To me we are not just selling clothes, we are selling confidence. I want everyone who walks in our door, or visit s us online to feel good about themselves. No matter what part of their body they want to play up, or what style they prefer, I want them to be able to find what they are looking for. Maddy: I'm here at your photo shoot for the May Mother's Day campaign - can you tell me about plus size fashion and what we could expect to see from Ashley Stewart? Kathy: We have gorgeous blouses, dresses, shimmer Capri twill pants, lots of color and basically everything you have seen on the runways. Maddy: Let's talk about the direction of the May Campaign; you are working with Randi Graves a former PMM cover model, and new to Ashley Stewart Fluvia Lacerda. Can you tell us about your decision to work with these two amazing models and the bold step in featuring a size 18 model in a campaign? Kathy: I dontthinkthat's a bold step, we are in the plus size business and when you put a garment on a woman who is a size 12 the customer is not going to relate to her as much as the models we are working with today. Randi was wearing this gorgeous

linen jumpsuit and the minute she put IT: on, IT: became a showstopper. Same w it h the dresses Fluvia was wearing. For me choosing models for this business is never going to be about what Kathy thinks, it w ill alw ays be about what our customer responds to. Having the right size model that our customer can relate to is paramount. I was in a meeting the other day and was asked the very same questions and I said, "I absolutely have to have real plus size models". Maddy: I'm anticipating a very loud applause from your customers and plus size women in general. I'm also pretty sure you will have some industry people who will not agree with your marketing strategies because bigger models are not "aspirational", as I've been told. Are you prepared for all the feedback? Kathy: I would challenge the statement about bigger models not being aspirational in two ways. The majorit y of American women are a size 14 or larger; we have to depict women of size for their size. Second~. as far as the industry goes. there is a Httle catching up to do. How w ill I handle it? Ithink Iw ill see how our customers w ill handle it. I want them to be our advocate and I want them to know we are listening to them. PLUS Model Magazine is excited about the changes at Ashley Stewart, if you love the direction they are taking let them know. wvvw.facebook.cornlashleystewart.

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PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

IGIGI is famous for providing timeless pieces that flatter the plus size figure from day to night. Meet the woman behind the line that has been hugging your curves for years, Yuliya Raquel and see what this maven has in store for us!

MS: How did you decide to become a designer? YR: I have been designing and making clothes since I was f ive years old. I always felt most fulfilled in conceptualizing an abstract idea of the garment, imagining how it would feel to wear it and then bring ing it to rea lity. Now that I am a professional fashion designer, I find it incredibly satisfying to know that tens of thousands of women feel beautiful wearing the clothing I create.

MS: Why design plus size fash ion? YR: There are many reasons. Fi rst of all, because a woman is a WOMAN. A woman's beauty and femininity is not lim ited or defined by her size, height or age (or any physical attribute for that matter) . However in our society, there is still a prevailing stigma that we must look a certain way to be considered and to be allowed to consider ourselves beautiful. I am committed to transform that idea so that ALL women are celebrated and acknowledged to be beautiful in their own . un1que way.

Secondly, I truly enjoy designing for the fu ller f igured woman. I was exposed to the classical art books from a very early age, and thus the idea of the voluptuousness as beauty got ingrained in my mind. I also loved the opu lence and sensuality of fashion that was represented in the paintings. Additionally, I was moved and inspired by the curve celebrating styles

from the 50's that I found in the old patternmaking books that my grandmother had. It all eventually led me to formulate the specific aesthetic, and love of creating fashion for larger size women .

MS: Have you fe lt any backlash from being a small women designing for larger women? YR: No, not really. I always felt accepted and loved by the women for whom I design. I think whats important is that my customers see my authenticity, passion and my stand in this world. We all accept each other for who we are and for how we are. My size is just that, the label on my clothing. I am a BIG person and I live a BIG life. So are women for whom I design . The largeness of our spirits is what connects and unites us all. Not the size of our bodies.

MS: What is the hardest part of designing for fuller figures? YR: The biggest challenge is to create one garment that fits and flatters all figure types and body shapes. Since all wom en are shaped differently, I find it almost impossible to create one style that looks good on all women . However, the biggest satisfaction comes when I discover the pieces that can be versatile enough to be styled and to look good on many shapes. Most designs have to be created for individual body shapes. That's why we cre ated the ShapeStylist tool at www.igigi. com to educate and help women shop for


beginning, w ith the story, inspiration moods, color pa lette and fab rication selection. Then we create campaigns that represent or encompass the theme of the collection.

MS: What is your inspiration behind your latest collection?

their unique figures.

MS: Some critics claim that there is no visible artistry in plus size clothing. How do you strive to infuse art into plus size fashion? YR: There two different schools of thought in the straight size fashion world and plus size fashion world . Most straight size fashion is created to celebrate the creative talents of the designer. The mainstream fashion world in general is very des igner-centric. In contrast, the plus size fashion world is customer-centric. I strive to create fashion that empowers, f latters and makes a woman feel gorgeous while wearing the style. By starting with a style that flatters a particular set of body shapes, I then use very unique prints, draping, color blocking or other deta ils to add the art istic and innovative approach to fash ion. My motto is designer artistry that is fo cused on wearability.

MS: Do you t r y to send out a message or theme in your clothes? YR: Absolutely! I finalize a collection theme that is conceptua lized from the

PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

YR: IGIGI's latest collection is called Vintage Vogue and the campaign that we created ar ound it is called A Breath of Fresh Air. The Vintage Vogue collection was inspired by the timeline of opulent and glamorous fash ion of the roaring 20s all the way through the 50s fe minine Americana style. The collection gave homage to the fabu lous Vogue magazine covers from those periods. We translated it into the A Breath of Fresh Air

campaign with the lightness and fresh ness of springtime, f lowers and joyfulness of being a woman.

MC: How should a plus size woman ideally dress her frame? YR: There are no real ideals when it comes to dressing for a plus size woman 's fra me apart from knowing what looks good and


lgigi by Vuliya Aaquel

makes her feel beautiful. There is a big movement now where wom en say NO to flattery. And in a way, I see the benefit of this movement. Clothing ideally should be all about making a woman feel amazing and beautiful, and not striving to fit into the standa r ds of f lattery. However, as a designer it is my job and re sponsibility to create the most flattering clothing and educate what works and what doesnt from exact perspective of flattery. Then women can really make a powerfu l choice, not because they are not educated or they do not have f lattering options, but because they choose to do it for their own reasons. MS: How does IGIGI by Vuliya Aaquel stand out from the crowd of plus size clothing options? VA: IGIGI collections embody modern sensibility w ith a vintage vibe and serve women's lifestyles. The design aesthetic is defined by timeless, curve-enhancing si lhouettes with smart. sexy feminine, wearable art inspired prints, vibrant colors, comfortable fabrics. figure flattering fit and attention -to-detail craftsmanship.

IGIGI has always been the innovator and pathfinders in the plus size fash ion world, leading t he way for other brands t hat fol low. Which means that there is always something, unexpected, fresh, interesting and very on-trend , yet timeless that can be found in our collections.

Additionally, from the years I spent creating couture designs for private clients, my goal is to deliver one-of- kind, luxury experience for our customers from the moment they come to the www.igigi.com website to the time when they put on the dress of their choice and experience themselves as the most beautiful woman that ever walked the planet. MS: How does IGIGI by Vuliya Aaquel help transform the world's idea of beauty? VA: We are committed to shift the thinking paradigms about feelings of beauty and femininity that are available to each woman. We also spread the awareness about the injustices that happen in our world that are related to larger size people. We transform the world's view of beauty by creating an empowering message that beauty is an PLUS Model Magazine April 2012


lgigi by Yuliya Raquel

inner experience and that it is not limited to the size of our bodies. We do that with our very unique, artistic and inspirational photography, educational materials such as our Glam Guide (www.igigi. com/cms/glamguide) and ShapeStylist (www.igig i.com/cms/shapestylist/whatis-your-shapel) , statement making films and artfu l videos. We spread the message of self empowerment w ith many of our films, such as the revolutionary art film from Marc DePaola with Fluvia L acerda 16 (http:// youtu.be/IBYceVcsQvE) that we created in 2009 to show that beauty is not conf ined to a specific size or shape. Then in 2010 we created a short film with Rosie Mercado called I am Beau t ifu l (http://youtu.be/n38c-Qbi-RA) that ca lled women to make a declaration of their beauty to the world and caused a huge controversial discussion on our YouTube page. It also depicted the discrimination that many ful l-figured women are subjected to in the world. We interviewed our model, Kallie 0' Sullivan in the Art Of Fashion In Motion vid eo (http://youtu.be/R EIH iEM F8b4) who shared her secrets of fee ling beautiful. rad iant and healthy. We are also working on a new secret project that we will revea l in t ime. So please stay tuned. MS: Some designers opt to focus on style instead of flattery. Do you think flattering the body is important? And if so, how do you marry style and flattery in your collections? YR: I think that all plus size designers carry a responsibility to their custom ers to provide a triad of fashion, style and flattering fit. Of course the customer PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

always has a choice to focus on flattery, fashion or style or all of the above. And it is her personal choice that depends on her own feelings of beauty. In my case, I always begin with the silhouettes that harmonize the figure and create proportional li nes. I then expand into the details that represent au courant fashion or depict the t imeless style. And it is all done in the context of the silhouette that flatters and enhances the curves. MS: What can we expect from IGIGI by Yuliya Raquel in the future? YR: You can always expect to be surprised and wowed. We are dedicated to create innovative concepts, exploring the new uncharted territories and moving the plus size fashion front forward. IGIGI by Yuliya Raquel is a brand that is dedicated to artistry, innovation, fashion and beauty.

Micaela Shambee is the Editor and CO-Creator of the plus size fashion and lifestyle blog Fashion Plus 3 . At fashionplus3.com, Micaela uses her personal style and eye for fashion to inspire young adults how to dress themselves and discover their own personal style. She has worked with major retailers in the Plus Size in dustry, includ ing We L ove Colors, Pam bras Bra Liners, lgigi and Kmart creating look books, social media campaigns, ed itorial campaigns and giveaways. Micaela is also a freelance writer and a fit model in the Chicagoland area. To contact Micaela, e-mail her at: micaelashambee@fashionplus3.com


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Sarah Sapora is living proof that life is a journey made of small steps. Her path has taken her from customer to a dream position as Director of Marketing and Creative Development for SWAK Designs. It's her enthusiastic passion that has brought the company to a new direction and has caught the industries eye. Who is this remarkable woman? This month we bring you closer to the woman making it all happen. Maddy: Tell me a little about yourself and your position at SWAK? Sarah: As Director of Marketing and Creative development I touch every aspect of the company's marketing and creative growth, from what we make to how we present it to our customers. I am truly honored to be able to do this, I'm the super creative type and get plenty of outlets to "dream it and build it" here. I'm also somebody who loves to see both the really big picture and the small pieces that make the whole. In this job, I understand exactly how SWAK operates and get to touch the bu ild ing blocks from start to finish. From the being part of the conception behind a garment, to assuring its f it, working photo shoots and then marketing it. It's a huge thrill to be able to do all this. To know that the work I do and the th ings that SWAK does help women feel good about themselves, is HUGE!

Maddy: Did you always work in fash ion? Sarah: What is unique in my case, is that I didn't come to SWAK with a background in fashion. I PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

came to the company as a customer who bought a dress and was so happy with what she received, fe lt the need to give customer service feedback. I like to joke that a "not so little black dress" is the reason I'm w ith SWAK today. My background is in marketing to women. That combined w ith the fact that I'm a plus size woman myself, makes me the company target customers. I love my job. I litera lly wake up every day excited to go to work. I have pride in our brand, in the product that we offer, in our fantastic sma ll-but-mighty team, and the fact that women across the globe can have access to comfortable, contemporary plus fashion at affordable prices. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have on a weekly basis.


PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

Maddy: We have seen a lot of great changes, can you tell us about SWAK and the direction you are going in for 2012? Sarah: We're so thrilled you can see the progress we have made as a brand. We've worked very hard to improve, with our goal being to dress as many women as we can! 2012 has been, and will continue to be, a time of growth for us. SWAK is like the "Little Eng ine That Cou ld". We are made of a team of ded icated, hardworking professionals who wear multiple hats and really, REALLY care about making a great product. For 2012, we're getting persona l! We're increasing our social media presence and making an effort to be as engaging w ith customers as we can. This year is about breaking the boundaries between the customer and the brand. From a merchand ise perspective, SWAK w ill always make clothes that are accessible and easy-to-wear. We want to be the brand you come to for the basics in your closet that you can throw on and look great in. Colorful maxi dresses, soft cardigans, f lattering tops. This year, you w ill see us expand our offerings in prints and add more styles to our very successful SWAK Vintage collection. Maddy: Social media plays a very big part in how brands develop conversations with their customer, tell me about how you have been able to be instrumental in developing good relations with your customer. Sarah: When I first began w ith SWAK, we had a small, unengaged Facebook community. We are at 16k fans and growing now (yeah!) and have a great group of customers who interact with

us regularly. Social media, in its essence, is personal. So we unwrap our brand and use socia l tools to let people get to know US behind the brand. We want people to feel like they have a one-on-one relationship with SWAK, more than just knowing we are a resource for stylish, affordable clothes. We want to make friends with our customers. Posts on Facebook are signed by team members and we always add personal touches to what we share. We do our absolute best to answer all questions as quick as possible- even answering them from our mobile devices late into the night when we can. We always work to rectify any customer service issues brought to our attention in a t imely manner. People know, if they post a question or issue it WILL be addressed as soon as we can get to it. Irs important that we build our


customers trust. That's a keystone in our brand, having customers trust that when they shop from us they are guaranteed a certain experience. Lots of brands have a Tumblr page so we have taken ours one step beyond the trad itional and made it about the creative inspiration beh ind the brand. I share what inspires me, what inspires SWAK and the things we like. On another note, we poll customers for data and regularly ask them for feedback. Moving forward we have lots of features in the pipeline to bring people even closer to the brand. User generated content will be very big for us in the later part of 2012! There are lots of initiatives on the table that will actually bring the customer INTO the brand. I can't say more now but... We are SO excited!

Maddy: I love the new Country Grace collection, what was the inspiration?

Sarah: Thank you! I'm a big fan of mixing the unexpected together-- the hard and the soft, the leather and lace. Although a native New Yorker, I'm most at peace outside. I'm a fan of country music and strong, storytelling women. Music in general shapes us a lot. In previous lookbooks, w ith our Aquarius collection for example, we paid homage to fema le rockers of the 70's. Th is time around, it was the embodiment of a country gal who can dress it up with the best and live with a little dirt on her high heels. I wanted to take bestselling SWAK styles, items folks have seen around our website for a few seasons, and present them in a totally fresh fash ion. Ways we have NEVER done it before. So we took a note from Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, The Dixie Chicks, Jenn ifer Nettles etc. We were also very shaped by the location we were able to snag. We shot on an actual ranch, w ith dust and dirt and bright-green grass w ith the sun


PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

overhead. It all came together like magic. I could not have been more proud of the team we worked w ith if I tried. The end result was exactly what I had hoped it would be and more than I ever imaged we would be able to create.

Maddy: How do you want women to feel when they are wearing SWAK Designs? Sarah: Comfortable in their skin and confident w ith their style. Our aim is to have customers dress their curves happy. Regardless if they want to make a change in their body or not, all women shou ld allow themselves permission to wear great clothes. Don't wait until tomorrow, t ill you have achieved your persona l perfection. Let yourself look great as you are NOW and the confidence w ill fo llow. When you shop at SWAK you can count on accessible prices and a fu ll range of sizes. You WILL find something that is easy to wear. Fast fash ion that is comfortable,

r iced accessibly, stylish.

contemporary and

Maddy: What's on the horizon for SWAK Designs? Sarah: More fashion and more women who look just like you! As we grow, you will see the amount of items we offer grow. Lots of new prints, lots of new vintage-inspired fashion and even more great easy basics. We aim to provide current clothes all year round w ith slow and steady releases of new styles. One of the biggest th ings, and something we are really proud of is the introduction of a new feature on our site called "MyStyle. MySize." This feature w ill embrace and showcase women of all shapes, sizes and styles wearing SWAK in their own unique way. Check out the exclusive SWAK Designs editorial in this month's issue of PLUS Model Magazine.


PL US Model Magazine April 201 2

"This is just not working

an

ore, noww a. t ~'' by Tracie Stern Model D evelopment Director

Refl ecting back on last month's article, you were given some pointers on what to do when you get a call back from an agency that is interested in you. In this article I want to focu s more on the relationship between you and your agent once you are signed. You are now a signed mode l. F irst off. Congratulations! Th is is a huge step for you and your career. Don't get too excited though because the work has just begu n. Everyth ing you did before wil l feel like nothi ng compared to w hat your agency is going to expect from you . After all, you are now representing them every time you wa lk out your door. Your image should have changed t he minute you signed your contract. M ine sure did . I went from the average, girl-next-door to a fashionista a nd model in what seemed like an overnig ht transformation. The minute your agency signs you, you start your new job as a model. This job does not offer you any previous training, unless you take one of my workshops ;-) and it will be more of a "learn as you go" and "learn t he hard way" process. Your agent is responsible for sometimes hundreds of models, you are responsible for one. T herefore you are going to need to be on top of everything that refers to you because there w ill come a t ime w hen your agent is so busy with others girls t hat you get put aside. To start off. I suggest you c heck in with your agency at least once a week. You

can do t his by either dropping by or calling in . T his reminds t he agent t hat you are t here, you are on top of it a nd that you ta ke t his job very seriously. It is also a great way to see what your agency is doi ng for you . Ask whic h cl ients they have bee n contacti ng a nd if the r e has been any feedbac k or interest. You will a lso wa nt to check your po r tfol io and comp ca r d status while in the agency. Make sure they have the most rece nt photos in the book a nd on t he wal l. If they don't. mentio n it to your agent so they can get your marketing materia ls updated as soo n as possible. You wi ll a lso want to v isit your on line portfol io ever y time you send in new photos. Agai n, you r agency ma nages hund r eds of models, you on ly manage o ne. If your photos on line aren't up to date, you wil l need to send a message to your agent to remi nd t hem to check into it. If you have been so f o r tunate to have had a job, it w ill be your r esponsib ility to c heck in with accounting to see if the job has bee n paid . T he average turn around f o r payme nt is betwee n 30 and 90 days, do not be surprised


PL US Model Magazine April 2012

thoug h to wait even longer than that. Today, the market sees clients payi ng in instal lments and on occasion not at all. Goi ng on the same idea that you have worked, it wi ll also be your responsibi lity to track down your tear s heets. The term tear sheet is based o n the action of physically 'tearing' your picture out of a publ ication. When you do get a tear, you wil l need to get that to your agency as soon as possib le. The greatest catch 22 in this industry is the fact t hat you can't get work without tears and you can't get tears without work. T ears are money and the longer you s it on them and do n't have them in your book, t he less likely you are to get t hat next job you are submitted for. A nother way to stay o n the good s ide of your agent is to always be prepared a nd be professiona l w hen out representing them . T his means that if you are at an agency funct io n, Chr istmas party or lau nch party; you remain sober, clear mi nded and dressed to kill. You are not o nly a reflection of your own product but also the age ncy's. If you become too much of a negative reflection on them, they wo n't hesitate to drop you. There are many major "NO NO's" in this business when it comes to models . Watch for a b log from PMM that wi ll discuss severa l of these. Agents aren't immu ne from bad behavior though. Remember, I sa id t hat t he agent works for you, well if t hat agent is not received well in t he c li ent commu nity, how do you thi nk your career will go? Sometimes agents don't have a good reputation. The agent is too pushy, they are abrupt, etc. etc. It's importa nt for you to have an open li ne of commu nication with your agent in order to keep both

of you in prime worki ng order. T here are many reaso ns why models leave age ncies; moving out of the market, marriage, ch ildre n, retirement, etc . One of the most common thoug h is p lain old unhapp iness. T he model fi nds they are n't worki ng, t he agent isn't responsive to their comments or co ncerns. The agency isn't paying the model. Clie nts don't like the agent and therefore opportu nities are lost. Al l of these situations have happened and most likely will happen at some point dur ing your career. The f irst thing you shou ld always do is try to fix it. However, if you find yourself in a s ituation where it's just not working out anymore here are a few suggestions:


PL US Model Magazine April 2012

1. DO NOT DISCUSS YOUR LEAVING THE AGENCY W ITH ANYONE. T his is crucial. Before you can even toy with the idea of leaving your agency you need to make sure your contract is up. Trying to break a contract is a nightmare. Most agencies will not let you out of your contract until it is up. T his really sucks if you have a year left and you are not getti ng along w ith your booker. If your agent fi nds out that you are trying to leave and your contract isn't up, the tension will o nly get worse. If you f ind yourself locked into a contract longer t han you would li ke, you ca n try to meet w ith the agency owner to see about working out a solution .

mo ney walk out the door. However, it's going to be important for you to understa nd, if your agent does not believe in your product 100 % it's going to be very difficu lt for them to sell you to clie nts . Ultimately the decision is yours. As you can see, the model/agent relatio ns hip is a partners hip . It's o ne busi ness working and marketing another busi ness where both s ides benefit. Whe n the relationships are strong a nd the two get along well, there is no stopp ing them, however when one s ide isn't pulling their own weight it leaves room for problems to arise. Switch ing age ncies is normal practice, if you do it rig ht, your good name and professional reputation wi ll stay intact.

2. If your contract is over, (STILL DO NOT D ISCUSS ANYTHING] prior to leaving the agency, start to solicit other agencies in t hat market. It's kind of like having a back up boyfriend before you dump the current one. This is the best way to prevent any hiccups in your career as you move over. You should provide your new agency w ith a complete list of every client you have worked for so they can begin to notify them of your switch. 3. Once you have a nother agency secured, you shou ld be as professiona l a nd po lite as possible when advis ing your curre nt agency that you are leaving . T hey wo n't be happy, but the best way to do it is in person . Exp lain t he issues and the fact t hat the chemistry isn't there. Make sure to se nd a gift basket or f lowers as a thank you for the work they did do. Even if they didn't. In most s ituations, especially if you are a working model, your agent/agency is going to fight you o n leavi ng, because t his literally means watching

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Hello my fellow PMM fam ily! I have been away for a bit, but its only because I have been working and booking! Madeline and I came up with the idea to share my highs and lows of being a working, full-time, plus-size model and actress. lm excited to share my perspective when it comes to hitting the pavement via castings and go-sees to booking and doing the actual gig. Throughout the year I will share stories that give you insight as to what really goes into a day in the life type of editorial. After years of doing Q&A with Larissa , I am blessed to continue with PLUS Model Magazine by sharing my adventures with you . My longevity in this amazing career has earned me the luxury of being a positive voice in the plus-size modeling and entertainment community. I entitled my new editorial: Model Musings with Larissa Laurel because this world inspires me, as do each and every one of you I come in contact with .

PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

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I was so thrilled when I booked the Lee Jeans catalog shoot back in November 2011. It was r ight after Thanksgiving. Not only was it a two-day shoot but L ee was flying me to Kansas City, Missouri where their national headquarters is located. Once ther e, I wou ld shoot with their in-house photographer (Dan RuettimannJ and stylist (Christy Guy]. The person in charge of booking me was Marc Shank, who also runs the entire marketing operation. Marc told me that the buyers and the general public were disappointed that t he pr evious plus-size models didn 't look plus-size at all, so they made history by booking a size 18 junior model; which is me!! It turned out to be such a success that they booked me again


PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

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-------------------------------------------just a couple of weeks ago and I shot I printed all my hotel info, flight info, and there this past March 2012.

Now, knowing beforehand that the shoot was right after Thanksgiving, I made sure not to eat my usual helpings of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pecan pie. In fa ct. I just ate turkey and green beans, with a taste of pumpkin cheesecake.

a mental note to keep all receipts of taxi rid es and any incidenta ls I might need to buy during the trip and vis it in Kansas City.

Lee had a driver pick me up at the airport, which made me feel like such a VIP when I saw my name on one of those white papers the driver holds for you when you exit the gate. Betty drove I'm known to be a hearty eater, so I'm me to the Raphael Hotel in downtown sure my boyfriend 's Italian fam ily was Kansas City. It is the oldest. boutique wondering what was up. They looked hotel in Kansas City and looks like you re lieved when I explained I booked a big stepped back in t ime w ith the fu rnish shoot in Missouri modeling jeans, shorts ings and white glove treatment. and summer outfits and were in full supThis was way above my expectation. I port of my low-carb Thanksgiving dinhave travelled before for acting gigs ner. and shoots, but have never stayed in Back home before f lying out of La Guar- such a glamorous hotel before. Lee dia, I packed up my gym clot hes, sneak- spared no expense and it truly made ers, a pair of heels, a pair of sandals, the whole experience very special. extra makeup and all my modeling necess ities: nude bra, nude thongs, Spanx The front desk concierge told me that Lee took care of everything and since (just in case), lotion, business cards, it was my first time at the hotel, she comp cards, etc. I wanted to make sure bumped me up to a master suite (I 've I was fu lly prepared, espec ially s ince I included pictures for you all to see). wasnt in NYC and had never worked There was a gym wh ich I used both w ith this stylist before. mornings before I was picked up to My past experiences have taught me go s hoot and a four-star restaurant, that if you don't think you II need a cer which I went to my last night there. tain item, that's the one item you are going to need ! I also made sure to get my natural looking mani/pedi done since Marc showed me around Lee Jeans that was a requirement for t he shoot.


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-------------------------------------------and was mor e than thrilled when I ment ioned I'd be writing about my experience here and t he fact that Lee was employing a model above a size 14. I got his perm ission and the company's blessing to write this article. In fa ct. Brooke Fairchild sent me the following info for our readers when I asked her the history of the plus-size line at Lee Jeans: In Fall 2009, Lee started a women's (plus sizeJ line to specifically address the plus size shopper. Pr ior to 2009, Lee had plus sizes available in the same silhouettes as the Misses offer. 1ngs. As for out product innovations, our women's li ne includes the following: Made2Fit Adjustable Waist - Fits a well defined waist and fu ller seat. hips and thighs. Instantly S li ms You - Slims & smooth your waistline while providing all day comfort. Comfort Waistband -The or ig inal comfort waistband that moves w ith you. No-Gap Waist - A llows you to bend without flashing. Hugs your figure. For those of you who are learning the business lingo, Misses silhouette is the traditional plus-s ize fit. It's the plus-size standard our mothers and grandmothers had to shop from. Today, we are lucky shoppers because PLUS Model Magazine April 2012

plus-size is made not only in the Misses sil houette, but now caters to curvy and other body types depend ing on the line. Now I was ready for the shoot! I walked into the stud io and was warmly greeted by Dan and Christy. We got to work right away. We shot about 15-20 outfits each day and each outfit took about 1 5 -20 minutes to shoot after all the prepping of each one. The stylist and photographer had a really great tradition for lunch t ime which was rea lly fun. They had pieces of paper w ith restaurant names in a fish bowl and whoever is the model that day gets to draw a paper and we all eat there. The f irst day was Mexican and the second day was BBQ. I got to try famous Kansas City BBQ ribs! The two days were fu ll 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work days and the pay was amazing ! I had a great t ime and look forward to more shoots. Thank you to Lee Jeans. Marc, Dan, and Christy for two fun-filled shoot days !


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Plus Model Fiona Shares Her Favorite 'Must Have' Finds From Her Model 's Bag! ( Verge Tote Bag This was given to me by the client and has become my favorite model bag - Great for carrying everything I need ... Every girl needs a big bag! 'Change' Scarf So, so important to have a good 'change' scarf ... Clients hate seeing makeup on clothing! They are also fantastic on location to shelter from the sun in summer or a bit of extra warmth in winter when you are on a shoot. High Heels I'm tall and so I am normally in flats when running from job to job or casting to casting, but I always keep a good pair of neutral toned heels in my bag to pop on just before I walk in the door. Also handy t o have on shoots or catwalk shows w here t hey may not have been able to pull my size ... A neutral or nude shade goes with everything! Hair Kit Hairbrush, hairspray, bobby pins, ponytail holders My Mason Pearson hairbrush is the key! I never know where the day might lead and it's important to look calm and groomed as I race around meeting clients! Basic Makeup Kit Base, bronzer, gloss, mascara and liner For touch-ups before castings. I might be down at the beach or having lunch with a friend and get a call to go to a casting a.s.a.p. so I need to have enough makeup on me that I can do a nice clean, light makeup and go in looking fresh; also handy for last minute bookings that might require my doing my own hair and face. The bronzer I love is Benefits Hoola, which can be used as eye shadow, lipstick and blush as well as bronzer ... fantastic product!


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By Tiffany Bank What made you decide to become a plus size model? I always loved to dress up when I was younger. I used to change my clothes several times a day just to show them off! That used to drive my mother crazy. I just loved fashion! I never considered being a model because I wasn't a size 2. I was too embarrassed to tell people that being a model was my dream. I was a curvy girl and I didn't think models were curvy. It took me 22 years to embrace my curves and follow my dream. I'm going to spend the rest of my life lov ing my curves as I should have all along. Who are your favorite curvy role models? Tara Lynn for one. S he is fierce and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone to disagree. She has taken plus size modeling to the next level. She is in good company with girls like Laura Wells, Kelsey Olson. Denise Bidot... I could go on! Finish this sentence: The plus industry is: Inspiring. I struggled for so long hiding my curves and it is beautiful to see women embracing them. These women are modeling t he latest fashions and showing the world that the average woman is gorgeous and shou ldn't be ashamed of t he bod ies they were given. That inspires me to be a model and maybe one day I can inspire others.

PLUS Model Magazine - April 2012


April Spotlight Model/PLUS Model Magazine

If you could pick the perfect plus modeling campaign for yourself, who would you want to work for? I love Marc Jacobs. I would go crazy to model for him if he came out with a line for curvy gir ls! Marc Jacobs' clothes are bold, vibrant and fun. Clothes are an expression of t he person and in his clothes I am all those things. He is my absolute favorite!

supply of great shops in my city.

Who was the photographer and makeup rtist for the photos? Photos and Makeup by Paige Craig Caryn Higgins modeling agencies and portfolios: Brand Model and Talent link IPM Model Management link

What are your dreams, desires and goals as a plus model? My dream , desires, and goals are to be featured on the cover of a high fashion magazine! There have already been plus size girls in Vogue and Elle, so who is to say I'm not next.

What can we look forward to you doing in the next year? I could pop up anywhere! I am pretty new to the scene so it is anyone's guess where I could be seen next. Summer is coming up and perhaps people will be climbing over themselves for a fiery red head to model their beachwear! Don't worry I'll bring my sun block - Gingers tend to burn easily!

Name your favorite store to shop for curvy clothes in your hometown. Living in Los Angeles I have all the greats! Torrid, Forever 21, Lane Bryant, Avenue, and Ashley Stewart! There are many, many more. I am never in short


Thank you to all of the amazing models, photographers, MUA's, Designers, Fashion Companies and Stylists that helped to bring you this issue of P L US Model Magazine!

And what did you think? We want to hear from you! Click here to drop us a line and let us know what you thought, what you loved, liked and could do w ithout as well as what you would like to see in future issues. Until the next issue ... keep it curvy! Madeline Jones, Editor-in-Chief & The PLUS Model Magazine Team PL USmodelmag.com FOLL OW

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MARKETING DIRECTOR tulin reid I tulin@plusmodelmagazine.com CONTACT admin@plusmodelmagazine.com


PLUS Model Magazine: April 2012 Issue Plus Size Fashion