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THE MOST BODY DIVERSE MAG IN THE WORLD VOL. 13 | ISSUE 11 | JAN-FEB 2017

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NIKKI

GOMEZ

TH E PH OTOGR A PHE R T O F O L L O W

®


SKORCHMAGAZINE

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HEAD

Jessica Kane

EXECUTIVE EDITOR & OWNER

CREATIVE DIRECTOR & DESIGNER

Tiffany Kaelin Knight

Jessica Kane

EDITOR-AT-LARGE

PUBLISHER

Dana Martinez SCENE EDITOR

Diego Catto

Amanda Bourne WEST COAST EDITOR

Samantha Morris EDITOR-AT-LARGE AUSTRALIA

Jennifer Barreto-Leyva EDITOR-AT-LARGE LATIN AMERICA

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Jessica Kane

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MASTER

GRAPHIC DESIGNER www.diegocatto.com

Nichole Alex Brittany Berggren CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS PUBLISHED BY REAL OMNIMEDIA LLC

Alyssa West MANAGING EDITOR

Terr Cacilia SR FASHION EDITOR

JOIN SKORCH www.skorchmagazine.com/Join-Team-Skorch

Courtney Mina SPECIALS CONTRIBUTOR

THE MOST BODY DIVERSE MAG IN THE WORLD VOL. 13 | ISSUE 11 | JAN-FEB 2017

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BEHIND THE

COVER Photographer: Nikki Gomez Stylist: Rebecca L. Ballister Hair and Makeup: Sarah Leflochmoen Models: Laura, Lee, Rebecca L. Ballister

N IKKI

GOM E Z

T H E P H OT OGR A P H ER T O FOLLOW

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Skorch MODEL

TO WATCH

Model

TO WAT C H 2017

J ezra Matthews belongs to the up and comers of the plus size industry. Here at SKORCH, we are dedicated to keeping you in the know. For the first issue of the year, we are serving up our “Who to Watch of 2017”, showcasing this years must-watch Model, Youtuber, Designer, Creative, and Photographer. Watch these women dominate the industry as they continue to challenge society’s ideals of what a powerful, revolutionary looks like.

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Dress: Ashley Stewart Photographer: by Nikki Gomez


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TO WATCH

Dress: forever21. Photographer: @canvas_photography

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model, fashion blogger and a newbie to fitness. With a love for style and modeling- Jezra says “Modeling for me is how I speak to people. I speak through my pictures. I hope when people see my pictures they also see the message I’m trying to send out about self-love, self-awareness and confidence. I see myself in the future going far, and even traveling to different countries modeling, meeting and speaking to women about loving your body purely. I created #PureBodyLove because I believe Pure body love is about loving your body purely. Loving, Accepting and Appreciating that you are a beautiful creation.

Location: Jezra M is located in New York and is

also goes back and forth to the beautiful island St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

2016 Accomplishments: In 2016

Jezra completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology! Jezra has worked with numerous of plus size companies modeling and blogging. Coming in January 2017 is a campaign with Blink Fitness.

2017 Goals: In 2017 Jezra plans to further her

education by getting her master’s degree in mental health. “I want to become a counselor to help women with confidence and body image issues. I would love to continue modeling and blogging.” In addition to all that she also plans to continue expanding into the fitness realm.

Social media: www.jezram.com

jezra_m

Jezra-M

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Who: Jezra Matthews is an advocate for women,


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TO WATCH

Dress: Ashley Stewart Photographer: by Nikki G

Bodysuit: Rebdolls MUA: @10vbeauty Hair : @yasmin_amira_ Nails: @honeynailz , Wardrobe: @karinasharif Photographer: @itayshaphoto


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White Dress: Rue107 MUA: @10vbeauty Hair: @yasmin_amira_ Nails: @honeynailz Wardrobe: @karinasharif Photographer: @itayshaphoto

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MODEL

Mua/Art Direction/Concept/Paint: @moshoodat Photographer: @islandboiphotography


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TO WATCH

Dress: Ashley Stewart Photographer: @canvas_photography


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Dress: Fashion to Figure Photographer: @canvas_photography

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TO WATCH


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Shirt & Bodysuit: @justcurvesactive Photographer: @fwlentworld

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CREATIVE TO WATCH

creative T O WAT C H 2 0 1 7

Amanda

amirez Photographer: @slapj


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amanda ramirez

Who: Amanda Ramirez otherwise known as

@Comptonsveryown_ on Instagram. Amanda is a 22 year old creative who is currently battling cancer. She is a makeup enthusiast and an aspiring plus sized model who uses her Instagram to help uplift women around the world and spread confidence.

Location: Compton,Califorina 2016 Accomplishments: This

year alone Ramires has begun to create a solid social media platform to help inspire thousands of people with her story. Despite her on-going cancer battle, her positivity shines through when she so simply says “2016 brought me so many blessings.”

2017 Goals: In 2017 Amanda Ramirez

aims to launch a YouTube channel, as well as begin hosting makeup classes. “I’ll be working on my foundation geared to helping plus size girls. I can’t go much into detail but be on the lookout!” says Ramirez- and we will be!

Fund Her Fight:

https://www.gofundme.com/FundHerFight comptonsveryown_/

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CREATIVE TO WATCH


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Outfit #1

Earrings: Etsy Dress: H&M plus Suede coat: H&M plus

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CREATIVE TO WATCH

Outfit #2

Body suit: Torrid Pants: Old Navy


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CREATIVE TO WATCH

Outfit #3

Headwrap: www.ushindi22.com Jacket: f21 plus Shirt: Ana and viv


Photographer: @slapj

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CREATIVE TO WATCH

Outfit #4

Shirt: Asos Curve Bralette: Lovesick Purse: Zara Photographer: @Cloudnaiii (Nailah Howze)

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YOUTUBER TO WATCH

youtuber

Gabrie T O WAT C H 2 0 1 7

Las


iella

scano Photographer Antonio Foster (@antonioeff)

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YOUTUBER TO WATCH

gabriella lascano Who: Gabriella Lascano, 25, Latina, Puerto Rican and

Dominican and engaged to her photographer Antonio Foster. Gabriella started experimenting with fashion and makeup at a young age. She says “I was wearing my mother’s pearls, red lipstick, and heels. By the time I was in high school I knew I wanted to be a makeup artist. I started working at Sephora, then in college I moved into working for MAC cosmetics. I learned so much about beauty and make up application.” In 2015, Gabriella worked as a celebrity makeup artist with Dascha Polanco and experienced New York Fashion Week. She now works for herself as a brand, beauty, and plus size fashion ambassador. “I consider myself a body positive role model and influencer” says Lascano.

Location: Bronx, New York! 2016 Accomplishments: This year

Gabriella had her first fashion collection with a major plus size brand ; AVENUE. She also had a major feature in Galore Magazine as well as other publications.

2017 Plans: In 2017 Gabriella plans to collab with

more plus size fashion brands as well as beauty brands. She is approaching 100k on Instagram and 50k on Youtube. “ I look forward to meeting my followers and giving them support and love and showing them how thankful I am for their support!” says Lascano.

Social media: gabriellaglamou

www.gabriellalascano.com

Gabriella Lascano

officialgabglam

GabriellaLascano

Gabriellaglamour


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YOUTUBER TO WATCH

Outfit #1

Black Dress - Forever21+ Coat: BOOHOO Skirt: BOOHOO Top: BOOHOO Fur heels: Steve Madden

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YOUTUBER TO WATCH

Outfit #2

Dress: Fashion Nova Fur: Forever21 Heels: Forever21 Choker: Amazon


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YOUTUBER TO WATCH

Outfit #3

Entire look: Prettysadity Boutique Shoes: Fashion Nova


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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

photographer T O WAT C H 2 0 1 7

nikki

gomez

n

ikki Gomez has photographed many of the industry’s top plus size models. With a fashion career spanning over a decade Nikki Gomez proves time, and time again that she is one to watch!


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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

nikki gomez

Who: Nikki began her career in fashion in early

2004 as a plus size model. While she did find success as a print, fit and commercial print model, she felt a strong desire to explore her creative side in 2007 and that lead her to her passion of fashion photography. She has since had the opportunity to work for several designers, brands, magazines and has photographed some of the biggest names in the industry. Her passion for her photography knows no bounds and she is determined to take her business to the next level in the coming year.

Where: Nikki was born and raised in New York where she currently resides.

What you have done in 2016 In 2016 Nikki was honored at Full Figured Fashion Week with the prestigious Photographer of the Year award. She was also published in several national and international publications while continuing to expand her client list. Nikki has also added a consultant portion to her business, offering guidance and sharing her industry knowledge to new agency signed models on a one-on-one basis. She is also a model scout for an agency in New York City and has discovered several models and guided them to success in their careers.

What you anticipate for 2017

Nikki has been working hard to expand her business and plans to add more well known brands to her portfolio. Nikki has been working on expanding the consulting portion of her business and has some announcements coming in the early part of the new year! She also hopes to have more clientele abroad. Her passport is ready for all that is to come!


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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

Model: Morgan Whitney IG: @morganthemodel Makeup: Eve Chen @melangenyc


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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

Model: Erin Brown IG: @sensiblesocialite Makeup: Eve Chen @melangenyc

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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

Model: Denka IG: @denkadenk


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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

Model: Amanda Marucci IG: amandamaruccinyc Makeup: Nicole Marie IG: @kissn_makeup

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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

Model: Bianca IG: @biancafrombrooklyn Makeup: Eve Chen @melangenyc


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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

Model: Mel Parrish IG: melparrishplus Makeup: Eve Chen @melangenyc

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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

Model: Rebeccal L. Ballister IG: @rebeccalballister


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PHOTOGRAPHER TO WATCH

Model: Christen Marucci IG: @christenmarucci

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Dress: Christian Ome’Shun Credits: Amber Patrick

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INTERVIEW

Keep Staring AN INTERVIEW WITH R E A DY T O S TA R E S

Alysse

Dalessandro Interview/Article: Alyssa West - Managing Editor.

t

alking with Alysse Dalessandro is like leaving the real world and entering a confidence driven alternate universe where all bodies are beautiful and if you work long enough and hard enough, you can achieve any dream. Her face lights up as I hand her a Chai Tea Latte and then we start chatting. Two years ago, Alysse met with our Senior Editor, Terr Cacilia, and talked about her work and her

designs. At the time, she was just starting to make a name for herself and her shop, Ready to Stare. Her hope at her time was that she could quit her day job at an insurance agency and focus full-time on her shop. Little did she know, that just a few weeks later she would be able to do just that. But her employment status isn’t the only thing that’s changed in the last two years, her focus has evolved as well.

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Crop Top and Midi Skirt: ELOQUII Shoes: H&M

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INTERVIEW

She starts to explain the different ways sites have used her images as abuse, personally attacking her while also trying to dehumanize her name

When she started her company, Ready to Stare, she planned to make a statement. What she didn’t know is that that statement wouldn’t just come from her designs. As a woman in this society, especially as a plus size woman, Alysse was once very cozy with the word insecurity. Even as she started Ready to Stare, inspired by the idea that she wanted to be ready to be stared at no matter what, Alysse would describe herself as shy and hesitant to post even a selfie. Then one day, her friend told her she had to put herself in her clothes, she had to bet on herself. And with that, she did a photo shoot with that same friend that showed off both of their biggest insecurities, their legs.

From that moment on, Alysse put herself in her photos, fearlessly. With that new confidence boost came another new form of self-expression, blogging, which quickly started to take over her life. With blogging, she found a new voice for herself, and a new career. Now Alysse works as a freelance writer and blogger more than she designs. But that comes at the perfect time considering the world of internet trolls, and when we start to talk about this, that’s when Alysse’s power truly shines. When asked about the internet trolls and the abuse she endures online, Alysse raises her eyebrows and her eyes blow up. She starts to explain the different


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When she sees stuff like that, Alysse is the first to admit that it gets to her. That it hurts her, but she never lets that feeling take over for too long.

ways sites have used her images as abuse, personally attacking her while also trying to dehumanize her name. But if you thought that would slow her down, then you don’t know Alysse.

When she sees stuff like that, Alysse is the first to admit that it gets to her. That it hurts her, but she never lets that feeling take over for too long. Because every time some anonymous site tries to take away her voice, she just screams ten times louder, and she does that through blogging. “You’ve got to take control of the narrative.” she explains. dcbjTry posting a picture of her with a cruel quote? Try to photoshop her for “inspiration”? Prepare to be brought to justice by Alysse herself who’s greatest power is her words. She doesn’t just call out the internet trolls, she also calls out companies that try and belittle or silence plus size woman’s voices. Silence isn’t something Alysse is very good at. Which has kept her very busy. From modeling, to blogging to doing guest spots for other sites, Alysse lets you know exactly who she is, and she’s not going to apologize for it. When things really start to bug her? She designs. Her favorite thing is her graphic tees. From the “Photo Shop This” shirt, which features middle fingers prominently on the front, to the “Morbidly Obsessed with Myself” top, Alysse’s clothes speak as loudly as her blog posts. Her pictures, her words and her persona speak for themselves. Loud, clear and strong, just like Alysse.

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INTERVIEW

Skirt and Crop Top: Society+ Custom Jean Jacket: Ready to Stare Credits: Amber Patrick.


Jacket & Skirt: Ashley Nell Tipton for JCPenney

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INTERVIEW

Jeans: Fashion Nova V-Neck: H&M Mens Hat: Ready to Stare

Social media: www.readytostare.com

readytoshare

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Skorch DESIGNER TO WATCH

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designer T O WAT C H 2 0 1 7

yona

love shine OF YONA NEW YORK

ona Shine designs sophisticated, effortless fashions for plus-sized women in the corporate world. Yona New York is made in Brooklyn NY and is fighting the dull drabs of plus size office attire.


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Yona shine

Who: Yona Love-Shine is a plus size woman who designs

fashionable, effortless apparel for women who wear sizes 14W-24W. She selects fabrics which stretch and flow to leverage the natural beauty of larger women. Everything is designed and manufactured in NYC. She is also a two time sponsor of FFFWeek. Major Press: Plus Model Magazine, SKORCH Magazine, Estrella Fashion Report, Curvy Connect Magazine, TRUE Model Blog, TheOutfit, SassyPlus, The Curvy Podcast, ReadStrutter, PR Web, Fatshion Forward, and many popular blogs

Celebs who wear Yona New York:

Rosie Mercado, Maddy Jones, Lindsey Averill, Melissa Mazza, Danielle Braverman, Lexi Placourakis, Alexandra Boos, Kelly Augustine, Melinda Parrish, Marcy Cruz

Originally from: Natanya, Israel Currently lives: Brooklyn, New York 2016 Accomplishments: Fashion has always been

a way for me to express myself. Though I was always a larger size, somehow I was able to be creative and express myself through fashion� says Yona. “Being larger should not be a limitation of feeling beautiful or looking beautiful in clothes. During this first full year of Yona New York I hope I have helped women feel the same. Clothes can elevate your confidence and enable us women to be stronger and taken seriously and professionally in this world. My biggest accomplishment in 2016 is helping other women feel this way in my clothes.

2017 Plans: More, more, more! Just to sum it up. Yona New

York wants to reach more women and show them how fashion can be effortless, sophisticated, and chic. She wants to get into more fashion shows, and have her beautiful models strut on more runways. She wants to help dress more celebrities to help spread her name to the world. And last, but not least, she will have more designs and more styles to emphasize the beauty of the plus size woman.

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DESIGNER TO WATCH

All clothing items featured are available at yonanewyork.com

Social media: yonanewyork

yonanewyork

yonanewyork.com

yonanewyork

yonanewyork


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DESIGNER TO WATCH


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DESIGNER TO WATCH


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DESIGNER TO WATCH


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bopo activist BOPO ACTIVIST TO FOLLOW 2017

allison

kimme

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ey HMU: Marla May Beauty Clothing: Society Plus Styled: Akili Phillips

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Who: Allison Kimmey- Her besties

call her Allie. Allison is a self-proclaimed Global Self Love Expert who has made a mark in the Body Positive industry by offering daily inspiration with a side of the ‘swimsuit edition’. She struts her size 16/18 body in barely there bikinis and shows her transformation from a size 6 to a size 16. Allison’s a mommy to a 6 and 4.5 year old and wife to the head football coach at their local high school. She is the founder of a nonprofit for empowering teen girls called GirlPhoria which hosts pop-up events around the Space Coast of Florida. Allison prides herself on offering the most transformative coaching programs for women seeking to regain their life through achieving true self love, just like she did several years ago.

Location: Born in California, grew

up in Florida, schooled in Boston, started her family in Germany, and is now settled in a tiny beach town on the coast of Florida.

2016 Accomplishments: 2016 was a year of self-actualization. Allison hosted her first GirlPhoria Lounges and retreats with just 5 girls, and ended the year with a huge event of over 30 girls and a team of 5 women to help run the event! She has made it her mission to bring body diversity to mainstream media by modeling exclusively for Society+ and showing her body through social media as much as possible. By sharing her story of being happier as a size 16 than at


2017 Goals: It will be this Aquarian’s

BIG 3-0 and she couldn’t be more excited! “I don’t intend to stop any time soon and have visions daily of speaking in front of large groups of women. My first ever VIP mentoring program, The Transformation Trimester, is launching in January. This is something I have poured my entire heart and soul into in order to allow a small group of women to experience true transformation in their lives. I will be publishing a book next year so that I can empower across the globe. My nonprofit, GirlPhoria, will gain it’s first teen ambassadors and begin an online library of inspiration to reach girls in every corner of the world. I suppose the word I would use for 2017 (as a student of Danielle LaPorte’s “The Desire Map”) is expansion. Expansion to bring my message of self love and body diversity to help every single woman to Just Do You!” says Kimmey

Social media: www.allisonkimmey.com

allisonkimmey

allisonkimmeybiz

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a size 6 she gained exposure in publications such as DailyMail, Glamour, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, People, Hey Revelist, Popsugar and Huffpost Lifestyle. 2016 was a year of showing up for her life and expanding into the greatness that has been waiting for her for so long.


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HMU: Marla May Beauty Clothing: Society Plus Styled: Akili Phillips Photographer Jessica Bellinger Photography


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Self composed for Instagram.

HMU: Self Clothing: Society Plus Photographer: Jessica Kane


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HMU: Laura Reynolds Artistry Clothing: Society Plus Styled by: Akili Phillips Photographer: Camryn Clair Photography


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