We previously reported on the amazing number of applicants for the first ever plus-size modelling competition held by the esteemed Models 1 agency this past spring. What seemed like possibly just a token nod to curvier women ended up receiving twice as many entrants as the agency’s earlier competition for “straight-size” models. The lovely Simone Charles, a 21-year-old-student, was the plus-size competition’s winner.
In a recent interview with HuffPost UK Lifestyle, Simone said, “I thought the competition was a good chance to go professional, and to promote curvier women in the industry, to show that they can be respectable and sexy and wear good clothing.”
“Models 1 is one of the most respected agencies,” says Rivkie Baum, editor of SLiNK magazine who offered an editorial and cover shoot in her magazine to the winner. Winning this competition is “a big deal,” she adds and “hopefully it shows that women are getting more confident and that they are proud of their curves.”
“I was keen to find a girl who could do the edgier side of fashion, not just the smiley commercial stuff,” says Rivkie, who liked that Simone is a UK size 18. Baum shares a vision with Models 1 that curvy models can be considered for editorial as well commercial shoots.
Simone herself also wants to see a change in the mentality of the modelling industry. “It doesn’t have to be a big thing,” she says. “You should be able to appreciate curvy as well as straight models, and my ultimate goal is for straight sized women to pose alongside a curvier woman and it not be some big statement. And that we refer to women as women, not ‘plus size’ or ’straight’.”
In America, there is already a new modelling agency called Jag which has dispensed with separate divisions for plus- and straight-size models (H&M sensation Jennie Runk is represented there). Set up by former Ford agents Gary Dakin and Jaclyn Sarka, Jag aims to put “girls of all sizes on the covers of magazines, in advertising, and not stopping.”