Saffi Karina started out as a straight-size model, but was dropped by her agency six years ago after her body changed and her hips grew. Now, reborn as a plus-size model, Karina also has founded Curve Project London, the UK’s first plus model workshop, which will give aspiring plus models the skills necessary to make it in the industry.
“As you grow older, you become more womanly and I actually didn’t want to change that, so I started looking for what else was out there,” Karina said in an Evening Standard interview. “I began working as a plus-size model and it is a very positive and happy industry. I still got to do what I loved and travel the world.” Karina has gone on to land campaigns with Debenhams, Speedo and Bravissimo.
The monthly workshops at Curve Project London include in-depth mentoring and experience working with stylists as well as photo shoots, portfolio advice, runway lessons, casting tips and hair and make-up sessions.
“There is a real thirst for ‘normal’ sized women, especially for commercial brands,” Karina says. “I want to strive to endorse a positive body image and act as a role model to young women who previously thought ‘thin’ was the only way to get a foot over the fashion threshold.”
Successful plus-size models Laura Wells and Marquita Pring
Perhaps there are positive changes on the horizon for the modelling industry generally. Just recently, a new Health Initiative was launched across 19 editions of Vogue magazine, aiming to address the problem of unhealthy body image and behaviours amongst working models. British Vogue has signed off on an additional Equity Model Code of Conduct. Further, curvier models are openly calling for larger sample sizes.
Tocarra Jones and Kaela Humphries
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