Plus plus size fashion is making some strides in the industry with more brands recognizing the size 12 and over crowd and the blogosphere crying out for better size diversity. I sure know how it feels to be a plus size girl trying to be fashionable in an atmosphere that isn’t always very accommodating. But what about plus size models? What is the industry like?
To give me (and the rest of us some insight) is Deborah Friedman. She’s a former plus size model and the owner of Plus Size Plum, a plus size lingerie line. She talks about what got her into plus size modeling, her advice to aspiring models, as well as some advice on shopping for lingerie (just in time for the holidays!)
What made you decide to become a plus size model?
I was a student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and a teacher discouraged me from acting.
She said I had a pretty face, but not the body to match so I would work as a character actress. My fiancee read an article in the newspaper about plus size modeling and a new agency representing plus size models exclusively so I went to an open casting call. Since I photographed well, the agency head sent me on go sees even though she thought I was too ethnic looking.
What do modeling agencies look for in a plus size model?
I would say they look for great bone structure, at least 5’8″, well-proportioned, firm, size 12-16 with a charismatic personality.
Tell me about your lingerie line.
Last year was the first year I manufactured. My piece was called “Beyond the Bedroom” look-lingerie that crosses over to eveningwear with an emphasis towards the bustier BBW (Big, beautiful women). The signature babydoll was produced in the US and accentuated all of one’s assets while diminishing problem areas (like back fat). This year I chose not to manufacture (because of the unpredictable economy), but I cherry picked the most flattering fashion forward styles for Holiday 2010.
What makes it stand out from all the other lingerie brands that cater to plus size women?
I carry only the highest quality vendors at competitive prices. Additionally, I give my customers a high end retail experience as well as personalized assistance in selecting the best styles for their figure. I am always giving them ideas for incorporating their lingerie into their wardrobe to create sexy evening wear looks. I offer value and versatility.
What advice can you give to plus size women when it comes to shopping for lingerie?
Pick lingerie styles the way you would choose sportswear. If you don’t look good in straight pencil skirts, pick a line, trapeze shape styles-they’re more flattering. Also, pick quality and good supportive construction. When choosing a corset remember it has to fit your torso as well as your bust. When shopping pick pieces like bodystockings, lace hosiery and corsets that you can also wear with jeans and sweaters. What do men love? They adore bodystockings if the woman has the confidence to pull it off and of course, red.
What are three pieces of advice you can give to an aspiring plus size model?
The best way to sell yourself is a winning personality, follow the photographer’s direction and come prepared (bring your own make up, hosiery, some shoes, clean hair.)
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