A Collected Interview
How did you become a plus size fashion model?
I got into fashion modeling somewhat by accident. I had done some modeling in college fashion shows, but when I was in grad school a few years ago, I submitted to an open call for a fit model and I ended up booking the job. I’ve been working hard on my career ever since.
What inspires your style?
I’m inspired by everything around me honestly. My style is a reflection of who I am in the present moment and the many parts of my mind. Sometimes it’s girly, sometimes it’s more edgy. Some days its sexy, other days its trendy. It really depends on my mindset. I take inspiration from the street style of women in cities around the world, as well as the runways … anywhere I can really.
What advice do you have for plus size women who are looking to get into the modeling business?
I always tell women to really evaluate why it is that they want to get into the modeling business first. If you’re looking for validation, this is not the job to get into. It is very difficult and can be taxing on your emotions, especially if your self-esteem is fragile. The glamorous end of it is a small part – it’s a lot of hard work, rejection, persistence and more. I’ve seen it turn a lot of women bitter because it’s tough to not take criticism of your appearance personally. And half of this job is criticism.
That being said, if you decide it’s for you and that you are ready for it, do your research. Google the industry, read plus model magazine, Slink and Daily Venus Diva and follow the facebook pages and blogs of the top agencies like Ford, Wilhelmina and Dorothy Combs. And don’t just assume it’s someone else’s job to make your career happen or give you feedback.
How does it feel to have a following of people who are inspired by you?
Honestly, it’s amazing to hear from women, and it surprises me every time because I’m just a girl doing this job that is surreal half the time. But honestly, I wouldn’t care if it was 1 person following me or 1 million. It’s the same thing – encouraging women to be free in who they are.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I see myself being a mom and wife to my amazing fiancé first. Second, I see myself having a career that I can say, “I’m so glad I worked so hard back then so that I can have a little more time for my family now.” I would like to have started my own line, written more, traveled more and modeled for amazing companies.
If you could model for any brand who would it be?
Definitely for my own clothing line, which I hope will happen soon. But I’d love to model for a designer like Chanel of course, or to appear in Vogue.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
My favorite designers right now are Zuhair Murad, Victoria Beckham, L’Wren Scott, DVF, Giambattista Valli and Elie Saab.
What’s a typical day like for Allie?
It changes every day, which is something I love. It’s a lot of grinding, networking, researching, practicing and improving.
How do you feel about the state of Plus Size bloggers, models etc.?
I’m very proud of the strides the industry has made and to be a part of something that has grown so substantially. There are so many models and bloggers that inspire me and I love being a part of that collective. We have a long way to go, but I know we will get there.
If modeling didn’t work what do you think you would be doing?
I would most certainly be a writer and television producer, which are my other great loves and are both jobs that I do now in addition to modeling.
Who’s your icon?
That’s a nearly impossible question for me to answer. It depends on what capacity you’re talking about – I admire Oprah, Michelle Obama, Toni Morrison, Hillary Clinton, Anna Wintour, Beyonce, J.K. Rowling, the late great Mia Amber, my mom, my friends … the list goes on.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement as a model?
Hmm, that’s also a tough question, but I think getting signed with my current agent, Dorothy Combs Models was a really wonderful moment for me. I think, there was a time in my career when no one thought I would move forward past where I was. It’s nice to prove your naysayers wrong. I hope to continue to do that. I really consider myself an underdog in this industry so I’d like to keep representing for Team Underdog.
What keeps you inspired?
I’m inspired daily by the messages I see from women to myself or my friends in the industry. There were very few women that got the kind of attention that bloggers and models get today when I was growing up and so to see that is amazing. And I’m inspired by the negativity too because you know, that’s a part of it to. Really listening and understanding where your detractors come from. It makes it easier to get through to them. Insults and petty behavior gets crushed by kindness and compassion every time.
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