SLiNK magazine’s editor Rivkie has written frankly and insightfully about the plus size fashion industry from an insider’s perspective for xoJane before so I was interested to see that her pioneering mag has joined forces with Models 1 to find the new superstar plus size model of the future.
The competition, which is running on Instagram now and ends in mid-May, asks aspiring plus models to upload a photo with the hashtag #MakeMeaModels1Curvy. I asked Rivkie how SLiNK came to join up with Models 1 for this competition, what, in her opinion, makes a great plus size model and whether the 'plus' industry has greater diversity than its 'straight' counterpart:
“Models 1 has done a similar competition for their straight size board which was really successful and so they decided to roll it out into plus. They asked me if I'd like to be involved and I jumped at the chance! It's been something we'd been thinking about for ages but I never knew how best to go about it so to partner up with such a big agency is great. Models 1 are looking to sign a new plus girl and we will be shooting them for a fashion editorial for SLiNK."
"[When looking for a great plus model] I first look for the face - that's my first hook. Aside from that, the girls need confidence and to feel happy in their own skin. I'd say there is greater wiggle room than in straight sizes as models in plus go from around a 12-18 UK size-wise and again heights do vary. There are, of course, restrictions as with all things but there is a bit more movement in plus I think.”
Too often, it seems to me, people take great pleasure in attacking the fashion industry for being 'anti-women' (while other industries get off scott free.) I think it’s really important and a damn sight more constructive to draw attention to the positive steps that are being taken by people working within the industry to change it for the better.
Activists like Caryn Franklin and her All Walks Beyond the Catwalk movement, designers like Mark Fast who work in three dimensions rather than two, stylists like Rebekah Roy who actively enjoy dressing women with different body shapes, retailers like ASOS with their excellent Curve range and of course Rivkie at SLiNK are working tirelessly to make what can often feel like an elitist world feel accessible and inclusive to all.
Let me know if you decide to enter the competition - I'd love to know how you get on!