"I want it to fit my curves, you know?" says JXB campaign star Marquita Pring, who also gave input on designing the perfect fit.
A distinct trend toward increasingly diverse representation has emerged amongst mass beauty brands of late.
First it was Crystal Renn, then Marquita Pring, and now Candice Huffine is the latest plus model poised to break the mold. She recently landed the cover of Vogue Italia, a milestone considering the cover featured three plus-size models without designating them as "curvy" or "plus," and makes a stunning appearance in W's September issue. Just this morning, W's new fashion director Edward Enninful Tweeted "I am loving Candice Huffine @FordModels @models. So beautiful xoxo," which makes us think we might be seeing Huffine in another issue of W in the near future. We chatted with the model on the rise about her recent successes, her take on size in the fashion industry, and whether she's ever had to pad for jobs. Fashionista: How does it feel to be in the all-important September issue for the fashiony-est of mainstream glossies, W? What was the shoot like? When the shock of the shoot wears off maybe I can express what I'm feeling! It's just beyond special and I feel honored to have been chosen and everyday I shake my head and giggle a little at how much has changed for me recently. Like Vogue, shooting with Meisel and his team is like a fairy tale...the most beautiful clothing, the nicest people, a calm set where you just know the end product is going to be nothing short of spectacular. I feel so lucky. And how did it feel to land the cover of Vogue Italia--especially without any modifiers like "curvy issue"?
Marquita Pring, a rising star in the modeling world (she's repped by Ford's stellar plus board), talked to WWD about her career and her future aspirations. She also offered a glimpse into the often eff'ed up and confusing world of plus size modeling. For example, she often has to pad her body to look bigger for certain jobs. Here are some of her thoughts and experiences from the front lines:
Marquita Pring, Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine and Robyn Lawley--all "plus" size models--are the stars of Vogue Italia's June issue. Whereas Pring was once relegated to Vogue Italia's "curves" section online, this month she's just another model in a smoldering black and white 10-page Elizabeth Taylor-inspired editorial for the mag shot by Steven Meisel. Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine and Robyn Lawley grace the cover. "Never before have four curvier girls been in a spread shot by Steven Meisel with no specific purpose at all," Pring said. "No size issue, no color issue. Just beautiful, normal Italian Vogue." Pring kept a diary during the two-day shoot. She chronicled everything--her nerves, emotions, the clothes, the makeup (the makeup artist uses what she calls the "Naomi kit" on Marquita which is usually used for Naomi Campbell), and how it felt to get naked for Steven Meisel--minute by minute. The shoot, Pring says, was "one of the most incredible experiences of my career/life." But she almost missed out on it.
Ford+, the plus size division of Ford models, just put out a new promotional book featuring some of their top models. What's striking about Ford's latest promotional push is that it's simply comprised of beautiful high-fashiony images of models who happen to not be straight size (that means they are not a 0 and can be anywhere from a size 8 to 18). It seems to be (and hopefully is) part of trend of incorporating models who aren't 0s and 2s--not just Crystal Renn--into the high fashion world, beyond catalogues. Gary Dakin, the head of Ford's plus board, has been with the modeling agency for the last 13 years. In that time span, he says the market has changed dramatically for plus size models. "There are better clients, jobs, photographers, rates, etc.," he says. "The girls have evolved too...they are challenged now more than ever to be better and they challenge the industry right back." Dakin pinpoints the moment the industry began shifting to embrace plus to around 10 years ago.
Marquita Pring was just featured on Vogue Italia's website under the headline "a new star in the curvy universe." You might have seen her walking Jean Paul Gaultier's spring 2011 runway or in V's size issue. And she's currently working on a major editorial with a big name photographer but she won't tell us more. When you're talking "plus size" models, Crystal Renn is the name that comes to mind. She's outspoken about size in the modeling industry, even if she's no longer technically "plus size" (whatever that means). But that's the point--why do we need labels? Pring says she was honored to be called a "a new star in the curvy universe" by Vogue Italia, but she's hoping they call her a "new star in the MODELING universe," next. We chatted with Pring about labels, the industry's fixation with size, coping with pressure, and her dream job (it might surprise you).