3 international models open up on the industry, diversity & projecting a positive body image

3 international plus size models talk about the growing industry, pushing a positive body image past body shaming...

The fashion modelling industry will never be the same as plus size models are making statements and are not taking the backseat anymore. Before now models from sizes 0-8 ruled the runway for different designers but this is fast changing even for the creative designers who have included models of different shapes and sizes in recent presentations.

Prabal Garung is one designer pushing this movement, the creative director recently sat with Yahoo Style to talk about his mission to revolutionize the fashion industry. "Devoting his design talents" to changing how plus size women are viewed on and off the catwalk.

A collective 'About That Curvy Life' launched at the 2016 LFDW pushing the plus size model to the fore on the runway here in Nigeria and even though this has been seen on international runways, a lot of people believe, this 'movement' is yet to even scratch the surface.

Pulse.ng caught up with Plus Size Models Danielle Nash, Philippa Ann and Olakemi who fired up the runway in Nigeria recently.

Danielle Nash, Philippa Ann, Olakemi - whose "walk was all over the place the first time ever she took to the runway"- are international plus size models who came to Nigeria recently for the first ever Plus Size Fashion Week. The ladies sat down to talk to Pulse about the industry, the challenges and how plus size models are slowly making their voices heard.

On double standards, the models keep going as there's still segregation in the industry and these ones are rising above all of that. In all, they are here to make their voices heard, make a difference and change the status quo.

Excerpts:

Why are you in Nigeria

Olakemi, Danielle, Philippa- They flew us in to be part of the show (Plus Size Fashion Week Africa) to celebrate diversity and fashion for plus sized women.

How did you start out modelling?

Olukemi - We all started from a modelling competition and it gave us platform to realize we could build a career as plus size models in the industry.

Danielle Nash & Phiippa Ann -  We were in the same competition like Kemi said and from there it just picked up.

A plus size model on the runway in the present day comes with a strong/powerful message. How do you promote a healthy body image on the runway? How do you hold your own?

Olakemi - Modelling isn't just taking a photo, bringing your own confidence and growing each day helps others as well. You wear glamorous clothes, you stand tall, a lot of people look up to you thinking I can be like that.

Danielle Nash - People see models are people they look up to, can relate to.

Philippa -  For me it's about the interaction you can have. We impact confidence and the interaction, maybe not so much on the runway but  via social media.

Why can't the industry see everyone as models? Is the plus size tag a bother?

There are different types of models, though so in a way, it's not.

We are all proud to be plus size.

How do you feel when you are on the runway? What goes on in your heads?

Olakemi - I'm always nervous but when it's time to work, I always have to do it! I concentrate on getting it done. The reaction from the audience also gets you going, they can relate to the lady they see on the catwalk.

Philippa - There's a rush. The adrenaline comes like I'm ready to go but you have to love it (the job). It's empowering, strutting your way to the end

In the end the ladies stay pushing through the industry, lending a voice to positive body image and finally see themselves walking for Chanel and other iconic brands when they embrace diversity.

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