‘Multi-faceted’ models in demand
PERFECT FIT: Miss Universe Australia Scherri-Lee Biggs says she struggled as a size 10 until she found her niche with pageants.
Over the past decade the gap between stick-thin models and their plus-sized counterparts has widened, leaving size 10 to 12 women in fashion purgatory.
Now as the weight war continues to rage in the modelling world, the forgotten women – the sizes 10 to 12 – are poised to rise from the ashes and pioneer the “multi-faceted model” movement.
According to models, agents and the fashion industry, “multi-faceted models” fit a size 10 or 12 dress and embody confidence, curves and congeniality.
They may not be as thin as their size six-to-eight colleagues or as voluptuous as their size 14 and above counterparts, but if they have charm, grace and assurance, Miss Universe crowns, catwalk shows and lucrative advertising campaigns are theirs ready for the taking.
Newly-crowned Miss Universe Australia, 20-year-old Perth model Scherri-Lee Biggs, said she struggled as a size 10 but found her niche with pageants as they encompassed more than regular modelling work.
“I’m quite ‘hippy’ for a model,” said the 175-centimetre communications student turned beauty queen.
“For modelling I’m more of a size-10 bum. When I first started as a 17-year-old, it took me six months to get my head around it thinking ‘its business and I’ll find my avenue where my body image is supported rather than scrutinised’ and I think I’ve found that now.”
Last month Vogue Italia published a special Size issue, which featured three full-figured models on the cover and maintains a website on the fashion bible’s domain dedicated to raising awareness of curves and voluptuously versatile models.
The special issue increased the magazine’s circulation figures by 20 per cent and even caught the attention of fashion designer and Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs, who attended the shoot and demanded to meet the models.
“It makes a difference when girls come to us with other skills, those who are more accomplished,” Scene Model Management agent Anthony Harden said.
As well as Ms Sheppard’s international portfolio, Mr Harden and the team at Scene also watch over the modelling career of Australian radio announcer Gemma Walsh.
The agency signed the size-12 broadcasting graduate following last year’s Every Body Counts parade at the Perth Fashion Festival.
“She’s not just a girl that’s come off the street and can photograph well, she’s also got a lot of skills behind her as well,” Mr Harden said.