The fashion industry can be a funny place. Whereas straight-sized models—the catch-all term for models who receive most runway bookings—face pressure to remain thin enough to squeeze into teeny, tiny sample sizes, clients who book plus-sized models expect the models to be big. Sometimes, they expect the models to be bigger than they actually are.
Enter Marquita Pring. One of the top plus models, she’s posed for Levi’s and Vogue Italia and walked for Jean Paul Gaultier. But she told WWD that occasionally, she has to ‘pad’ her UK size 16-18 frame for clients who want her to look larger:
- You pad? What does that mean?
- Literally. I don’t know if we should reveal this secret! They’re pieces of foam. So I just lay them flat on each hip underneath [hosiery]. They’re like a solid inch and a half thick.
- Like football pads for your hips?
- Yeah, to make you seem all around wider. I mean, from the side you look kind of weird — and it feels weird. Like every now and then my arm gets caught on it and I’m like, wait, this isn’t me. But it’s better for me because I can still be healthy and work out and have the body I want. It’s a little bit of model magic.
Pring also said that she bristles at the plus-size descriptor. ‘I hate the term.... I would love to just do away with the term and say “curvy” instead.’
We’re inclined to agree. Curvy—in the voluptuous sense, not in the ‘Oops! I ate a mini-burger’ sense—is something we’d like to see a lot more of on the runway. London designers: call this model!