Exclusive with the Original Runway Diva, Sharon Quinn

Exclusive with the Original Runway Diva, Sharon Quinn

[Maddy] Congratulations on your MTV debut on the hit program MADE….

[Sharon] Thank you very much!

[Maddy] On the show you mentor a young woman named Krystine – tell us a little about her and why she was chosen to be made into a plus size model.

[Sharon] When I first met Krystine she was softball “Jockette,” from Cincinnati, about to enter college and wanted to shed her tomboy ways to become more “girly-girl” like her sisters. She was tired of being invisible and had reached the point where she wanted to start dating. She also wanted to realize her dream to become a plus sized model. As far as WHY she was chosen…..hmmm…since I didn’t really see the pool that they chose from, I am not sure as to why they picked HER in particular.

[Maddy] Tell us about the steps you took to help her get ready for the Torrid Model search in Florida.

[Sharon] Lol…how much time do you have? Seriously, it took a LOT of work to get Krystine ready for that competition. I knew she was beautiful from the moment I saw her but I also knew that SHE couldn’t see her beauty at all! When we first met she had absolutely zero experience, no real sense of style and no idea of what looked good on her. She pretty much wore sweats all year round AND she was lazy to boot. The first thing I had to do was to get her to love herself, and for me that meant getting her to take a long look in the mirror, naked and learning to love what she saw on a daily basis. Once you start loving ALL of you…even the things you don’t like…that’s when the change can begin, not before.
From there it was all about the 3 “P’s” Poise, Posture & Personality, she had to live it, eat it and breathe it 24 hours a day in order for it to become second nature to her. She had to get comfortable wearing heels all day long as well as learning “camouflage” dressing for her ever changing body. After that we got her a personal trainer, she took dance classes (salsa & pole dancing) to bring out her “inner sexy”. This was the HARD stuff…getting her to SEE how beautiful she really was…the rest of the stuff (eyebrow waxing, applying eyelashes, updating her hair…etc.) was more cosmetic than anything else!

[Maddy] How important is it for aspiring models to practice facial expressions, posing/body movement and their runway walk?

[Sharon] It is absolutely CRUCIAL to a model to have a variety of looks, poses & facial expressions when they are either shooting or walking the runway. Photographers don’t like shooting models that DON’T inspire them….Simply put, it’s boring. You have to be willing to try new things and not be afraid of “making a mistake”. They payoff will be in the photos….trust me on this.

[Maddy] You have been in the modeling business for over 20 years; what is your advice to aspiring models like Krystine?

[Sharon] The best advice I can give to anyone who aspires to be a model is to have a plan before you arrive here and have some cash saved up as well. You know as well as I do how expensive the career of a model can be. Test shoots, portfolios, stylists, makeup artists, dance & acting classes etc… Are only some of the many expenses you will incur IF you are serious about having a successful career. So don’t just show up and think the fashion world will be your oyster…it just doesn’t work that way. Think about what you want to do and how you’re going to accomplish it BEFORE you get here. If you don’t know where to begin, check out my column “The Runway Diva says…” At and read ALL of the blogs there, it has all you need to get started.

[Maddy] What’s next for the Original Runway Diva?

[Sharon] Actually I have quite a bit on my plate right now, I am working on finishing up my book “The Runway Diva’s Guide to Plus Modeling (or just looking like one!)”, and I’m looking to get into the production side of television….I have written several shows (all plus themed of course) that I am trying to get launched. My dream is to ultimately have my own plus sized network….and I believe that all it takes is for ONE person with vision, the right clout and connections to make it happen and the world will follow. I think the world is ready for that to happen….that’s my goal for 2008!