At The Right Place, At The Right Time – Our Interview with Cover Model Sarah Flack

At The Right Place, At The Right Time – Our Interview with Cover Model Sarah Flack

The growth of the plus size industry has created a surge of aspiring plus size models all over the world. Sometimes the models work for years before getting their big break, other times the break happens at a Mall Fashion Show.

Our cover model, Sarah Flack, is undeniably beautiful and smart but as you will read, she was at the right place at the right time. Taking chances, sometimes, does pay off  but is what you do with the opportunities that will make it fruitful.

Maddy: You’re a beautiful young lady, have you always been interested in the modeling business?

Sarah: Well…in high school, my two friends and I saw an ad in Seventeen Magazine for a JC Penney Mall fashion show. We got our parents to drive us there after school and tried out for the show. After auditioning, an agent from Elite Atlanta approached me and she asked me to come in for a meeting the following week. I was so scared because I have always been a curvy girl and I just knew she was going to tell me to loose weight. Needless to say, I was working out like crazy that week thinking I was going to have to shed some pounds. Much to my surprise, my mom and I show up to the meeting and she told me that she would like to sign me just the way I am as a plus size model! It was literally the best day of my life!!!

Maddy: Oh my goodness! Talk about being at the right place at the right time! How long ago was that?

Sarah: Seriously, that was 4 and half years ago; I was a junior in high school!

Maddy: You mentioned thinking that you needed to lose weight… you are a very healthy and toned size 14. How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Sarah: Thank you!!  As far as maintaining, I try everything. I get so bored doing the same things all the time (like going to the gym), so I’ll change it up every so often. I do boot camps, and hot Pilates, I love cycling classes, or I run up the mountainsides in Atlanta. Whatever works at the time, is how I try and maintain an active lifestyle.

Maddy: That has to be one of the hardest things for a model, to try and maintain the size the clients like.

Sarah: Oh my gosh, it is! It seems like its always changing too, so I just do what’s best for me and hope it works.

Maddy: As women, we struggle with self-esteem, and the images we see in the media are not always the most positive. How do you feel about plus size models being role models for young girls?

Sarah: Pictures of plus size models are images that many women and young girls can relate to. There is this ‘ideal’ image out there that we see on a regular basis, so for there to be plus size models now, I think it helps to teach young girls that women of all sizes and shapes are beautiful.

Maddy: Tell me about when you first started modeling. All models have great funny stories.

Sarah: The first thing that comes to mind is when I signed with Wilhelmina and I had my first test shoot. I was so scared to be in NYC; and so all I remember was walking through the photographer’s door and seeing this beautiful plus sized model, who I now know to be Julie Henderson, literally on the ground purring and hissing at the camera. She was on all fours, her hair huge and beautiful embodying a cat. Everything about her exuded this confidence and ‘supermodel-ness’ that I, as an 18 year old girl, did not have. To this day, I still think about that when working because it showed me that you truly have to evoke emotion and, in a way, become the emotion when modeling. It is so much more than just ‘posing and smiling.’

Maddy: That must have been intimidating to walk in and see her in action. Julie is a wonderful model. Its great that you were able to learn from seeing her and still remember that day. One of the big misconceptions with aspiring models is that once you are signed with an agency its all a breeze. What did you learn about being with an agency?

Sarah: The biggest thing I have learned is that communication is key. Its like any other relationship you have, you have to be honest and check in to keep the relationship up to date. Signing that contract is literally just the beginning of it! It’s so exciting when you do, but its certainly not all peaches and cream haha!

Maddy: We have seen you in Torrid ads and in this month’s issue of PLUS. What other clients have we seen you working for?

Sarah: I just got done working for Lane Bryant (YAYYY!) really excited about that! Recently, I have worked for Kohls, Forever 21s  plus line Faith 21, Bon Ton and JC Penney.

Maddy: When we were setting up our shoot, you said you are still in school. (smart girl! 🙂 ) What are you studying?

Sarah: My major is Speech (communications) and I’m planning on going to Law School.

Maddy: What advice do you have for aspiring models reading your interview?

Sarah: My advice to aspiring models is to perfect your craft. If this is something you 150% want to do, then you need to treat it like you were training for a marathon. Know your body; spend hours in the mirror (the best mirrors are in fitting rooms with the three mirrors) working on poses. These are things you have to get down 100% before you can move forward! I have realized, and still do, that this business is not all roses and so if you want it, you have to make the client want you. For that to happen you have to know yourself and be confident in yourself. Get up in the morning, looking your worst and get someone close to you to take pictures of you. This way you know how you look in every light, every angle etc. Modeling is the best thing that every happened to me, but I know that to keep it going I have to perfect my craft every second of every day.

Confidence is key!! Lastly, I would tell girls to be nice!! This business is so small and everything you do will somehow get back around! You have to keep your integrity at all times!! Plus, it’s better that way anyway! No one wants to work with someone who isn’t nice, right?

Maddy: Wow!! This is great advice. Having a great reputation in this business is key. There are girls I would never want to work with again in life no matter how beautiful or popular they are simply because of the attitude. You on the other hand are such a professional. You came fully prepared to the shoot and never complained once. Your models bag: If you could only take 3 items to a shoot, what would they be and why?

Sarah: Lotion (being ashy, no matter what your skin color, is NOT a good look!! 🙂   , the highest most beautiful pair of heels you have and Spanx (once again, no matter what size, Spanx helps EVERYONE out!!!!).

Maddy: I love it!!! You are hilarious!

Maddy: You seem very driven and serious about your career. Who are your role models and what inspires you?

Sarah: My role Model is Hillary Clinton. I say this because she is literally a superwoman. She has been able to maintain her amazing career, while juggling being a mother and a wife. Also, I think it says a lot about a person’s character when they are faced with hard times and you always remained poised and dignified. It speaks volumes! (Side note: her dress to Chelsea’s wedding was FABULOUS and is yet another reason why I love her so much).

Modeling is no longer a rescue for beautiful girls who do not wish to be anything but be “pretty”. The industry is fully saturated with smart and driven models who appreciate the opportunities but are also planning for the future. Sarah has the look and smarts to continue on her way to a very successful career and we wish her all the best.

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Stanley Debas

Sarah Flack

Makeup Artist:
Tara Taylor

Hair Stylist:
Sabrina Adaba

Clothing Stylist:
Spry Lee Scott

Assistant Clothing Stylist:
Steffany Beady