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Photographer, Reality Star, Model and Advocate, Our Interview with Velvet D’Amour

Photographer, Reality Star, Model and Advocate, Our Interview with Velvet D’Amour

She came into our homes in black, sheer, lingerie when she made headlines as the plus size model who took the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier in 2006. Since then, Velvet D’Amour has been busy with her photography, a reality show and being an advocate for size acceptance. Velvet became an Icon to a generation of women who did not have anyone to speak on their behalf. This position has not always been an easy one, but even through challenges, she has graciously taken a stand for the women she represents.

Maddy: How long have you been in the industry?

Velvet: I began shooting plus size models back in 1990.

Maddy: What was your first big break?

Velvet: My first big break was modeling for John Galliano’s runway show in Paris, and the associated French VOGUE editorial by Nick Knight, (which some of the runway models were cast to participate in).

You can see some cool videos associated with the project on SHOW STUDIO – http://showstudio.com/projects/editingfashion/

Maddy: What are you most known for?

Velvet: A generous helping of hips, and a vivacious attitude  ;o)

I’m best known for being the most screamingly voluptuous, (and one of the eldest!) models to hit the runway in Paris. After modeling for John Galliano, I took the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier during his 30 year retrospective.  John Galliano contacted me again for another of his shows, but I was at the Tribeca film festival for AVIDA, the French film I had the leading role in.

Happily, a lot of people are now familiar with my photography work as well, www.Velvetography.com

Maddy: The plus size modeling industry has changed by leaps and bounds in recent years, your thoughts?

Velvet: As someone who has been a part of the industry for decades, I am very excited to watch the industry move forward and become more editorial. There was a stagnation where any ‘sexy’ imagery was frowned upon. But now we have more mainstream magazines, which on occasion include a plus model or two, and in doing so, they push forward plus imagery and make it more modern.

And PLUS Model Magazine has also been taking risks with more edgy shoots, and making room for bigger plus size models. As I am a ‘super size’ woman, (300lbs.), I am always very encouraged to see genuinely fleshy women included.

I love that Beth Ditto had managed to infiltrate the plus scene and seems to have a warm welcome. She is refreshing as she is quite contemporary and truly accepts herself, which encourages others.

Maddy: Any Advice to women working towards their modeling or entertainment careers?

Velvet: I have always taken risks and never followed the crowd, and in doing so I received both a great deal of criticism, as well as a lot of praise. I have always remained true to myself.

So my advice is that you take educated risks, follow what you believe, and stay positive!

 

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