As PLUS Model Magazine Celebrates Its’ 12thYear…
We catch up with PMM Editor and co-founder Madeline Jones, as well as Arlinda, designer and owner of Sofistafunk, to find out about what they feel is success, the changes in the plus industry and personal style (at any age).
PMM: The magazine celebrates 12 years, what have you have learned on this journey?
Maddy: #1 – You can’t do it alone… if I did not have such a dedicated and wonderful business partner PMM would not exist.
#2 – You have to stay open to change, even when it feels uncomfortable. In the digital space if you are not up to date on the technology, you will fall behind really quickly.
#3 – You will never please everyone, all you can do is follow your heart and do what you think feels right.
PMM: How would you describe Sofistafunk?
Arlinda: Sofistafunk is a minority and female owned brand that offer an ever-changing collection of limited edition minimal to zero waste Skirts and SkirtCessories, which we hope will empower, uplift and inspire.
PMM: What is the key to your success?
Arlinda: Determination, patience and remembering why I started in the first place. In my opinion success is being comfortable with what you’ve achieved. I don’t view success as some higher place or status, my view of success is the ability to stay afloat and remain relevant season after season, regardless of the challenges… because for me, failure has never been an option.
PMM: The modeling industry has changed a lot. What has been the most significant change?
Maddy: We are seeing the inclusion of visibly plus size bodies, which has been at the forefront of my brand. Whether it’s a size 18 model on a campaign or a size 24 influencer, it’s a big step in the right direction. Do we have it all figured out yet as an industry? No! I still see brands tip-toeing around showing plus size bodies in their clothing, but eventually they will realize how important it is for the customer to identify with the marketing they are putting out.
PMM: How did you develop your own personal style?
Arlinda: As a child my parents allowed me the freedom of choice with my clothing and adornments, and that freedom followed me into my senior years. I developed my own personal style by following my feelings and by not asking anyone’s opinion.
My personal style is a reflection of my freethinking inner self. I’ve never listened to or asked anyone’s opinion on how I should style myself because I’ve always known that if I ask 10 people I’ll most likely get 10 different answers and that would be just too time consuming – LOL.
PMM: Let’s chat about Ageless Style. Why now and how effective do you believe it is?
Maddy: Well, ‘Ageless Style’ is ME! LOL – One day I BLINKED and I was 40! I was like, “Wow, I don’t feel any less than, so why should I?” Many brands, and even people in the industry, were counting me out and I wanted to change the narrative; I’m not competing with the younger girls, they have their space and I have mine.
It’s important for all women to feel part of a community and to feel represented. And yes, there is still a lot of work for us to do as a community to achieve this.
PMM: Many women feel like ‘fun style’ is over for them after a certain age… what is your advice to those women struggling to embrace themselves as they grow older?
Arlinda: My advice would be… Ladies call me; let’s talk Freedom of Fashion and Aging Positivity – LOL! We are the creators of FUN styles and just in case you’ve forgotten, let my 60 year old self remind you. We were here first; all the colors, styles and outfit choices belonged to us first. This age is where the real fun starts so take a chance with your wardrobe and go try on something new.
PMM: What is your advice to women in their late 30’s who are anxious about entering their 40’s.
Maddy: #1 – I validate your feelings; you are leaving the fun 30’s. But guess what? You are leaving those years behind for the confidant 40’s, sexy 50’s and exciting 60’s and beyond.
#2 – Take care of your skin NOW! Don’t wait until you are older to do it.
#3 – Wear what YOU LOVE and show the world who you are.
#4 – Never feel bad about being the oldest one in the room; you are there for a reason. With age comes wisdom!
PMM: What is ONE thing you would change about what you see happening in the industry?
Maddy: I wish we did not feel handcuffed to algorithms and likes, etc. on social media. I feel like overall we have lost our desire to be creative and fashionable because now the decisions are made based on whether we think it will be ‘liked’ on our social media pages are so important. The plus size woman, in a lot of ways, has become click bate; put her in a swimsuit and she goes viral. I want us to go viral because we are fashionable and confident and damn sexy with or without our clothes.