In this model collaboration, Liris and Rah recreated an iconic editorial shot by Patrick Demarchelier and Bruce Weber for Pirelli. As we continue to see the modeling industry open its doors to more size diversity I think we can all agree there is still more work to be done to see more inclusivity for models of color and plus sizes.
PMM: What was the inspiration behind this photo shoot and collaboration with model Rah Mosley?
Liris Crosse: “ Ever since I was a little girl and saw Naomi Campbell modeling, I looked up to her as the benchmark of excellence in my industry. I still do! I’ve studied her walk and print work over the years gaining inspiration. I pray to one day to shoot an editorial or campaign with her or walk the same runway.
Once I became a pro and started modeling runways in NY, the plus industry affectionately dubbed me the Naomi of Plus. Of course I was humbled but there’s only one Naomi, just like now after my many years of hard work there’s only one Liris!
Naomi continues to inspire me to keep modeling because she hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down as she continues to work at a high level. She’s broken so many barriers for women of color and she’s helping the next generation of black models too. She is the best model in the world, period; she never ceases to amaze me. She makes every runway and print job better with her Je ne sais quoi. It was a no brainer to salute my favorite model of all time by doing this! She is history, black history and herstory! Every day is black history not just February. Her and Tyson have done so much to bring model diversity over the years by just doing the work.
Talk to me about working with Rah Mosley:
It was so fun to do this shoot with Rah Mosley because big & tall male models aren’t seen much unless it’s a fitness ad or something with an athlete. He is handsome and moves well in front of the camera. Rah & I both showed that plus size models can slay the editorial lanes too! So glad he asked me to do this.
Rah, so this was your idea! Tell me about how Tyson has inspired you.
Rah Mosley: This photo shoot has been a greatly anticipated experience for me. For quite some time I’ve looked up to Tyson Beckford and his modeling career. Ever since the first time I saw him in Polo ads I knew I wanted to model as well. Modeling opportunities for me and my 6’10” frame were pretty much nonexistent at that time; however, things have changed a lot over the years.
Being inspired by the current climate of size inclusiveness in the fashion industry, I came up with the idea to recreate some of Tyson’s iconic photos. While researching his catalog of work I came across some photo shoots with him and Naomi Campbell. I immediately thought, “What if I reshoot these with a Plus Size Model?!”.
Liris Crosse, who many consider The Plus Size Naomi Campbell, was the first person who came to mind. So I reached out to her to see if she would be interested in this seemingly fanciful idea of mine AND SHE AGREED! The rest is history.
Exclusive Behind the Scenes Footage
We had a great time shooting these photos and I’m so proud of the finished product. I would like to say thanks to Tyson Beckford for the inspiration. His representation of Black male models has motivated me to pursue my own career in modeling, even when society didn’t promote people who looked like me. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Sneakers: Adidas Watches are model’s own in all pics Rah’s solo shot: jeans by Levis, shoes by Adidas, belt by Coach Close up beauty shot: Zip Up swimsuit by MagicSuit Swim & Black turtleneck by H&M
Full body swimsuit shots: Bathing suit by Asos & trunks by Jarrods1977, Shoes by Adidas Kiss shot: Tanks by Hanes Circle tub sitting shot: Bikini by Malia Mills, trunks by Jarrods1977 , shoes by Adidas Liris solo shot: Swimsuit by Asos & sneakers by Adidas