February 2022 Issue with Cover Model Lauren Carter
Cover Model Lauren Carter shares her thoughts on Modeling, Creativity, Inclusivity and Diversity…
We are so excited to feature Lauren Carter once again on our cover.
Lo, as she’s affectionately called, is a plus-size model, mother, and creative director. She’s passionate about fitness and yoga and loves nature… This month she is sharing everything about her life as a model while balancing LIFE!
The question most people always want to know from our cover models is, how did you get started in the industry?
I started about 7 years ago after entering the Torrid Model Search. A friend sent me a link about the open auditions and I said, “heck, why not”. So I drove about 2 hours to a mall in LA, waited in line and it all started from there. The first time I auditioned I had one call back and was cut. I waited another year and went back to the next casting call, that time they remembered me and pulled me to the side for another interview; that time I made it to the top 4 runners. After that, I started doing a lot of free work, collaborating with photographers and designers to help build my experience, and about a year later I signed with my first agency.
What have been some highlights of your career so far?
Modeling has allowed me to meet some amazing people. One of my biggest highlights would be working for Serena Williams in NYC. The stylists were taking pictures of my looks and texting them to her on set, I was so damn nervous.
Most people think modeling is an exotic life of makeup and being pretty but there is a lot that happens behind the scenes. For those aspiring models what words of wisdom do you have?
Don’t sell yourself short. It is great to start doing free work to build experience, but do your research on pay – taking on a ton of small jobs with little to no pay can exhaust you. If you need images for your portfolio, save your money and use photographers that you see other successful models using.
While bigger agencies look admirable, be aware that most of those popular agencies have a lot of models on their board, and you don’t want to be sitting on a closed contract, with no work. I personally need to feel like my agent is in my corner, and I must feel like we connect and can have quality conversations. Your agents are the gateway to your bookings and money, communication is everything.
Modeling is an absolute hustle, it takes a lot of money upfront to grow. You pay for your portfolio shoots, most travel, and housing expenses. Don’t let me discourage you, just enter this life prepared to make investments. Also, most models work multiple jobs, especially during the start of your career. Most bookings are made one to two weeks prior, on average, so having the flexibility to get up and go is required.
Let’s talk about your work behind the lens… which is absolutely amazing by the way. Introduce us to lgc.creative.
Thank you so much for asking! My work started in graphic design and grew into creative directing and marketing once modeling came into the mix. After modeling for a few years, I noticed there was something missing in my work… I would be on set and paying attention to everyone around me, and I realized that I didn’t just want to be the model, I wanted to be the one in charge of the project. I wanted to be the person making the decisions and curating my own vision. I love bringing ideas and dreams into reality, and more importantly, I love curating a team that delivers memorable and creative work.
When I first started modeling, plus-size fashion was just getting a real wave in the industry. The whole concept of inclusivity and diversity is still fairly new in the industry, and while we see more diverse faces in front of the camera, we have a long way to go for the people calling the shots behind the camera… and I take pride in leading the way. I say it all the time… one day I will be the CD behind major campaigns for brands like Nike, Chanel, Savage Fenty, Ivy Park! I want someone to see my work, and say, “Who the heck came up with this concept?”
Diversity in fashion, marketing, and modeling are so important. Can you share your thoughts with us about the positive changes you have seen and what changes you would love to see in the near future?
Diversity in fashion is still such a new thing. I am so grateful to be part of the first big wave of change and look forward to leading the way for the generations to come. While we see more brands expanding their sizes and there are plus-size brands growing online, I feel there is a long way to go! I still hate shopping at malls; the selection is bare almost every time. I’d also love to see more size diversity in Haute Couture, we are getting some glimpses and I hope designers get more accustomed to this being a “norm.”
With so much going on in the world right now I admire your passion to reach outside of yourself to help others. Could you share about your work with Advocate the Label?
Advocate the Label is a brand that donates 100% of its proceeds to help support survivors of human sex trafficking. When they reached out for me to work with them, I couldn’t say YES quick enough.
For me, this hit home. My family had a recent scare with a situation with an online predator and my 14-year-old daughter. With our children online at every access point, a lot of young teens are being targeted. These predators build a “relationship” with adolescents, once the teen trusts them they run away or are kidnapped and end up being trafficked.
This is one of the hundreds of examples of human trafficking, and the sad part is that a lot of the time we are walking past victims in plain sight.
I want to bring awareness to other mothers and women, the more we educate one another, the more we can fight this horrible epidemic. I have a lot more work I want to do and this was a good start.
They are always in need of volunteers, if you are a model, makeup artist, photographer, or want to get involved, please reach out to them on their IG @adovocate_the_label.
Lauren, thank you so much for sharing so much with us. We can’t wait to jump on Instagram LIVE later this month to dive into these important topics.