The Sunday Mail
THE term model is associated with tall and pencil slim women, but the tide is turning in another direction as the plus sized model phenomenon gains traction.
ln the past, fashion designers made use of skinny models but the realisation that there is a huge market for plus sized clothing has led to the inclusion of full figured women, either on the ramp or on shoots.
Many local fashion designers and retailers are now seeking the services of models whose appeal on social media can draw customers to their products.
Social media has brought with it various platforms that are being used effectively in this industry.
From Instagram to the more popular Facebook, the curvy model is becoming more prominent.
Numerous prominent brands that include Jan Jam Ladies, Brands For Less and Posh have fully embraced the plus sized model with women such as Madam Boss, Candice Mwakalyelye and Miss Red, to name just a few, featuring on their social media marketing platforms.
Numerous agencies have been advertising in search of plus sized models.
Model agent Fisher Jordan said the demand for plus sized models is greater on the commercial landscape while the fashion industry is also coming around.
“Most of the time when you engage advertising agencies, they look for people who are realistic, models that people can relate to so you will realise that in Africa where women are likely to be curvy rather than slim, the plus sized model would be the go-to candidate,” he said.
“The fashion scene has also started giving space to plus sized models, for example the recently held Harare Fashion Week and the Latin Friday show.”
While some fashion designers opt for slender models despite having products for larger women, others have realised that this discourages the curvy women from checking out their garments.
Top designer, Nompumelelo Samambgwa, said making use of plus sized models is a good idea.
“I have used several plus sized models for photo shoots and one of my brand ambassadors is actually a plus sized lady,” said Samambgwa.
She added: “When it comes to shows, however, I find it easier to produce samples for slender models since it is a bit cheaper but I think it would be great to incorporate curvy women for fashion shows.”
Another top designer, Thembani Mubochwa, who dresses several international stars, includes plus sized models on most of his shows.