CURVY GIRL CHRONICLES: ON OLIVIA CAMPBELL
Top UK Plus Model Turns Curves Into Career
Last year, I began exploring the lives of women who are making a significant difference in this world. These women have empowering stories and are living extraordinary lives. They prove that living your dream doesn’t have to be just an aspiration, it can be achieved!
From singers, to video directors, to philanthropists- I’ve introduced you to some of the most amazing women , overcoming challenges and standing out; not only as phenomenal curvy women but as thought empowering leaders.
In my last Curvy Q & A, I interviewed reality star, Sabrina Servance. Today, I bring you the behind the scenes reality of one of the UK’s top plus models, Olivia Campbell.
With over 47 thousand followers on her @CurvyCampbell Instagram page, chances are you’ve heard of Olivia Campbell or you’ve seen her work in top brands like Monif C or Yours Clothing. Olivia shares on how she cracked the modelling game and signed to not one, not two, but three agencies, to become an International top plus model!
q. How long have you been a model and do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
a. I’ve been modelling for about three years now. I’m not sure if I would consider myself an entrepreneur just yet but that’s definitely a title I would like to earn in time.
q.What drove you to pursue modelling?
a.It had a lot to do with the lack of diversity that I was seeing day to day when I opened a magazine or turned on my television. It was also about sharing my new found confidence. The journey to self-love and body positivity was a long and arduous road for me, so once I arrived at a place where I truly loved myself and all my so called ‘flaws’, I wanted to share it in the hope it might inspire others to feel the same. Modeling was the perfect outlet for me.
q. You just signed with a MSA’s Curve division in New York, how is the U.S. Plus model experience different from U.K.?
a.Yes, I’m so excited to be represented by them. It’s very new so I couldn’t really comment on what’s different, but what I do know is that there are so many wonderful brands and designers I would love to work with in the U.S so I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
q. Everyone’s number 1 question is “How can I be a model?” you are represented by multiple agencies; can you tell us how you connected with them?
a.For me it was a long process as I was a self-represented model for years, a lot of my career so far has been down to social media. Instagram is a great platform for aspiring models to build a brand and to interact with brands and designers. I first applied to agencies in 2011 at the time modeling was still pretty much a hobby for me and my portfolio wasn’t great and no one was signing models above a UK 18. I was upset for a moment but I just used it to drive myself to start building my own brand. It worked very well; I got to work with my dream designer Monif C and even landed major campaigns with Yours Clothing.
I signed with my first major agency Bridge Models a month ago and they have been amazing. I first met my agent several years ago at a fashion show I was in and we bumped into each other again at this year’s UKPSFW which prompted me to reach out about representing me as there first UK size 22+ model. The response has been amazing and MSA Models reached out to represent me in the U.S and Curve Model Management are also representing me in Germany, so I’m now blessed to have three wonderful Agencies.
q. Have you always had a fashion background and what are your fave curvy designers?
a. Always. As a small child going to nursery (or kindergarten as you would call it) I would insist on picking my own clothes and dressing myself in crazy eccentric outfits. As I grew up I started to customize my clothes and accessories, but it became very difficult as a plus size teenager. Finding fabulous clothes to wear was impossible, so many years of my life had to be spent wearing men’s clothing. My favourite curvy designers are Monif C who always brings fashion with a sexy edge and I’m also a big fan of Anna Scholz, her use of pattern is amazing.
q. You’ve taken some amazing pictures, including a very sensual nude editorial with Rebel and Romance, why did you decide to do that particular shoot? What feedback have you receive on it?
a. Thank you very much. The nude shoot was originally shot for the nude issue of Volup2 magazine. It was an entire issue dedicated to celebrating the human body of all different shapes and sizes so I was honoured to be a part of it. The shoot itself for me was a lot deeper and I wanted to try make a statement not only about ridiculous beauty standards but also about gender standards. That’s where the whole 2014 pinup girl idea came about so I’m standing fat and fabulous in a kitchen I haven’t cleaned and I’m not cooking in it because we are all more than societies preconceptions and enforced ideals. The feedback was really positive so much so that on Valentine’s Day this year the photographer Rebel and Romance released an un airbrushed series of the shots that were not in the original Volup2 editorial on her blog.
q. What is your ultimate goal for your brand?
a. I think the ultimate goal for my brand would be to not only expand on my modelling but also venture into other things like presenting and designing. There is a lot more to come!
q. Fill in the blank, Olivia Campbell is the antithesis of____
a. Ooh interesting question! I would say as a whole, I am the Antithesis of self-doubt and self-loathing.
q. Manik’s motto is Life Throws Curves – what does this mean to you?
a. To me it means that sometimes life tries to knock you off your mound but you just have to keep swinging and stay in the game! Life threw me curves and I made a career out of them.
Keep up with Curvy Campbell:
Facebook page ‘Olivia Campbell Plus Model UK’
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