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Melinda Mann Rivera: April 2010 Cover Model

Cover Models

Melinda Mann Rivera: April 2010 Cover Model

Other than changing your hair, how often do you revamp your wardrobe or overall look?

I wouldn’t say revamp, but I am always changing my look. I try to buy new key pieces every month or so to work in rotation, and a lot of accessories. I’m a jewelry heavy girl–and inexpensive pieces do wonders for switching up your look. I think my style in general is very versatile.  I’m not the type to dress in one style everyday. One day I might look bohemian, another day more edgy, then the next very classic. I love style and playing around and taking risks is part of what makes you confident in being different.

With spring upon us, are there any designers that you have your eye on or would love to model for?

Well my two favorite plus companies are Lane Bryant and all the designers at Nordstrom–especially Rachel Pally–I love her dresses. I think both of their styles are modern but slightly edgy and are super versatile for plus size women. I am a size 14, so I can still fit in a lot of “straight” lines that some of my curvier plus size sisters are excluded from. But I’m kind of obsessed with Rachel Roy’s line for Macy’s. It’s colorful, whimsical and young. I just adore it.

I love Rachel Pally’s dresses.  One day I’m going to buy one.
I remember seeing you at Full Figured Fashion Week™ last year, right?

Yes! What a great time. I love NY– I lived there for a few years while I was in graduate school, so when I heard the first Full Figured Fashion Week™ was there I booked my ticket right away. I feel really blessed to be modeling right now when so much history is being made in the plus size industry. It meant a lot to me to be there.

Are you going to FFFweek this year?

No, I have a lot of other responsibilities here this summer so the trip across country is a little much. I wish they would rotate locations–maybe have it on the West Coast next year.

How important are events like FFFweek and the inclusion of plus size models and bloggers in major publications?

HUGE. I think we are at a breaking point right now in terms of demanding that our voices be heard, our images be shown and our clothes be sewn! But we can’t expect the mainstream media to push our cause forward–not yet. We need to do our own fashion weeks, keep doing our own magazines (Yay for Plus and Venus!) and write our own columns to show that we have a presence and buying power.

I absolutely believe in my lifetime (and hopefully in my modeling career) that plus size fashion and modeling will become more mainstream–where there will be fashion editorials in regular magazines that use plus size models without it being an article on size. Just seeing how much work Crystal Renn is getting is very exciting. Yes, she’s dropped a few pounds–which is another story–but she is still a lot larger than any straight model.

I noticed you mentioned Crystal Renn recently losing weight.  What do you consider a “plus size model”?

I’ve watched her career closely–i think she is just stunning. And I think a lot of us have noticed her slowly loosing weight-if I had to guess she looks like she’s gone from a 14 or so to about a 10.  Not coincidentally, she has been getting a ton of work lately. I still consider 10 a plus size model–for sure. I was a 10 for a long time and still felt very curvy and DEFINITELY would not have been signed had I walked in to a regular agency. Not a chance at size 10. So does she represent all the size 18+ women out there? Maybe not, but she does represent (at least for me) a healthier image of a woman–than the size 0-2 you see anywhere else. It’s a dilemma, but we’re taking baby steps I guess.

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