Long before becoming a model, this small town girl had dreams of working in the fashion industry. With her sights set on becoming a fashion buyer or designer she took on the task of making her own prom dress. At that time she had no idea that one day she would be modeling dresses crafted by plus size designers.
Brittany Cordts is new to the plus size modeling scene but that hasn’t stopped her. Just a year ago, she didn’t think she had what it took to be a model and later this month she’ll be modeling in Full Figured Fashion Week®. Talk about dreams coming true.
This month we celebrate Brittany. We talk about her beginnings on the basketball court and as a girl with a vision to design clothing and we celebrate her future as a plus size model as she helps other women recognize their true beauty.
I understand that initially you wanted to work behind the scenes in the fashion industry. What made you decide to step on the other side of the camera?
Yes, ever since I was little, I aspired to be a fashion designer, illustrator or buyer. I was always very creative and knew I was going to be doing something in the fashion industry, I just didn’t know what.
I was also very focused on basketball, which took up most of my time, but the biggest reason modeling never crossed my mind is because I had my insecurities and thought you had to be smaller than a size 4. As I got older, I learned to embrace my body and respect it. Opportunity knocked about a year ago when a friend told me about a local plus size fashion show casting. I decided to try out because I thought it would be fun and ended up being casted on the spot. Walking in this show really opened my eyes to the plus size modeling world and uncovered my true passion.
As a former basketball player, how has the skills that you learned on the court helped you as a plus size model?
Playing basketball has helped me in many aspects of my life. Most importantly, it gave me self confidence because I saw how I could excel at something. Secondly, it showed me how to maintain a healthy lifestyle of eating right and being active from an early age and made it routine for me. Playing basketball also taught me that you must consistently practice and make goals to be successful. For example, I practice poses in the mirror on a regular basis so I am ready when in front of a client. Lastly, it reinforced teamwork. I am truly happy for the success of others and want those around me to achieve their goals as well. After all, we’re all in this together.
You’re signed with Dorothy Combs Models. A modeling agency that represents plus size models size 10 and up. How did that relationship start?
I was fortunate enough to sign with Dorothy Combs Models about 8 months ago. I first submitted pictures to her about 10 months ago and didn’t hear back but I didn’t give up. After I tested again and received new photos, I decided to try again. It was then, after my second submission, that I got noticed.
I read that one of your favorite quotes was from Mark Twain. Please tell me that quote and what it symbolizes.
The quote is one I can really connect to. It goes, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born… and the day you find out why.” For me, that day was the day I walked in my first runway show. It just clicked. I instantly knew I had found my passion and purpose. Modeling isn’t a hobby of mine, it is what I was born to do, to make a difference in society, and there was no turning back once I realized this.
Initially you wanted to have a plus size clothing line. Is that still a dream of yours? If so, what types of clothing would you design?
Absolutely! I want to put all my efforts into my modeling career right now but a clothing line is definitely in my future. My clothing line would offer custom tailored pieces for curvy women of all sizes that are unique, fun and trendy. It would also focus on using quality materials. The plus size fashion industry has come a long way in the last few years but there is still a long way to go. There are not nearly enough designers and brands branching into plus size territory to supply the demand.
Speaking of designing clothing, what are your thoughts on the comments from Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch?
When I heard the comments, I was not that surprised. This is not the first time that this company has discriminated against a group. There are so many things I could say and ways to respond but I will keep it short and to the point. No matter who you are or what you do there will always be people who try to bring you down. To quote Dita Von Teese, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.” It’s sad but true. The only thing you can do about it is decide if you’re going to let it affect you and what you’re response will be. It’s people like Mike Jeffries who put my motivation and determination into overdrive. They can’t stand to see curvy confidence and it makes me want to spread it to everyone I can! As ignorant as the comments were, there was good that came out of it. The passion that it invoked was amazing. So many rallied together to let them know this is not OK which showed that we really are making huge strides towards size acceptance and equality. It made me really proud of our community.
Later this month you will be modeling in Full Figured Fashion Week®. How excited are you?
Excited isn’t the word! I’m ecstatic to be a part of this event. It is a huge honor to be selected and I can’t wait to savor every moment of it. I look forward to walking for some amazing designers and brands and meeting many new people. My family and friends will be there in the audience cheering me on. I’m lucky to have such a great support system. I’m counting down the days!
Where did you audition and tell me about that process.
The Full Figured Fashion Week® team was kind enough to plan a casting tour this year where they traveled to several different cities all over the country. I ended up going to the casting in Orlando because I am based out of Florida. The process was very exciting! I went with a few friends and we made sure to get there super early hoping to avoid an extra long line. We filled out a little bit of paper work and then were asked to walk for a panel of judges one at a time. It was a little nerve racking but the panel of judges including Gwen DeVoe, Sharon Quinn, and Madeline Jones were all very kind and down-to-earth which helped. Waiting to hear whether we made it or not was the hardest part by far.
How did you prepare for the audition and what was your initial reaction when finding out that you were selected?
I prepared by practicing my walk in the mirror and in front of friends in the weeks before the casting. No matter how many shows you’ve walked in, practicing to stay fresh is always a good thing. The week before, I also made sure to pick out an outfit that fit great and triple checked that I had everything ready that they requested the models to bring. Like an interview in any other industry, it is critical to do your research ahead of time. While I was waiting in line to walk, I stretched out my legs and focused on my breathing so I would be completely relaxed when it was my turn.
When I received the news that I had been selected, I was at the gym and started jumping up and down squealing. Since focusing on working out then was out of the question, I left the gym and called my family right away and texted all my friends. I literally couldn’t stop smiling for at least a week. There were about 1500 models total that went to the castings so to be one of the 50 models chosen is an indescribable feeling.
What are some of your goals as a plus size model?
My short term goal is to take my modeling career to the next level and be able to model full time. Another short term goal I have is to travel outside of the US for a job. I absolutely love to travel. If I am able to travel for modeling it would be a dream come true.
Along with creating my own clothing line, my long term goal is to model for a store that hasn’t catered to plus size fashion before such as Victoria’s Secret, Arden B, Bebe, or Banana Republic. It would be such a privilege to be a part of that process, paving the way. Also, my ultimate goal is to launch a national campaign or charity focusing on instilling self confidence in younger girls. I have so much self love and this overwhelming need to share it and give back. Bullies and society can be so cruel and if I can convince girls they are beautiful regardless of what they are told, it would all have been worth it and my mission will be complete.