Whether she’s modeling for your favorite plus size brand, mentoring aspiring plus size models or inspiring fashion icons on Project Runway, everything Liris Crosse does is purposeful and empowering. Her drive and influence is refreshing and her work speaks for itself. When she’s not working for a client, she’s working on projects (like The Model Diversity Project) to advance the plus industry.
Keep reading as we catch up with Liris Crosse, find out what she’s been up to and get to know the veteran plus model on a personal level.
How did it feel to be a model on Season 16 of Project Runway?
Amazing! Proud! Revolutionary! To be a part of the very first season where they used plus models along with straight size models for the weekly designer challenges was historic and game changing! I feel we set a tone for the overall fashion industry as far as introducing CHANGE!
When you were cast for the show did you know that they were going to be selecting a model winner for the season?
Yes they regularly had the models stick with one designer the whole competition so they win together. But they changed it up as this was also the first year where models’ designers changed every week! We knew there was still a model prize but weren’t sure what it would be.
How surprised were you that you won the model portion of the competition?
Well, I know I gave my all in front and behind the camera. I wasn’t late not one day the whole season. I brought runway drama weekly and did what I needed to do professionally. But you also never know how the judges are thinking so you still feel unsure. I’m excited to shoot for Marie Claire Magazine soon!
Has your perception of modeling changed over the years? If so, how?
Some as far as the diversity I would like to see with size and race. But I still look at modeling as an art form that has certain standards like any occupation mixed with a fluke of lucky genes. I’d like people to respect it as such. So many people look at modeling as anyone can do it or it’s so easy. That’s just not the truth. To become one of the greats you must work at it!
Which supermodels did you look up to when you started and who do you look up to now?
I looked up to the 90’s supermodels like Naomi, Tyra, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Laetitia Casta, Kate Moss and still do! Now I see models like Debra Shaw who has been working for years and is still defying the odds so she empowers me thru her work! I also love how Naomi & Tyra have both diversified their careers over the years thru acting, producing shows and products, plus activism! Those are things I’m doing and working towards myself.
We’re almost half way through 2018. What has been your proudest moment of the year so far?
Well, I would say I just became an official spokesperson for Maggie Sottero Designs which is a huge brand in the bridal world! The fact that they wanted partner with me to help promote their brand to women of all sizes and ethnicities across the world, makes me so proud! I’ve always said representation matters so to represent in the bridal world where you don’t see many woman of size or color, is a big deal! We have so many great things in store together! Special thanks to my agency, Dorothy Combs Models!
When you’re not working, how do you spend your day?
I sleep! I work hard and put out a lot of energy physically and emotionally with people so when I get a chance I just shut down and restore myself. I also will watch some of my faves on Periscope, catch up on a little television since I don’t watch much, read, try new recipes since I’m a foodie and love trying new things!
Name three things on your personal bucket list.
Buy a house. Travel the world for a year without work involved. Marry the love of my life and never break up.
Name three things on your professional bucket list.
Get a makeup contract. Get my own talk show. Get my own clothing line!
Which international location do you dream of traveling to for a modeling job?
Bali! Always wanted to go there! It’s so beautiful.
If you could live anywhere other than NYC and your hometown, where would you live?
I would say London or Miami. London is like a British version of NYC and MIAMI cause I just love the food and the beach there!
Which three albums can you listen to non-stop, without skipping a song?
Which songs do you listen to on your way to a modeling job?
It’s usually early in the morning for shoots so I like gospel then. I love “Power” by Marvin Sapp, “Open My Heart” by Yolanda Adams, “Cycles” by Jonathan McReynolds or “ #InGodWeTrust “ by YPJ & Flesh Versus Christ.
If you could go back in time and change anything in your career, what would you change and why?
I would maybe push up the advancement of social media just a little. I really see how it’s impacted change in the fashion industry for more diversity and how models have gotten more notoriety and work because of it.
What’s your favorite quote?
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” ~ Ghandi
Credits (w/ links to Instagram):
Photographer- Ananta: @thnwblk_
Hair: Yancey Edwards: @yanceyedwards
Makeup: Christopher Michael: @therealcmichael
Styling & Creative Direction: Liris & Christopher Michael