Full Figured Fashion Week holds audition.
By Vincent T. Davis, STAFF WRITER
March 3, 2013
Shoppers and mall walkers watched as the women walked a runway that led to five judges at the lower level of Wonderland of the Americas mall. When Andrea Bunton, 28, from Houston, heard her name, she sashayed with all the confidence that four months of practice could generate.
“You need more energy!” Judge Sharon Quinn said. “You need more personality, smile!” After taking in the advice, Bunton was given the chance to take one more walk for judges.
Several months ago, Vicky Lola Jimenez of San Antonio drummed up the courage to pursue her dream of becoming a model. Her mentor, model Angelita Sorensen, watched as Jimenez threw her head and shoulders back and strutted down the runway Sunday. Jimenez, after trading in high heels for a pair of flip-flops, said she was pleased to get the opportunity.
“I hope one day to be on the cover of a magazine,” said the mother of three. “And size doesn’t matter.”
More than 50 contestants, 18 years and older, took part in the 2013 Full Figured Fashion Week casting tour hosted by Wonderland of the Americas. Casting call winners will travel to New York on June 17-22 to compete to become the face of next year’s Full Figured Fashion Week.
Demand for full-figured models began in the early ’90s, news reports said, in tandem with the growth of the plus-size clothing industry. It now is worth an estimated $17.8 billion.
The judges included the FFF Week casting team; N-V-Us Fashions & Boutique, a Wonderland of the Americas tenant; and Upstage Beauty Events.
San Antonio and Dallas were the only Texas cities on the eight-city tour that included New York, Atlanta and Orlando, Fla. Some of the participants traveled from Florida, California and Colorado.
Applicants had to wear from size 14 to 20 and stand at least 5 feet 8 inches tall in their bare feet.
Patricia Moore, the owner of N-V-Us, which specializes in full figure clothing, lobbied the tour producer to include San Antonio in the event. She said the city’s full figured women deserved a chance to show their beauty.
“This gives them an opportunity if they’re interested in modeling,” Moore said. “They can come out and learn from other models; it’s good networking and exposure.”
Tour producer Gwendolyn DeVoe, CEO of DeVoe Signature Events, compared walking the runway to a job interview. She advised the women to conquer their towns before heading to other places.
“It’s not easy, and we applaud your efforts,” said DeVoe, a former plus-size model. “You have to invest in your career, and sometimes that may mean leaving your hometown. However, sometimes you have the talent right here telling you certain things, and you don’t listen.”
DeVoe said 65 percent of women in America wear a size 12 and up, and that’s why she created her full fashion line.