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Interview With PLUS Model Magazine Cover Model… Valerie Lefkowitz, 7/01/2009
PLUS Model Magazine Cover Model… Valerie Lefkowitz
by Editor Madeline Figueroa-Jones

Plus Model Valerie Lefkowitz has been a staple in the modeling industry for a number of years. Watching her move in front of the camera, while shooting the July Cover, was nothing short of amazing. She's fluid; she had fun and embodied the essence of each look perfectly. We sat with Valerie for a few minutes for a one-on-one... enjoy!

[Maddy] I read that you have been modeling since you were fifteen years old. Can you tell us how you got started? 

[Valerie]  It's true that I attended Barbizon when I was about 14 years old.  It was so much fun.  The other girls there were a blast and it was definitely something I looked forward to every Saturday.  The photographer at Barbizon sent a Polaroid to Wilhelmina Models in NYC and I was called in for a meeting.  By this time I was 15, it was the summer before my sophomore year of high school, and I didn't really have any experience other than the classes I took at Barbizon.  I had a meeting with Susan Georget and left with a contract.

[Maddy] At this tender age, was there pressure to stay below a particular size? 

[Valerie] No, No pressure.  I've always been on the plus board.  Sure, when I was first starting out I was smaller, maybe a size 10-12, but I was also 15.  I had yet to develop my womanly curves.

[Maddy] You have been represented by two of the most notable modeling agencies, Ford Models and Wilhelmina, what advice can you offer ladies who have just been signed with an agency? 

[Valerie] Well, trust your bookers, but don't be afraid to put in your two cents.  Also don't be afraid to ask questions, meaning don't be afraid to look silly by asking a seemingly silly question.  Your bookers are there for you, so let them be there.  It's better to look silly to your bookers than to a client. 

The best booker-model relationships I've had have been professional, personal, open, honest, direct, and super fun all in one.  Stay on top of your book, meaning testing and getting tear sheets from clients.  Turn your vouchers in immediately, even if you have to mail it in, that's what I do.  It really helps accounting.  And it's ok not to talk to your bookers every day.  Maybe that sounds weird, but some days I have nothing going on, and that's ok. In addition to that, it's good for your agency to see you at least once a month.  Keep your face fresh in their mind, and let them see how gorgeous you are in person!

[Maddy] Great advice! Many of our readers ask us about how to be prepared for a shoot. Can you tell us what your MUST HAVES for a models bag includes? 

[Valerie] Ooo, my model bag, of course!  Here is my list:  portfolio with cards, nude seamless bra and thong, nude seamless strapless bra, black strapless convertible bra, sun block, lotion, body makeup (nothing too fancy, I have a can of Sally Hansen Airbrush legs, mix that with the lotion for an instant glow), ahem...chicken cutlets...bra padding :-), and other padding... you never know when the sample size will not be your correct size, and sometimes filling it out is better than pinning it in.  And I have a little book of puzzles.

[Maddy] You have worked with amazing clients such as Fruit of the Loom, Dress Barn, Dockers and Target to name a few – can you tell us about your first big "gig"? 

[Valerie] Gosh, my first big gig would have to be my first gig ever.  Not that it was so huge, I've been in bigger productions since then, but it was my first gig, so, yeah, that's big!  I was 15 or 16 and it was an editorial spread for Mode Magazine.  We shot in a studio in NYC, a really cool studio I haven't been to in years, Primal Light.  One of my sisters was living in the Manhattan area at the time so I stayed with her the night before, and she dropped me off in the morning.  We even packed a lunch for me, I just didn't know what to expect.  Of course they do feed you on shoots, and very well.  It was a great day.  The name of the spread was "Phat Stuff" and I made the opening page.  A huge smiley close up, with my hair in knots.   I'll always remember this shoot fondly.  I think I definitely knew right there that I could do this for a long time and be quite happy.



PLUS Model Magazine | inspiration + style

PLUS Model Magazine inspires the style-savvy, fashion-forward, full-figured woman to embrace her curves.

PMM has become a thought-leader shaping the plus size industry and providing a barometer for the season’s latest style trends for curvy women. With a monthly magazine featuring stunning editorials showcasing plus models, as well as ‘How-to-wear’ columns and shopping guides at all price-points, PMM reports on style, beauty and topical news, all while engaging our reader in lively and meaningful conversation on our daily blog and social media.

Developed, designed and written by plus women, for plus women, PMM understands and speaks directly to the heart of our reader, because we are our reader.

Online since 2006, PMM is the #1 plus size fashion & beauty magazine, blog and social media outlet.

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