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KISS THE CURVES and STRUT YOUR STUFF; An interview with Tracie Collins, 3/01/2011

Suzette: Did you find it challenging to gain sponsorship and to find designers that were interested in participating last year? If not, to what do you attribute your success?


Tracie Collins: Producing a show is risky unless you have some sort of prior following.  I stepped out on faith because I honestly believed that if a show like "Kiss the Curves" existed,  I would certainly want to be apart of it!  I hadn't seen anything like this in California, especially in Oakland. I teamed up with people who I knew had connections specifically in the plus community and informed them of what I was setting out to do. They aligned me with others who were willing to assist, and along with my good friends, I now had a production team. I believe my passion and faith attributed to my success.  Once I started explaining what I wanted to do with this production, sponsors and designers were eager to sign on.  It's almost as if people were waiting for something of this magnitude in this geographical area. That was all the confirmation I needed to validate that I was headed in the right direction.


Suzette: Last years show was in the San Francisco Bay Area, this year it's in Hollywood. Why the change in location?


Tracie Collins:  I honestly had made the decision to do my next production in Los Angeles prior to finalizing my first show in Oakland in February 2010.  I remember pulling my publicist to the side and telling her that I already had a location in mind for the next show scheduled for 2011.  For me it was only right to do Kiss the Curves in Hollywood because this is the place I loved as a child but was rejected from as an adult.  I decided that Los Angeles was a perfect place to make a statement to the industry by showcasing women of size in a fashion runway show with top designers and an array of models from major fashion capitals such as New York and Los Angeles.  However, I also had to keep true to my community by including plus size models from Oakland.


Suzette: Heidi Klum, Eva Longoria, Drew Barrymore, and the Kardashian sisters are examples of what Hollywood considers "curvy".  What range of sizes can we expect to see at Kiss the Curves? What traits were you looking for in the selection of your models? 


Tracie Collins: One thing we didn't deviate from is the size of our models.  From day one our models range anywhere from a size 10 and up.  Last year one of our models was a size 28 and received the most overwhelming response on the runway.  It was evident that the audience wants and appreciates seeing larger models on the runway because it is a more realistic depiction of society.  We will never sway from that and if a model comes along who is a size 32 and we are impressed with her qualifications, we will place her on the runway as well.  Realistically, there are confident women who are a size 32 and designers who make clothes in their size; we want to celebrate them both. I never want someone to feel like they don't belong; that is not what my show is about.  Generally speaking, what we are looking for has nothing to do with size, but rather with how the model carries herself.  I am a stickler for humility and punctuality.  We look at those things when a model comes to a casting.  I don't want or need arrogance in my show or within my models. I look for confident women who have a signature walk, coupled with a strong personality that is captivated without her saying a word.  There is a certain stage presence you must have that goes beyond how pretty you are because modeling is far more than just being attractive.


Suzette: I see such attention to detail on your website, and I've watched video's of last years show on You Tube. The models were so synchronized that it made me suspect they attended rehearsal. This year you have added models from the east coast, how will you achieve the same level of fluidity?


Tracie Collins: Thank you.  Last year we worked with runway choreographer, Charleston Pierce to assist in that synchronizing and we are also working with him again this year to ensure that our models are ready for the runway.  I don't think we will have an issue achieving the same level of fluidity considering we have models from New York because all of our models will begin to work with Charleston on the same day to ensure they are all on the same page.  Many of the models chosen have walked in major runway shows before and some are actually returning models from last year.  For those who are new to the runway, we are confident that they will fall right into place.  One of the great things about our production is everyone is willing to help each other and that includes our models.








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

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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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