All I know is that if you know me you KNOW I love me some Monif C. She is one of my fave plus designers in the industry and I had the pleasure of modeling for her "My Beach Is Better" swim event last week. She outdid herself and put together such a classy promotional event for bloggers to come see her new designs. She's makin' us curvy girls look delicious for the beach this summer!
So...people always ask me why I started modeling or what made me decide to model. Long story short, the image below.
Growing up I didn't have many images or role models in the mainstream to look up to for body confidence. There were not many relatable images that made me think I was accepted. I grew up in the Cindy Crawford era, where the All-American girl next door was the desired one. So, in 2006, when I was flipping through channels, I saw Velvet (shown above) on a major fashion runway in Paris. THIS was an image I could relate to and she felt familiar. And not only did she seem relatable but she was celebrated for who she was. In awe of this moment and of the fire in my belly I decided I would create the change I wanted to see. Fast forward 7 years, a few protests, and hundreds of emails later...I got the attention of a designer named Alhassan Toure who agreed to put me on his runway during New York Fashion Week. It wasn't in the tents or in Lincoln Center but that didn't matter. The moment of acceptance and the opportunity to be in a position to offer something different and what inclusion could look like was all that mattered to me. I invested time, gained his trust, pitched my ideas on why it was so important to put me on his runway and a miracle happened. He listened. He agreed. He helped. And after a year of planting seeds...it happened. I'm beyond thankful Toure Designs and his team gave me the opportunity to give someone else that same belly fire that Velvet gave me. This mission had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the next generation of girls/teens and women who need something to relate to. I did it for them. I've been told "no" SOOO many times, especially this past year, and this is what happens when you keep saying. I went and showed you what "YES" looks like. THANK YOU to everyone who posted about it, who showed love at the show and sent all the encouraging messages. I'm glad you liked it. #keepgoing #push #justkeepswimming
Click on the on the image below to see the behind-the-scenes video of the show and a little of my sass on the runway ;) Couldn't help myself!
I ALWAYS have so much fun visiting the Monif C. showroom and working with the team there. Monif was one of the first designers I ever did runway for and she always has a special place in my heart. Curvy girls, go visit her if you are in NYC or visit her site! monifc.com (tell her I sent you ;)
I got a call from my agent saying that a new client wanted to use me as the face of their new plus-size line of bathing suits for a major swim brand. This brand has been in the biz for quite some time and their sister company is launching a new site and needed a plus gal to do catalog work for their line. I took the trip to Pennsylvania with a huge smile on my face knowing this was kinda really cool. First of all, how cool is it that a line wanted to even shoot a plus model for their plus line (a lot of brands will sell plus but not necessarily shoot plus models/catalogs) and second, how cool is it that they chose a fuller plus gal? I'm a full size 18, y'all (which is NOT the go-to size when clients choose plus models for swimwear). So...this was a big win for the industry and for beautiful curvy ladies all around the world who need to see someone just like them when purchasing suits for the summer. Can't wait to share when it drops. MUCH love.
Hello beautiful people! I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to update the blog! I tend to default to my Instagram (which I LOVE and you can follow me at: MsTiffanyBank), Facebook and Twitter so please pardon my delay on the updates!! Where do I start? Fashion Week is a good place to start!
I came back from LA just in time to attend New York Fashion Week and I got the opportunity to sit front row in a few awesome shows that included some friends of mine who modeled in them! I even got to see my girl Lil Kim work the runway and model icon Janice Dickinson! One of these days Ill get to strut on a NYFW runway! I'm claiming it! Maybe it will happen in September?? ;)
my volup2 magazine editorial
Sooo if you read any interview of mine during my time on BIG SEXY you'll know that my biggest inspiration to start modeling was my friend/mentor Velvet D'Amour. If it weren't for her I'm not sure I would have had the confidence to even contemplate modeling. Over the course of 6 years she's stood by my side and has been a shoulder to lean on when I needed support. This past September I was able to go to Paris to shoot with her for her own magazine, Volup2! She shot the editorial and it definitely was a full-circle moment for me in my career. I'm so thankful for the opporutnity and couldn't believe I was able to actually model for Velvet herself 6 years later. Isn't that amazing? I can't show you the full editorial but here are a couple snapshots! I hope you love. It debuted on Valentines Day which was the perfect way to celebrate the holiday for me. ;) To purchase your copy please visit the site here.
back at columbia!
I'm just one of those lucky girls who got a dream opportunity to speak at Columiba University last year and then got asked to speak again this year for their Body Wellness Week at Barnard College, Columbia's women's college. According to the women's wellness department it was the most attended event of their Body Wellness week and was well-received by the students. What was even more amazing is that a couple alumni from my talk last year showed up along with friends and a few Instagram supporters of mine. It truly was a magical night filled with deep conversation about body image, sexuality, the fashion industry and, of course, it was filled with lots of laughs. Thank you Barnard for having me back!
bet's rip the runway
How cool is it that BET asked me back to model for them for their yearly runway show, Rip The Runway, which merges fashion with music?! I was super stoked to be casted and got to work with some AMAZING models and friends yet again this year. It's always a fun time backstage at Rip The Runway and I got the chance to get interviewed by Atlanta Housewife Kenya Moore (watch it here). I also got to model a wrap dress by Igigi and walk alongside yummy R&B artist Omarion! The hosts this year, Kelly Rowland and Boris Kodjoe, did an awesome job! If you missed me rip the runway with my Size Sexy girls you can check it out by clicking the photo below!
love from germany!
Shout-out to SixxTv in Germany for playing my show BIG SEXY! And thank you to the fans who sent fan mail and love via my Facebook Fan Page! Muchhhhh love to you!
Feature in Skorch
Thank you Skorch Magazine for featuring me in their #HonorMyCurves feature this month! This is why I love Instagram and the plus positive community there! You can check out the feature here!
It's been an awesome couple month's and I'm just getting started! I can't wait to see what else is in store for 2013 and I'm so ready for the journey! Thank you again for all your amazing support and love!!!
Hey hey hey! Here are a few snapshots of my upcoming catalog work with Sealed With A Kiss Designs! I looooove their designs! So classic and comfortable Special hugs and love to the team at SWAK for the awesome experience!
Hi loves! I hope that your new year is going grand! I just wanted to give you an update on what I've been up to here in Los Angeles! Its been such a great trip! I got to reunite with my LA loves at The Curvy Fashionista's Blog Anniversary Party which was SO much fun. The whole night was super glam and I'm so glad I got to catch up with my LA loves and my west coast Plus Model Magazine team!
Last week I hosted the launch of Curvy Girls Who Brunch in LA, a brunch series started by my friend and LA publicist Lana Leazer, sponsored by my fave plus lingerie line Hips and Curves! Over 40 curvy girls showed up to the event, including my girl Chenese Lewis, blogger/stylist Marcy Guevara, my plus model gals Danielle Line and Michelle Renee! The day was beautiful and it gave the plus community a space to network, ask questions, get connected and unwind! I even got to meet some of my BIG SEXY fans! Keep checking the Curvy Girls Who Brunch fan page to see when and where the next event will be!
And just yesterday I shot with Sealed With A Kiss Designs Boutique for their upcoming Spring catalog! I love their line because they have comfortable basics that you can dress up or down and they fit really well! I can't wait for you to see the final product!
So far, this trip has been quite the success and I'm so looking forward to what 2013 has up it's sleeves. I appreciate every moment of these experiences and I honestly can't tell you how much fun it is to do what you love. Keep going loves...the dream is real!
This year was, without a doubt, a year FULL of gifts (triumphs, challenges, lessons, and all). I wanted to share some of my top fave moments of 2012. It was, indeed, a blessed one. My 2012 Highlights include:
Modeling Monif C. Designs for BET's Rip The Runway with the yummy Robin Thicke, filming NBC's 30 Rock, speaking at Barnard College in addition to signing on as a consultant for Columbia University, and hosting an event at Alex & Ani in Soho, NYC...
Joining a panel for New Jersey Full-Figured Fashion Week, landing my first ever print cover including a 7-page editorial for the Beaute Book magazine, shooting a beautiful campaign for My Girlfriends Closet Boutique with recording artist Briana Collette, radio personality Angela Yee, psychologist Dr. Robi Ludwig and international model Carissa Rosario, and being chosen as Vibe Magazine's Vibe Vixen...
Shooting an editorial for Pose Magazine, being honored in Plus Model Magazines IAMPlus feature, shooting a campaign for 2013 with my 2 best girls, shooting my promo video for my site, booking my 2nd My Girlfriend's Closet Boutique campaign and being the first ever plus size model featured in Kontrol Magazine (currently at Barnes&Noble)...
Having the pleasure of shooting with some of my fave dream photographers including Allen Cooley, Toni Smailagic, Dallas Logan, Inez Lewis, and Gregory Prescott...
My travels! I went to London and attended London Fashion Week, went to Paris and shot an editorial with my mentor Velvet D'Amour, saw good friends and family in Belgium and took a special solo trip to Barcelona...
Overall, the places I was able to see, the people I was able to meet and spend it with, the special events I was able to attend and celebrating 6 years in NYC pursuing my dreams has been the highlight. I run so fast that I rarely stop myself to look at where I've been and I'm so thankful at the opportunities I've received. I'm looking forward to what 2013 has in store for all of us. I'm one day stronger and my heart and mind are open to the journey ahead. Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy year...let go and let God. xo
My perfect world is a place where all sizes, shapes, ages and backgrounds are represented in the mainstream and there was no "us vs them" mentality. Ideally any commercial, billboard, or magazine would have all types so that the younger generation wouldn't be able to define insecurity. As a size 18 woman I want to be included into the mainstream's infrastructure and I'm honored that Kontrol Magazine took a chance on me and chose me as their first ever plus size model to have an editorial in their magazine. We are on step closer...and I couldn't be more thrilled! You can purchase the magazine at any Barnes and Noble nationwide with Elle Varner and Tamar Braxton on the cover. Special thanks to the team! Julian, Jeremy, Allen, Cynthia and Chris!
Sugarloves! Check out my new swimsuit editorial in the summer issue of Pose Magazine with CeCe Winan's on the cover! This was a super fun shoot to do alongside yummy models Christina and Jeannie and I was SO excited to finally work with photographer Krista Svalbonas . And, plus, who doesn't love Monif C. and her rockin' bathingsuits? It was a win win situation in every way possible. Hugs to Tiffany and Jay at POSE for this awesome opportunity :) Check out the full editorial here. :)
The NYC life of a Cali girl.