Recently, I had a chance to interview Plus Size Model Driena Baldwin. She currently serves as one of the fit models for luxury fashion brand Luxe and Curves. In a break from her busy schedule, we discussed various topics such as her journey as a model to her advice for young models. Here is what she had to say.
|Photography by James Baldwin Jr.
Tell the readers a little more about yourself? How did you start modeling?
Let’s see. Here’s the basic: My name is Driena, and I’m from Hartford, Conn. I’m a 32-year-old single mother of 2, and I guess you can say I’ve been modeling since 2014. My modeling career actually began on a whim. I had a cousin who was a local curvy model, and I jokingly said to her that I should try to become one. After showing her my “Top Model” walk, she pushed me to audition for a local fashion show that’s kind of a big deal in the state. I nervously attended the casting call, and a few weeks later, I got an e-mail saying I made the cut. I walked in my first fashion show in March 2014 (Xperience The Trendy Walk 5), and modeling has become more of a passion instead of a hobby since that moment.
Which would you say you prefer photo shoots or live fashion event?
If I had to choose, I would say live fashion events. Nothing beats the moment you turn on the model switch as you hear the music, see the lights and step in front of an audience. Don’t get me wrong, photo shoots are fun, but I’m an adrenaline junkie.
Name your dream fashion event you would love to either attend or walk the runway?
Ultimate goal = Full Figured Fashion Week in NYC. Of course, that’s every plus model’s dream, but I seriously want that one chance to strut my stuff on that stage. It’s the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for curvy girls, but I know I have a lot of work to do before I get there. I’ve been to a casting call, and the competition is tough.
Last year Plus size fashion moved further into mainstream fashion‘s spotlight? What are your thoughts?
I’m all for it. It’s a beautiful thing. As someone who’s been overweight, a size 8 and then overweight again, it’s touching to see so many body-positive movements in the forefront. It’s a sign that the beauty standard is becoming more inclusive. You don’t have to be tiny to pretty. Us curvy girls already knew that, but now so does the world. Honestly, it should’ve happened sooner.
What advice would you offer to a young model that is looking to begin modeling (as a whole)? What advice do you wish someone shared with you?
Go for it. Don’t doubt yourself for one second. Practice in front of a mirror and be confident. If you’re going to a casting call, don’t compare yourself to anyone else in the room – you shine because you’re your own star.
If I had to share advice – never pay to be in a show. Selling a few tickets is one thing, but paying to participate is another. Don’t do it! If anything, you should be getting some form of compensation, not the other way around.
Lastly, where can people connect with you online?
Of course, I’m on Facebook www.facebook.com/curvymodeld and on IG @blupopcikl. I’ve tried Snapchat and all that other stuff, but I just can’t get with it. LOL
Thanks again to Driena Baldwin.