Plus-size model Marquita Pring, though she prefers the term “curvy,” is living the dream, one that even smaller-sized models don’t get the chance at, especially at the mere age of 21. After posing in V magazine’s infamous plus-size issue last year, she landed a Vogue Italia cover in June, again, profiling full-bodied women.
She recently sat down with WWD to discuss the difference between skinny & curvy model culture, padding her hips, and how she almost missed the chance at that breakout photo shoot.
Is the model culture different for “curvier” models?
Definitely. Within our curvy universe, it’s a lot more close-knit and friendly. There’s not nearly as much competition. I think with the skinnier girls, there are so many more incredibly beautiful, stunning girls that have very similar features and characteristics. Whereas the plus-size industry is a lot smaller so I think we accept more than compete. We know you don’t have to be catty to get ahead. It can be kind of cutthroat in the skinnier model community.
There is sort of an ideal body type for the non-plus-size girls. Does the same go for your market?
Every client is different. You get a wide range. Some people like you much smaller, size 10, size 8. Some people would prefer a 14 or 16. So for me, I’m right in the middle at a sort of small 14, high 12. So I pad sometimes since I’ve got clients who would prefer a solid 14 or 16.
You pad? What does that mean?
Literally. I don’t know if we should reveal this secret! They’re pieces of foam. So I just lay them flat on each hip underneath [hosiery]. They’re like a solid inch and a half thick…to make you seem all around wider. I mean, from the side you look kind of weird — and it feels weird. Like every now and then my arm gets caught on it and I’m like, wait, this isn’t me. But it’s better for me because I can still be healthy and work out and have the body I want. It’s a little bit of model magic.
We read you almost missed the chance at the Vogue Italia editorial because you were traveling in South Africa without a phone.
Yes, oh my god. My agency practically hunted me down. I went to Cape Town to visit some friends and we decided to go on a four-day road trip hiking in the mountains, so I couldn’t check my e-mail. Then on the last day, my friend charged his phone and got a text message from a 917 number. And I was like, 917? Oh god, that must be either from my mother or my agency. I need to get to a phone. So I call and it was my booker…they told me that Steven Meisel wanted me for Italian Vogue and that they’d been trying to find me for the past four days and I had to get on the absolute next flight back to New York or else I was going to miss it.