Name: LeAnne Mangano
Agency: Seeking Representation
Claim To Fame: Mangano has appeared in Full Figured Fashion Week, CurvyCon, London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.
LeAnne Mangano was at a friend’s birthday photoshoot when someone suggested she might be fit for the camera. “I’ve always loved fashion. I grew up watching runway shows but I never ever saw myself as a model,” she told HelloBeautiful.
The photoshoot had a Disney alter-ego theme and when they finished prancing the photographers wanted LeAnne to consider continuing striking poses. “They kept talking to me about this thing called Smooches, which was like their own broader plus-size body positivity movement back in the area and they were having a magazine launch. And so they invited me to that a couple of weeks later.” She agreed to participate. “I was like, you know, ‘Let me go ahead and do this.’ Not knowing I signed up for a modeling competition,” she said. The competition put her in touch with local designers and photographers allowing her to build a network.
“It literally just kind of snowballed and one thing led to the next and the next,” she said.
The first gig Mangano booked was for “a designer back home in Philly, Alice Alexander.” The second was “Full-Figured Fashion Week.” Getting selected for the annual fashion event confirmed to her that it was a good idea for continue pursuing modeling. “It’s a legit thing. So you just feel like you’ve accomplished something,” she said. She described the paycheck for the job as “icing on the cake.”
“I get to walk for this amazing celebration of curved bodies and I get paid for it too? Like what? This can’t get any better.”
She reconnected to that enthusiasm on another runway when she had the opportunity to walk for Renee Tyler at New York Fashion Week. She felt an obligation to Tyler and her consumers to be “bad-ass,” and perform in a way that was “all about owning that runway.”
“She was the only plus-designer,” said Mangano. “So it was just a moment of like, Oh no, we need to show them why they need to see more of us on a regular basis.”
The runway show meant “getting to model with people like Veronica Pome’e and Liris just all of these amazing women who have been doing this for so much longer and I look up to.” Their presence represented, “just the possibilities of how far I can go in, in this industry.”
“It was just so encouraging to be able to absorb all that. And then Liris she’s just… Liris she breaks, molds and barriers for all of us and reaches back and pulls you out with her.” Another show placed her, “backstage in our little room as we were getting ready with people like Madeline Jones of Plus Model Magazine.”
“I was just trying to absorb it all and just be grateful. And it was just neat to be a fly on the wall and to listen to these conversations and see how people carry themselves,” said Mangano. “Those were just huge moments for me to be able to sit back and absorb it and just be so grateful to God for even just being in the room,” said Mangano.
She headed to London to walk for Diva Bigg after they connected at Full Figured Fashion Week. As an independent model she is responsible for advocating for her own business interests. “A lot of it is, research on my end,” she said. Before committing to a job she considers “what a typical contract looks like,” and “what a contract looks like within that country.” Currently she is working on “trying to broaden my portfolio.”
“I have a bridal shoot coming up soon. I have an athletic wear shoot coming up soon. So all of that is just direct negotiation with the designers,” she said. She also contacts other models who are signed with agencies to learn about their experiences and the “standard,” of treatment she should expect, and studies dynamics on sets she is working on.
“My mom always said, if you don’t have anything positive to contribute to a conversation, don’t say anything, just kind of sit back and I’ve learned a lot about other people,” she said. “I’ve seen some models who are not so nice,” she continued before revealing that she learns by “watching their behavior and what not to do.”
“It allows me to have really interesting conversations with people and to kind of pick their brains,” she added.
She plans to use what she has learned to contribute to placing more “bodies that look like mine in magazines that I looked at and read growing up.”
“I know that would have made a huge difference on my psyche growing up as a kid and how I looked at myself. And so I went to be able to do that for other people and other kids growing up to be able to see themselves.”
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