“The term “plus” is necessary because we shop differently”
Kelly Augustine, is a 20-something born and raised in NYC who loves to love life and to share her interests and experiences, mostly centered around her personal style with a focus on plus size fashion, beauty, natural hair, and NYC lifestyle. Kelly has taken some time to talk with us about being a plus size model.
Frolicious: Could you please introduce yourself?
Kelly Augustine: My name is Kelly Augustine, a NYC-based blogger with a penchant for plus-size fashion and beauty. I also absolutely love food, travel, and discovering new things!
Frolicious: How were you discovered as a model?
Kelly Augustine: I wasn’t discovered by anyone! My first campaign was with Zelie for She, and designer Elann Zelie is a great friend of mine. She asked me to come and shoot some looks for her and I did. The rest is history.
Was becoming confident in your body a progression?
Kelly Augustine: I think for every woman, becoming confident is some sort of progression. Self-love is a process from the inside-out. it wasn’t until I started personal blogging that I just stopped caring about other opinions of me. Once I realized I was part of a body confidence movement, I really embraced who I was as a woman because I wasn’t only representing myself.
Frolicious: How do you see the term “plus” – do we really need it?
Kelly Augustine: The term “plus” is such a catch 22. I think there needs to be some separation because tons of fashion brands still treat their size 14+ consumers differently, but how can we move forward if there is separation? I personally think the term “plus” is necessary because we shop differently, think about our bodies differently, and have specific challenges when it comes to dressing. I don’t think the category is going anywhere, but I think the way it’s approached is different.
Frolicious: You look great in your pictures and on your blog! But do you also sometimes get negative comments?
Kelly Augustine: Thank you! And yes, the internet is an open forum so sometimes I may receive negative comments. I can count on one hand how many I’ve gotten since I’ve started blogging, though. I definitely don’t let negative comments upset me, everyone is entitled to their opinion!
Frolicious: Have you experienced race issues coming from the modeling industry?
Kelly Augustine: With modeling, my situation is very unique. All of my modeling opportunities have come from personal relationships; I haven’t done any go-sees and been put up against models. As a blogger though, I have seen some popular brands only go with a certain type of woman. If she’s brown, she’s usually mixed with something.
Frolicious: There have been some significant developments in the fashion industry since African fabrics and fashion are no longer only seen as “traditional clothes”. Do you think this is a temporary trend or something that can be mainstreamed into the fashion industry?
Kelly Augustine: I think these fabrics are here to stay. Once high-fashion designers got a hold of them, they will last for seasons to come because of imitators and replicators. They’re beautiful prints, and add a little “something something” to regular silhouettes. Designer Reuben Ruel of Demestiks does this VERY well.
Frolicious: How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Kelly Augustine: It’s very personal and dependent on my mood. There are days where I’m wearing all black, and days where I’m dressed in color head-to-toe. I dress for my lifestyle also – being a New Yorker, commuting and running around all day is so tough, so I make sure to wear clothes that fit what I’m doing for the day. I’m often going from my day job to a fashion event to a dinner, so I need to be flexible.
Frolicious: Do you have a favorite quote? If so, why?
Kelly Augustine: Yes! “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly” – Langston Hughes. It always reminds me to never lose sight of my goals and to never think a dream is too lofty to achieve. If I didn’t believe in this quote, I wouldn’t have done half of the things that I have! I get scared of new opportunities, as most people do, but I step into them believing that I can be do it. Staying true to your heart and being fearless are two huge keys to success!
Frolicious: Do you have any advice for those who are not satisfied with their body?
Kelly Augustine: My first piece of advice is to stop using the word “hate”. Or to think of anything as a “flaw”. There are “problem areas” that women naturally pick at, but know that you are beautiful! And wonderful and there are so many things in this world bigger than your body. Go travel! Go enjoy life! Absolutely do things to stay healthy (be active) but this world is too vast and this life too short to be worried!