[Model] Anaïs Conde: The Plus Size Coup d’état of the Industry

Every couple of years beauty standards evolve and create a niche for women to fall into. We construct these different ideals of what the paradigm of diverse allures. This effect trickles down from the runways to magazines, television and into our homes.

Photo by Saul Miranda for Be Plus Magazine.

Photo by Saul Miranda for Be Plus Magazine.

While the fashion world still has a ways to go when it comes to promoting diversity on the runways and in the pages of our favorite magazines, more and more designers and brands have been embracing the industry’s growing body-acceptance movement and hiring models that don’t adhere to the under-size-four norm lately. And the 10 plus-size stunners spotlighted below are leading the charge—starring in controversial campaigns, fronting fashion glossies and snapping up other jobs once reserved for women with one specific body type. Breaking the mold is local modeling agency Krone with model Anaïs Conde and her unique look.

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[Model] Karla Mar Fernandez: The Aesthetic Evolution of the Industry

For years the fashion industry has portrayed the “perfect” image of a person: tall, thin, dark and flawless. But recently the modeling world has taken a more abstract path and Designers have been changing their view at a rapid pace, with more unusual faces.

The industry is known for being on the constant move. From the artistic and the avant guarde, to the mundane and urban. The recognition of being ground breaking and pushing barriers of the aesthetics is much owed to the vision of these Designers, Editors and Stylist. Recently we’ve seen them step out of the stereo typical aspects of beauty by using a wide variety of models on the runways with traits that in the past would have been shun.

Models outside the standards of beauty are those who have been gracing the catwalks and editorials, plus-size, skin conditions like vitiligo or albinism, transgendered and down syndrome have recently been seen on the runway and blowing everyone away. Locally there has been a slow evolution into the tendencies that we’ve been seeing in American and European Runways. But the regional market is extremely limited to diversity and usually moves at a slower pace, but never cease to catch up with professionals that take chances.

Top agencies around the world like: Red Model Management, New York; Angels & Demons, Paris; Izaio Models, Berlin, Nathalie Models, Paris; AMCK Models, London; Jill Models, Berlin have been setting the bar for diversity, so its only logical that the top agency on the island Element Model & Talent Management did the same and take us by storm in presenting the first local model with albinism: Karla Mar Fernandez.

Model: Karla Mar Fernandez from Element Models. Photography by Ricardo Medina.

Model: Karla Mar Fernandez from Element Models. Photography by Ricardo Medina.

I’m eager to see her grace the runways and editorial pages of the region, I know she will have an outstanding welcoming in the industry.

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[Fashion History] Heels for “Juntos En La Mañana”

High-heeled shoes are a type of footwear exclusively to women. However, history shows us that it wasn’t always so.  Actually, these were worn by men in different historical periods. In addition, while today we use heels for aesthetic reasons in the past they were used because of their practicality. Although it is unclear where did the first heels came from, but it seems that  they were first worn by actors in ancient Greece. These were called “kothornoi” and it was a type of shoe that was used around the second century BC. these were made ​​with cork and wooden soles and were as high to 3 and 4 inches.

It is also said that during the Middle Ages in Europe, men and women used them due to the dirty and muddy streets, in that time period shoes were extremely delicate and expensive. To avoid damaging them, they wore heels.

A “chopine” was a type of footwear worn mostly by women and extremely popular in Venetian society during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Besides their practical uses, their height became a symbolic reference to the cultural and social standing of the wearer; the higher the “chopine”, the higher the status of the wearer. During the Renaissance, these became an essential  piece in women’s fashion; some were over 20 inches high. They were not at all practical and easy to walk in, so they needed servants to help them maintain their balance.

Heeled shoes were also used for many centuries in the Middle East as footwear for soldiers. This helped them cling to their stirrups on their horses and they could shoot their arrows more accurately.

During the 1630s women wore short hair and epaulettes. They smoked pipes and wore hats that were very masculine in designs. For this reason women began to wear heels, it was an effort to masculinize their wardrobe. During this period, the European upper class adopted unisex style shoes until the end of the seventeenth century. At the end of the period a change began to occur in the style of heels. Men began using squared off, robust and lower heels, while women wore a much more slender and curved style.

During this period women were considered emotional, sentimental and with uneducated views. The began what was considered irrational fashion trends and high heels were now separated from its role in horsemanship and became a typical example of unpractical fashion; these were seen as silly and effeminate.

During the 1740’s until now men stopped using heels, but right after the French Revolution women had stopped wearing them also. Heels were used again by the mid-nineteenth century, when photography began to change the way fashion and women viewed themselves.

[L to R] Griselle Mamery, Aisha Naomi

[L to R] Griselle Mamery, Aisha Naomi

Check out my latest fashion segment on  WAPA TV & WAPA America: [Dime que usas y te dire quien eres] ¿Cómo surgen los tacos?

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