PLUS FOR US is very excited and proud to bring you an exclusive interview with one of the busiest women in the plus size industry. I am sure you have heard her name and seen her work many times. She has been changing and inspiring the Full Figured World of Modeling since 2006…She is no other than Madeline Jones, editor of the world famous Plus Model Magazine based out of New York City. I had a chance to talk to Maddy and learn what her dreams, ambitions and over-all success have inspired her to do within the Plus Size World. I want to add that Plus Model Mag actually gave me my start and published my very first picture from my first photo-shoot. I will always be extremely grateful for that! This is definitely an interview that won’t disappoint.
Maddy, what was your inspiration behind the creation of Plus Model Magazine?
My business partner, Valery Amador, and I worked together at another online publication and when it folded, we were sent this amazing photo by Fluvia Lacerda. The photo was submitted to publications and no one would publish it because the model was a size 18 and at the time, too edgy. We decided to use what we knew to create our own platform and that photo became our very first cover and one of the most popular covers to date. We realized we needed to create a place for the modeling industry and fashion to be celebrated without apologizing for our curves.
Can you tell us some of the hurdles you have had to overcome in the business?
When you start any business, you never know exactly how it will all work out so we have had growing pains from time to time. Change is difficult for everyone, including me, but in order to move forward we have to continue to stay current with technology and be as close to a mainstream fashion magazine as possible. The economy tanking was no help either. We are always learning, always trying to do better.
When you started out there were virtually no “Plus Size Magazines” in existence, few events and a handful of bloggers. What are your thoughts and feelings about the “Boom” that has taken place within the Full Figured industry?
I LOVE IT! The mainstream fashion industry has so many bloggers, magazines and events, why shouldn’t we? I am elated that we have so many people celebrating the industry and the plus size woman.
If you had to narrow it down to just one, what is your all-time favorite issue of PMM and why?
I have never been asked this question; it’s like asking a mother to choose one child. It’s impossible because they all celebrated a time in plus size history. There are a few that I hold very dear to my heart like the Icon Issue (January 2011). Speaking and working with some of the models and industry professionals that paved the way for us was something that I will never forget. It was a celebration of everything that I live for every day. Working with Icon Natalie Laughlin was surreal for me. I remember seeing her billboards in Times Square, and now here she was modeling for our cover.
You have put a lot of talent on within the plus size modeling world, changing the landscape and bringing it to such a positive light that did not even exist five years ago. Can you name some of the careers you have influenced or helped and how it has made you feel?
I think one of the goals for the magazine is to celebrate and feature models in all levels of their career to the industry. There have been some models I have worked with closely, but the hard work has been done by them and I honestly don’t take credit for it. I do have dreams of having an agency one day but right now it’s just a dream.
What is the future of PMM, will we see this fabulous company go to print someday?
It’s only my every day mantra. Every day I say to myself, “today is one day closer to reaching my goal of bringing PMM to print”. I remember getting MODE, BBW, Grace and Figure magazine’s mailed to me and enjoying every single page. I want to bring that feeling back to a new generation of women.
When you’re not busy working, what do you like to do for fun?
My husband always says I need to have more fun but the fact of the matter is that I love what I do, I’m still having fun while I work. PMM is an adventure, a passion and something that I have devoted and sacrificed my life for. The last six years have been an amazing learning experience and I have grown so much as a woman. When I do have time away, I love being with family and my close friends enjoying NYC.
Well, I want to thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule and sharing with our readers. Wishing you and Plus Model Magazine all the best!!
Interview by: Michyl Collins, COO of Plusforus.com