Meet Mallory! Our Monday Model.
Mallory Richardson is a Plus Petite model specializing in runway, print, and spokesmodeling.
Congratulations on all of your success as a Plus Size Model. How did you get started modeling?
I got into modeling from my self-made styling career and interest in representing plus women from a standpoint of diversity and valuing representing women from all backgrounds, shapes, sizes, and heights.
You were recently named the Face of Full Figured Fashion Week 2017. Tell us a little bit about that experience, and what you got to do in your role as the face?
Serving as the Face of Full Figured Fashion Week has been incredible. My face was leveraged in social media and website campaigns for the annual week-long event, and I spent an entire week in NYC hosting, greeting, and celebrating the 9th-year anniversary of this illustrious event with models, bloggers, designers, and business people who are invested in the growth of the plus and body positive industries. In addition, I have had several live, written, and radio interviews throughout the course of my reign and assisted with the marketing and promotional support to make the event a success.
What has been your favorite experience thus far – the one you are most proud of?
My favorite experience so far has been engaging with the supporters of FFFWeek. During the event, I had the opportunity to speak with up-and-coming business people who were interested in my story and shared theirs during our conversations. Meeting like-minded and positive people who in some cases were emotional, truly has touched me. I am a person of the people. Relationships have had a huge impact in my life and in the development of my career. I find it heart wrenching, exciting, and celebratory to talk with people one-on-one and by way of stage/hosting to create an environment that is fun, friendly and personable. Knowing that I represented the brand loyally and tactfully means so much to me and the longevity of the career I am building daily.
Just like any craft, there is a learning curve – how did you learn how to model – both print and runway if applicable?
Absolutely. I have been coached and trained by mentors in the business. Because I also have a pageantry background, knowing how to vary my position in a given atmosphere is a part of the job. I have been working with model colleges, enthusiasts, mentors, and photographers along the way, taking tidbits of additional knowledge as I grow. Being a vessel and receptive to feedback is essential when building your craft. I do a lot of research on my own and I practice more than anything. Creating your own brand can be difficult if you don’t have a great foundation of your own. It’s easy to watch others and learn from what makes them successful; however, gauging your own interest, creating a niche plus being creative coupled with those relationships can take you further than being the “perfect” model some continue to aspire to be. Being yourself, strong execution and thick skin are all needed characteristics to continue to meet goals and find work in the industry.
Did you have mentors or role models who helped and inspired you along the way?
I did! Gwen Devoe is absolutely one of them. Considering I have produced two fashion shows at this stage of my career, I must say I have looked to her business savvy, execution, and collaborations for inspiration. Christina Mendez, Frankie Tavares, Denise Bidoe, Liris Crosse, Jeanne Ferguson and Precious Lee are all models I truly admire. They are all very different and have various points of view as to how they approach their successes, and I love that! There isn’t a magic way to be a successful model; however, knowledge and listening to seasoned professionals can truly help guide you.
The plus size industry has changed and continues to evolve – how do you think as a model you are able to help make an impact in how the world sees plus size women?
As a Plus Petite model specializing in runway, print, and spokesmodeling, I have something different to offer the industry as there aren’t many American Indian models, much less petite ones. I am also from an area that is behind the curve of industry developments for plus women. I see this as a challenge and an opportunity to really partner with brands that are available in my area to create more awareness around our needs as average sized women.
You exude confidence with every step you take. Were you always this confident? Tell us a little bit about your journey to confidence.
My journey has been far from bright. I have been a plus woman my entire life. In the 90s and 2000s, there was a huge culture around pop and straight size women. I was always told my face was pretty (as if the rest of me wasn’t), I struggled to find clothes to accentuate the body I had throughout various points in my life as, like many plus women, my weight fluctuated. I have ranged from a size 12 to size 20. Creating an understanding within myself about where I wanted to be healthy- and body-wise has been really tough to embrace. I spent my 20s trying to figure it all out: mind, body, and soul. It’s truly important to have a team of supportive people in your life to reiterate just how amazing you are. You feel more confident than you did the day before about claiming the curves the Creator gave you. Mental illness is real, self-mutilation is real, and God has brought me from a really dark place to shed light for others in a new and more profound way… outreach and touching lives through fashion, my nonprofit organization, and speaking worldwide and thinking BIG!
For our readers who are interested in starting a plus model career, what would you suggest are some top tips to get started?
- Do your research
- Invest in your career
- Seek faith and family for support/guidance
- Remain prepared
- Make connections with people
- Always have a great attitude and be willing to learn
As a model, you’ve had the opportunity to wear a variety of different styles. What would we catch you in on an ‘off duty’ day? What would you call your fashion sense and how has this evolved through your modeling career?
As a clothing stylist, I have truly embraced traditional and sometimes edgy fashion. I like looks that are classic and have some vintage qualities with clean lines. I also like to vary those looks in my work, casual, and after-five attire. I truly enjoy mixing fabric textures and dressing for my body type. I love combining high-fashion designer items with simple and far less expensive garments; it creates conversation and eye-catching affordable looks with balance.
What are you some of your favorite places to shop your style?
I adore Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and HM! I also like trendy boutiques for selective pieces I can combine with staple pieces I already own. Additionally, I enjoy Lane Bryants underwear and NY & Company for their awesome play on design for the businesswoman. Coach is by far my favorite luxury handbag and leather good designer. For clutches, bags, shoes, and clothing, they are one of my favorite lifestyle brands. A new favorite is Eloquii. They sponsored looks during my time in NY for FFFWeek, and I fell in love with the variety, quality, and aesthetic.
What does life look for you outside of the modeling world?
Two years ago, I became an aunt to the most darling child I know, my niece Nova. I am very spiritual and family-based, as well as in a committed relationship which, in combination with my fashion career, consumes my life. I ventured in 2015 to create Beaucoup, my plus size nonprofit organization. My downtime (when I get any) is spent reading and learning interior design concepts. I also attend networking events with local businesses.
Thank you for taking time to chat with us today! What is one message you would like to leave with our readers today?
Never stop believing in YOUR GIRL POWER! Stay grounded, re-evaluate when needed, and stay on the path. You have a lifetime of opportunities… seize them a day at a time, with the best attitude possible and never stop learning as it truly will take you to new heights in your career.