Ever wonder how plus size brands get clothes to fit you like a glove? Many companies use fit models, these are models who are used by fashion designers and clothing manufactures to check the fit, drape and visual appearance of a design on a real human being. However, Rachel Richardson isn’t merely a living mannequin for plus size brands, she also consults and gives feedback on how clothes are fitting and what a brand could do to improve their plus size fits. Richardson has been a fit model for more than five years and has modeled for Nordstrom, Macy’s and Rachel Pally. Most recently, you might have caught her as a model for Lane Bryant Fashion TV with fellow Madison Plus Curvy Influencer, Marcy Guevara. As a fit model, Richardson, sees far too often the lack of plus size options, but as time goes by, styles are improving, and like Madison Plus, she loves supporting up-and-coming designers. Get to know this LA transplant in our interview below. You can follow Richardson’s blog Lovely in LA, to keep up with all of her endeavors.
Where do you call home?
Los Angeles –although I tend be roaming all over the country for work at times.
Where is your hometown?
I am from Seattle – home to lots of rain, Microsoft, Nordstrom and coffee shops on every corner!
Who is/are your style icons?
I really love Diane Von Furstenberg and Rachel Pally. Diane, because she invented the wrap dress and I am all about wraps! I love her style, prints, what she’s done in her business and how she lives her life. In her business, she surrounds herself with smart and motivated women.
I also adore Rachel Pally’s style and approach to fashion because she is effortlessly chic and trendy at the same time. I’ve had the opportunity to work with her and she is an amazing individual. Rachel Pally was really one of the first cool, contemporary labels to offer plus sizes. I’m a huge fan of her White Label Collection!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
This changed a million times as I was growing up and it took me forever to settle on something. Initially, I wanted to be a teacher then that changed to an attorney, but I am thrilled that I landed in fashion!
Where do you find inspiration for your daily looks?
I really look at everything from magazines, blogs, boutiques, my fashionable friends and what’s happening on the streets of LA. One of my good friends, Tanja Maduzia, who owns a custom paper and invitation studio (By Tanja), is very creative and has impeccable style. I often run outfit ideas by her! I also work part time as a fit model and working firsthand with creative designers starts to rub off on you. In the end, I always wear what’s comfortable and flattering as well as something that I feel great in and makes me stand out!
What do you like about the MP Select message?
The MP select message is very close to my heart. As someone who has always struggled to find trendy, fashion forward clothes at my size that fit and flatter, I really like that Madison Plus is giving me options that the mainstream market is not. As a plus size fit model, I saw first hand the void in the market for stylish plus size clothes that fit well and made me feel amazing. There are a handful brands that I’ve worked with who get it, like Rachel Pally White Label, but unfortunately a majority do not. I love that MP focuses on trendy, high fashion style and emerging designers. It’s great what MP is about; support emerging plus size designers who might not otherwise get exposure while giving plus size fashionistas options. I really love this concept and am grateful to MP for offering the type of clothing I crave!
What trend are you looking forward to this summer?
Mixed prints and pastels. I love the color mint and will be rocking it all summer!
What trend(s) do you wish would disappear?
I was just talking about this with my friend the other day. I’m kind of over hi-low dresses right now but I really wish the pajama trend would go away.
What do you love about fit modeling?
I have been a fit model/plus size brand consultant since 2006. I’ve worked with clients like Nordstrom, Jag Jeans, Macys and Rachel Pally. I love being a fit model because it allows me to give feedback to a brand not just about what fits and flatters but what their customer is looking for from their clothes.
Words of wisdom for fellow curvy ladies?
Work with what you’ve got – it doesn’t matter what size you are! Confidence is key. Always find clothes that fit and flatter your body type. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your fashion comfort zone. Also, most clothes don’t fit straight off the rack, so having a great tailor is very important.