Why did you decide to pursue a career in the modeling industry? What keeps you modeling?
My career was and is a complete fluke. I was attending John Jay College in NYC, I was actually in my Sophomore year when my mom spotted an ad in the back of the NY Daily News for an agency seeking women size 12-20. She thought it would be great for me because I had gained weight in college, I went from a size 7 to a 10 and my family was not use to seeing me that way. We had never talked about modeling in my family.
My father was a singer in a group called the Carousels when he was young, they recorded some records and toured but my brother and I were never steered into show business. Actually my mother didn’t like my dad being away from home so much. My father, brother and many family members were police officers at this time and law enforcement was the direction I was going.
I went to dancing school from the age of 5-15 that was about the only time I was in front of any kind of camera. I decided to go to the open call from the paper it was a legitimate plus size agency luckily for me (please don’t answer ads in papers). I love the camera and what you can create but having a career is not what I expected out of this. When I first started it was magical to see the transformation in me with the hair and makeup, everyone used to get a kick out of how I would walk in very “around the way girl” and I could turn into another person. Even photographers were amazed. It’s just something about making beautiful pictures that is very exciting and has not lost its appeal to me. I go back in forth from modeling to acting. I never can focus on one thing, whatever is happening or whoever is calling for me is the direction I tend to deviate towards.
You have some fabulous clients like Avenue and Ashley Stewart, how do you prepare before your shoot? Any beauty/skin care musts?
I am really a very simple girl. At home I wear absolutely nothing on my skin. I have washed my face for years with Dove soap and that is it. I don’t even moisturize. I only apply a thin layer of moisturizer to my skin to protect it from makeup. I wear makeup to castings and occasions. I take off every drop of makeup with ponds cold cream and wash with Dove soap several times to get makeup off. I use to go for facial every month when I first started modeling. I haven’t had one in many years and don’t have any problems with my skin, I only get an occasional blemish. I do like to give myself over the counter treatments from Neutrogena or Biore.
What advice do you have for girls wanting to get into plus modeling?
My advice to anyone wanting to start a modeling career is “LISTEN” so many girls come into this business with this preconceived idea that modeling is easy and agents and clients are going to book them because…
This business is tough and it is a business. I hope that everyone knows to research and read about any business they are entering, but more importantly ask questions to women who can help you who are working or have worked successfully. They don’t have to be another plus model, it could be an agent, booker, actor, straight sized model, in other words someone who can give you helpful tips to reach your goals. Also “LISTEN” to yourself and your gut. Don’t lose who you are in this business, please stay true to yourself. I have been friends with a size 4 model for over 15 years and we have helped each other tremendously with our careers.
Describe your dream photo shoot, who would you love to work with?
I never thought about my dream assignment. Ummm I would love to work with more African American models on the same day. The first time I worked with 2 other African American models aside from a fashion show, on the same day at the same time was with Ashley Stewart. I worked with Mia Amber and Musilimah who are lovely and sweet. We had a ball. Usually there is only one African American model on the set at one time or we are staggered throughout the day.
I would love to work with 10 African American models and do a portrait shoot showing our range of beauty. I would choose Lucas Jones to shoot it because he makes everyone feel at ease and that is crucial to get great pictures.
When you’re not modeling, what do you keep busy with?
These days I am keeping busy working on a cooking book with my son, he is doing all the recipes and I am doing all the photography, I am having a great time creating, learning and developing.
How have you discovered your style? What inspires you?
I have always been obsessed with magazines even as a child, while my mother was grocery shopping I was reading Seventeen and Glamour. I always have been a clothes horse I love Donna Karen simple style her whole organic way of dressing. Not that I buy Donna Karen I just adore her easy natural style. I like my clothes simple so I can add the accessories to make them go from hot to pop. But I really think my style comes from my grandmother, she could make nothing look like something by adding great shoes, gloves or jewelry.
Where do you like to shop? any tips for shopping for plus?
I don’t think I have been in a department store in years. I shop all over. I get a piece from here and there, mix and match. I love shopping for quality pieces in boutiques and from designers rather than large retail shopping always searching for key pieces for spring and fall.
What is your fashion want for this summer?
I am going to invest in a great white jean and am really in search of a white pair of jeggings.
What is the best piece of industry advice you have been given?
I was told by former plus model/agency owner Phyllis Cuington at the very beginning of my career to wear color. Also stylist Ionia Dunn Lee told me green was my best color and I always wear green to castings.
What does Madison Plus mean to you?
Madison Plus means having your ears to the pulse of the plus size industry.
Finish The Sentence
Always…remember you don’t have to be a winner to win
Never..forget to laugh with others and at yourself
If you would like to work with Lisa Scott please contact her agency Fallon@ipmmodels.com.