Spotlight Feature- Exclusive Interview with Model and Founder Of Vol.Up.2 Magazine - Velvet D’ Amour.

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Velvet d’Amour (born 1967) is the stage name of the U.S.-born beauty best known via the worldwide media coverage she received after her appearance as a plus-size model in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s 2007 Spring/Summer prêt-à-porter collection shown in Paris in October 2006. She also made a catwalk appearance in John Galliano’s prêt-à-porter showing entitled “Everybody is Beautiful” in 2006, and in the associated French Vogue article featuring photography by Nick Knight.
Photo By| Maya Guez
Hi Velvet, tell us more about yourself and when did you decide to chase a career in Modeling & Fashion?
Hello everyone, Well I am originally from Rochester NY, I left to study at SVA in Manhattan and hung there about a decade before making Paris my home these past 19 years. I enjoy being both behind and in front of the camera.
So, who were some of the modeling influences that inspired you to pursue modeling?
I always thought that Linda Evangelista did the best job at actually making clothes come alive and were most versatile. I loved Michaela Bercu's look, I liked how daring Carrie Otis was, I loved how out of the ordinary Cordula was. Now I love Lindsay Wixson, Daphne  Groeneveld,  Joan Smalls, Jourdan Dunn, and Magdalena Frackowiak to name a few.
Do you feel like “plus-size” models are treated fairly in the Industry?
I think there is less opportunity in general for plus-size models but I think as far as a treatment it’s the same as straight-size models.
Before you became a successful model, what was life like being a plus-size Lady, and what did the word ‘plus size’ mean to you?
I had battled to be thin in order to sign with a straight size agency that was interested in me but I couldn’t get under 117lbs so I ended up yo-yo dieting my way to plus size. There was definite prejudice with being plus size and this only served to inspire me to create positive change.
Who or what inspires and motivates you?
Women often write me and confide their feelings to me and that is always an inspiration to promote change by actively questioning the choice by media to push one singular beauty ethic. So it’s really the pain I see in people who end up hating themselves because they don’t meet society’s stringent beauty standards, thus my attempting to broaden how we perceive beauty so that it may be more encompassing.
What is your Philosophy?
Carpe Diem!
What is your message to the plus-size community, in general? What do you think is the most important thing that they should know about how they should handle their body right now?
It's important to understand that the only reason why people perceive Tall, Thin, White, Young as commonly accepted standards of Beauty at present is because we are inundated with that message by media and we are now living in an era where media besieges our every move so we don’t just get 1 message a day when say, we pass by some billboard, instead, we get several thousand messages a day showing us that THIS is seemingly the ONLY acceptable beauty standard.
By showing just one type of beauty, this message gets integrated into our psyche, which then causes us to sometimes reject our own personal beauty when we can’t live up to that highly unattainable standard. So the next time you start to hate on yourself- instead question media, ask yourself why you think what you think is beautiful, or unattractive, and the more you question media’s dictate, the more you can be open to seeing the beauty in everyone, yourself included.
What are some of your top beauty secrets?
I always take baths with baby oil in them to keep my skin soft.
I use hair oil on the ends of my hair to keep it healthy and use ‘Henna and Placenta’ hair treatments.
I like Burt’s Bee’s Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Sally Hansen’s Miracle Growth nail polish. And I always wear perfume, my favorite’s are Annick Goutal’s Eau de l’Hadrien and Beach by Bobby Brown.
What do you love about being a plus-size model?
I love modeling in general as I think it makes me a stronger photographer and I also like to use my body as a work of art.
People often wonder if models dress according to the latest fashion also in their everyday life, how would you describe your style?
I would say my style is rather eccentric; I like to have fun with fashion. My greatest difficulty in being my current size is the utter lack of cool, eccentric fashion, thus I like to design clothes myself and have them made.
What advice would you give to aspiring Plus Size models?
I would say that you can’t be afraid to take risks and that your book has to stand out from others so be sure to invest in a strong photographer.
Keep Up With Her Work Via Instagram  | Website

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