Congratulations on winning the 2014 Simone Pérèle Couture Competition! What’s the first thing you did when you found out you won?
The first thing I did after hearing that I had won the competition was apologise for keeping everyone waiting! I was actually in Morocco at the time so had been waking myself up every hour during the night to check Facebook. It never once occurred to me that I might receive a phone call that couldn’t reach me on the other side of the world… Sorry folks! Straight after that though I told my mum and had to keep pinching myself… It took a long time to settle in.
How do you believe winning this competition will help you launch a career in the world of modelling?
The opportunities I have already been awarded from participating let alone winning this competition have well and truly aided myself and the other finalists coming into the modelling industry. Firstly the chance to be involved in a project aimed at positive body image within this sometimes fickle industry, is a massive achievement. I do believe the world is slowly but surely starting to recognise diversity within body shapes and sizes in the industry. Also, to now have your name attached to one of the leading curve model agencies in Australia and receive the incredible opportunity of becoming a brand ambassador for one of the worlds top selling lingerie designers, as well as appearing in an ad campaign in one of Australia’s highest selling magazines… Well I do believe I am in the most capable hands at this time and am so excited to start this new journey.
The fashion industry is often criticised for presenting only one body type as desirable. Why do you think it’s important for competitions such as the Simone Perele Curvy Couture Competition to promote a healthier body image celebrate a more diverse range of shapes and sizes?
I believe it is essential that the industry start to move towards using a diverse array of shapes and sizes. Young women and men in this day and age are so saturated with advertising and the “ideal” body type, that healthy body image and self confidence are sadly becoming a rarity in so many lives. To have a competition or an opportunity like the Simone Perele Curvy Couture Competition to help bring awareness to this issue is so refreshing and exciting to see. I can safely say for myself and I hope on behalf of all the girls involved in this process, not once did we ever feel uncomfortable or discriminated against for a certain “flaw” (or should I say uniqueness) about our body. I must admit if you are ever looking for some positive vibes, surround yourself with strong curvaceous beauties… It’s enlightening!
What message do you have for women who are struggling with body images issues to help them become more accepting of themselves?
From an early age I was heavily involved in a world that emphasised the importance of having the perfect body shape. I’ve experienced first hand the negative effects that comments or reflections on your self image can make and they can so often be incredibly debilitating. Every person in the world experiences those doubts about their body image, there is always one thing that you wish could be smaller, tighter, flatter it’s how we tick. I still have my moments for sure, however, I find that so many of us (and I am guilty as charged) tend to remember and hold on to those negative thoughts and comments, they are the ones that stick with you. I am still learning to listen to the positive feedback and hold on to it! It is so important to allow positivity into your life especially in regards to your health and wellbeing. It is so freeing to learn to accept yourself.
With the help of Simone Perele and BGM Models, what are you hoping to achieve in the world of modelling over the next year?
There are so many twists and turns coming up on this roller coaster ride I wouldn’t even know where to begin! I am really looking forward to starting my portfolio with BGM and what better way than to represent Simone Perele in the December issue of Cosmo! I would love to dip my toe into all sides of the modelling industry photographic, runway, screen and ambassador work I’ll try it all! The other thing I am really looking forward to is meeting and hopefully working with some of the beautiful ladies I will be on the books beside at BGM. There has been so much support from everyone at the agency and Simone Perele I know exciting things are headed our way.
We also caught up with Sarah Cohen, Director of Jewel Communications who manages the marketing for Simone Pérèle in Australia to give us an insight into why Simone Pérèle created the Curvy Couture Competition Model search and why Alannah is a fantastic winner!
We love that Simone Pérèle founded the Curvy Couture Competition, which promotes a healthier body image for women. Why is it important for Simone Perele to be a part of this great initiative?
Simone Pérèle started the ‘Curvy Couture’ Model Search in the hopes that we would encourage women to embrace their natural beauty and celebrate their curves. The brand is globally recognised as being the leading designers of lingerie for the fuller bust, but we had struggled to find models who filled out the garments and showcased the unique design attributes here in Australia. That’s when we decided to partner with leading curvy modelling agency BGM Models to establish an annual model search that would encourage girls whose shape falls outside the size of ‘traditional models’ to consider a modelling career. In doing so, we hoped to create a positive landscape for Australian women to feel proud of the shape and embrace their uniqueness.
The Curvy Couture Competition has helped launched the careers of past winners. How will the competition help this year’s winner establish a career in the modeling industry?
This competition is such a fantastic starting point for a new model. Not only winning a national model search but starring in a national advertising campaign for an international, designer brand sold in over 96 countries is an incredible accolade for a new model. Starting your career in lingerie modelling also equips the models with a sense of inner confidence, so to move on to clothing brands will be much less daunting!
Why do you believe Alannah is a fantastic winner and will be a great ambassador for promoting a healthier body image in the industry?
Alannah has an incredible figure, fitting the samples perfectly, so straight away we knew she would showcase the collection in the way it was designed. There is also an intangible quality that Alannah possesses, where we just knew she was a ‘Simone Perele’ woman. Alannah is young, healthy, elegant and feminine. A wonderful role model for young Australian women representing the importance of being yourself and embracing your natural beauty.
Why is it important for the fashion industry to get behind initiatives such as the Curvy Couture Competition to help combat body image issues faced by women and men?
The fashion industry, the advertising industry and the media collectively produce the parameters with which ‘beauty’ is defined, which can set in motion the beginnings of negative body image association from an early age. We all know the physical characteristics these industries define as ‘beautiful’ and most of us don’t naturally have them! That’s not to say that most of us are not beautiful, but that the measurements of ‘beauty’ need to be refined by producing public body images of different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and ages. If you remove the finite attributes of beauty and make it all-encompassing, perhaps our own body image will eventually be built on how we see ourselves and not how we compare to one another. This competition is just a tiny cog in the wheel of change towards positive body image.
Simone Perele is all about promoting attainable luxury everyday. How can investing in beautiful lingerie really help women feel more confident?
The Simone Perele ethos is centred around how YOU feel, not how you look to another person. If you are wearing something that feels indulgent, soft and luxe and you know that it’s working with your body to support and enhance your silhouette, you naturally feel confidant and powerful. Each collection is crafted from the world’s finest fabrics, using world renowned embroidery, innovative design technology bringing seamless lines, invisible stitching, hypo-allergenic and soothing properties and fundamentally, the best shape for your bust. Investing in luxurious lingerie is like your secret weapon!