Jessica Rae King is a talented upcoming model from Melbourne, Australia with an impressive and diverse portfolio. When we first discovered Jessica’s work at Urbanity Chic we were very impressed and were therefore delighted when she agreed to complete a Spotlight Interview about her experiences in modeling and the fashion industry. Read on to discover, which modern-day fashion designers Jessica is inspired by, what she’s been working on recently and what she does to relax when not working.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
I walked in a few hair shows when I was about 15, but I never pursued it just because I didn’t have the typical “model body”. I had the height, but I was always a little more curvaceous then the other girls! I ended up continuing to focus on my performing and singing and went on to study a Bachelor of Performing Arts after High School. My performance career so far as been very fulfilling, and I have been lucky enough to act on various tv shows, present for documentaries, sing at major events and even create my own work. One day about a year ago I decided to get some shots together in a hope to show another side to myself as a performer. Well one shot turned into many, and I began to remember how much I loved modeling. I began to discover that there was a niche for girls above a size 8 (Australian) to model, and that I could very well carve a career out of “plus size modeling” without having to change my size!
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
In the last 12 months I have won Melbourne’s Spring Fashion Week Real Model Search- a modeling competition on the look out for Models of all shapes and sizes. Through winning the competition I was lucky enough to walk in various parades during the festival week, including the official Target Parade. I have worked with Ruby Red Dress, Couturing.com in various editorials, Black Apple, Target Australia and more. I also recently signed to plus size agency BGM Models.
Q: Who inspires you?
I love Robyn Lawley- an Australian plus size model (originally a straight size model) who decided to make the switch to the plus size world since it just wasn’t feasible for her body. That’s the fact, not all people are built to be a size 6- and the plus size industry isn’t about celebrating obesity (contrary to what many people say) it’s about being as healthy as you can be at the size at which your body tells you.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
I love Lady Gaga’s eclectic dress sense and creativity when it comes to her outfits. Her costumes are always a work of art. In terms of the plus size world I love Elena Miro- very classic lines, that celebrate the female curves!
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I love location, just because I tend to get a lot of inspiration from the beautiful things around me. Then again studio is a wonderful challenge, because it really becomes a lot about the model- there are less distractions.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share?
Haha, yes! One day I was shooting a feature in a cacti garden and the stylist wanted a really natural, nomad type look. So there I was in the middle of a cacti garden, with no shoes, trying to get into all these weird positions, when I scraped my foot against a cacti bush! We were only about half way through the shoot so I had to keep going! For the week after, I couldn’t walk- I ended up having to go to the doctors to get the cacti pins surgically removed. We ended up getting great shots but!
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
Always make sure I get heaps of sleep, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly before the big day. Sometimes I’ll get a facial or a spray tan if that is what the client is after too!
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
No, I find it hard to decide my favourite shots of myself!
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
I have worked with some wonderful people in the Melbourne industry. I love Peter Soulis’s work,( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Peter-Soulis-Photography/102798186495156) and I have been lucky enough to work with him on a number of occasions. I’m very lucky that one of my good friends is a graphic designer and up and coming photographer (Kelly McMahon- http://www.facebook.com/kellymcmahondesign) so we tend to help each other out quite a bit! Her work is gorgeous!
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
I try not to strictly follow what is in fashion, I let it inspire me- but I don’t live by the trends.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
My style changes depending on my mood really! I can be known to try lots of different crazy styles! I guess the overriding thing for me is dressing for my shape- I love classic lines- dresses nipped in at the waist or hip hugging dresses.
Q: Where are you based?
I’m currently based in Melbourne! Hoping to venture o/s very soon to work! Would love to go to New York or Europe.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Melbourne is great! Wonderful culture- great nightlife, everything is easily accessible and only really an hour away! The weather kills me haha! You could wake up one day expecting it to be beach weather, and then get rained out! So unpredictable!
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
MSFW2011 was a real turning point for me professionally and emotionally, in that I started accepting myself as a “plus size” model, and stopped trying to diet and fit in with the industries “ideal”. In terms of most recently, signing with plus size agency BGM Models was really exciting- to be with the same agency as models I look up to such as Laura Wells and Bree Warren is incredible! Booking my first job (a Target TV Commercial) within one week of signing was great too.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?
Continue modeling, raise my profile, and help boost the use of plus size models in the industry.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Sing, play piano, drinks with friends, movies, play with my cat! Lol
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Anything and everything- classical music to lady gaga, musical theatre, Kimbra, The Black Keys, Beyonce, Foster The People, Kanye, Ke$ha, Britney spears!
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I love singing and playing the piano! I make YouTube covers when I get some free time: www.youtube.com/JessicaRaeVideos
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?
Just persist at it. There is so much rejection that you will face, and just not to take that personally. There could be a million reasons as to why you don’t fit the bill for a certain job.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
I have many reasons. I love being creative; I love creating art, creating things that move people. Being a plus size model creates a whole new point of motivation for me. I want to help girls who struggle with body image and show them that success has nothing to do with dress size. I’ve been there… I’ve tried to be different… I’ve dieted and dieted and hated life because of it. It’s just not worth it. There are much more important things in life to worry about!
Editor’s Note: Jessica has an alluring and commercial look that can be creatively manipulated to suit a variety of situations. Definitely one of our models to watch both in Australia and internationally for some time to come.
If you’d like to learn more about Jessica Rae King, or get in touch, just follow the links below:
Modeling Agency: http://bgmmodels.com/bgm/models/jess-k/
twitter link: https://twitter.com/JessRaeKing
facebook link: www.facebook.com/JessRaeKingPlusModel
Youtube embeds: www.youtube.com/JessicaRaeVideos