Petite Models Take on The Catwalk

Written by Angela Phillips a Bella Petite Regional Director and newly contributing writer.

For years it has been defined that a “runway” model has to be 5’9″ or taller.  This illogical definition has killed many aspiring petite models’ dreams of being a high fashion runway model.   The runway is considered a private sanctity for amazons only, dictated by the clothing designers. It’s a world we petite models roll our eyes at. Why wouldn’t we? We are eliminated from the castings (we are not even allowed to attend) and we have to wonder why?

How could clothing designers possibly presume that petites aren’t able to work the runway like a Victoria’s Secret Angel? Incidentally petite women have better proportions than the glamazons!

A large part of the problem with the fashion industry is that it’s ruled by dinosaurs fresh out of ideas about how to attract their marketplace. The clothing designers and fashion magazine editors have arbitrarily imposed their personal preferences onto the consumers. The way I see it is that we have two options, wait around for someone else to provide petites the opportunities, or start making opportunities for petites.  Easy decision.  Hard work and is our platform, carpe diem!

Once discovering and reading their mission, I was so inspired by the petite fashion movement that I embarked into producing my first petite fashion show.  Quickly, I realized just how overwhelming this mountain was going to be to climb.

It was a blessing to score custom clothing designer Vanessa Vinci, recently showcased on BET’S “Tiny and Toya,” but added pressure to find great petite models to represent her designs and our cause, the petite fashion movement!   I felt it was important to choose petite models who are confident and would be able to inspire the audience to join the petite fashion movement.  This was my first opportunity to showcase petite models looking hot and rockin’ the runway.

The production crew responsible for creating the  fresh and fierce looks was led by Grace Samuels with her assistants Cynthia Reyes, and Najli Salaam.  The principle still photographer was Dewayne Mallory.  The videographer Mikel Estes captured what the petite fashion movement is all about, creating a wonderful viral video of my first Bella Petite Fashion Show production!

Everyone from the crew to the petite models did a fantastic job, and I was completely thrilled with the outcome!  Playing double duty as model and fashion show producer was a challenge, pushing my limits and perpetuating personal growth useful in continuing my petite fashion advocacy. Fellow petite fashion advocate Musimah Hasan (and co-producer) who was my nerve-calming agent and a great team player, said  “It was no easy task, but anything worth having isn’t easy so we are willing to fight an uphill battle.”

The hard work seemed even more worth it when I began receiving emails from the petite models, with 5’3″ Arya saying, “Hey Angela, just wanted to thank you again for having me as part of the show yesterday. I had a blast and learned a TON. My confidence has skyrocketed and I will no longer feel inferior at castings due to my height!  Would absolutely love to do it again!”

Petite model 5’5″ Karyn says, ” I even researched bone stretching and extreme yoga hoping that I could find a way to gain a few inches so I could be a ‘real’ model. I love modeling and the fashion industry, but I resigned the notion of ever touching foot on a catwalk.   Now that I have been given the opportunity to model in a petite fashion show, I have this new found confidence in myself as a model and as a person.   My height will no longer affect the way I see myself.  I am a model who can work in any facet of the modeling industry, including runway.   The petite fashion show has shown me that ‘real’ models come in all heights.”

My petite advocacy has just begun.  I can’t wait to see what all the petites are made of and if the fashion industry is ready for us.

Ready or not has started to “usher in the new breed of models and beauty,” thanks to Ann Lauren and the petite fashion movement!

Written By: Angela Phillips


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7 thoughts on “Petite Models Take on The Catwalk”

  1. Angela you are inspiring me to keep trying to be a model I have always dream to do this! but thought to be to small it is depressing to feel small.

  2. You have been the best covergirl so far for Bella Petite it is cool to see you doing stuff! I am feeling amped to be like you a great role model for us little ones! Help I'm not to short! Yaay!

  3. Thanks ladies. ALL OF YOU CAN DO THE SAME AND MORE!!!!!! I believe that Petites have a special heart that has the strength to do anything we set our minds to!!!!

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