Kudos to Sonya Perkins for her latest innovative way to promote her businesses, and also attempting to debunk some of society's worst stereotypes.
To all that know me, they can attest I'm not a fashion diva of any kind. But I applaud the premise behind Perkins' model search aimed at what some might call us "big-boned" gals.
"In a fashion scene plagued with airbrushed cover models and runways devoted to nationally unattainable size, the curvy controversy continues," said Perkins, owner of Forever Yours Lingerie and LUCY Clothing, two stores in the heart of downtown Langley City.
Well, she's right. Today's runway models represent maybe three per cent of Canada's female population.
Perkins insists that fashion divas come in all shapes and sizes and she's embarking on a project to find and celebrate real women with real curves.
In her first ever model search, she's hunting for six models for a national advertising campaign that will launch her new online stores.
Established 16 years ago by Perkins, Forever Yours Lingerie has become a bit of a beacon for the modern woman, providing a vast selection of bras and lingerie that fit all shapes and sizes.
For Perkins, her own heart-breaking search for support wear and lingerie for her wedding sparked her to open a small store in 1996.
Fast forward to 2007, with the market cornered on stylish foundation garments, the demand for fashion-forward plus-size clothing paved the way for her to add a new boutique to the family and created LUCY (Love. Uniquely. Curvy. You.), a plus size clothing boutique providing curvy women with "fabulous" fitting fashions in their chic downtown Langley location.
Today, with limited Canadian online clothing retailers offering an expanded size range, Perkins and her husband Brian now hope to deliver the same products and customer service to women across the country.
"There is a real gap in the Canadian marketplace for modern, plus-size clothing and quality lingerie," Perkins said.
"Whether shopping for a new pair of jeans or bras and lingerie, our customers want to be able to picture themselves wearing the clothes."
For Perkins, searching for women who best illustrate their clientele just made the most sense.
"We want to provide our customers an image they can connect with."
With the contest now underway, applicants of all sizes are welcome to enter.
The six selected models will be provided a $500 wardrobe; a three-month paid modeling contract with the possibility for renewal, and will be the faces of a national advertising campaign and launch of the online stores.
The successful contenders will be required to travel to the Langley area once a week, be 18 years or older, and be of a proportioned physique. Interested applicants for the curvy model search can access further details and the online application at www.lucyclothing.ca.