Interview with Liris Crosse

Updated: Feb 11, 2020

CURVE sat with Liris Crosse – an esteemed plus-size model, creator of Life Of A Working Model Bootcamp, and now author of Make The World Your Runway. She is a pioneer in the fashion industry for full-figured and African American women, and represents the determination to push diversity forward within the modeling industry. We chatted with Liris about her career, takeaways from being the first plus-model winner on Project Runway, and her latest book!

How did you get into modeling?

I got into modeling back in high school by attending a model search convention that's now named Mogull Talent. Agencies loved me but wanted me to lose weight. I tried to lose weight but it was never enough. I moved to NY after graduating high school and hit the agencies. I signed with the plus division at Wilhelmina Models. It was a slow build, but I accomplished a lot during my time there. I'm now signed to Dorothy Combs Models. What's kept me going is I truly LOVE the art form of modeling. I appreciate the impact I'm able to have on others from it and the amazing experiences I've had because of it. It's my God-given purpose and that's why I just can't quit!

What was the motivation to designing “Life of a Working Model” bootcamp?

I wanted a safe place for aspiring and working models could get quality information from industry professionals who are actively engaged and working at a high level. We are at the pulse of the industry plus we are tried, tested and TRUE! I’ve had guest like the casting director of Project Runway Paul Medford, Maddy Jones from Plus Model Magazine, Full Figured Fashion Week creator Gwen Devoe and the list goes on and on! It’s open to all levels of experience, gender, sizes and ages. When you’re able to give real tools so people can expand their careers and avoid pitfalls, PRICELESS!

How did being on Project Runway help advance your career and what did you learn from it?

Well, TV goes straight into people’s homes, so it definitely gave me mainstream exposure all around the world, since the show airs in numerous countries. Plus, people got a dose of my personality, confidence and my heart which I feel they fell in love with but that feeling is mutual with the Project Runway fanbase. I learned how some are closed- minded still to plus-sizes, but also that there’s many more who felt I brought a great light to the power of the plus model. Also, I saw the power of plus size imagery on your tv screens so we can revolutionize the fashion and beauty industries for the greater good since the average woman in the USA is a size 14-16.

What was your motivation in writing your new book “Make The World Your Runway”?

Actually, I loved the support from the Project Runway fans so much that they inspired me to write it. Coming off the show so many of them as well as aspiring models loved my confidence and my modeling work that I felt it would be a great idea to write a book that connected the two worlds but for a bigger purpose. It’s like modeling meets life coaching cause it’s model tips for everyday confidence and success.

Who was this book written for and what do you hope they take away from it?

The book is for EVERYONE! Of course models can of course gain insight, but I wrote this so no matter your size, age, race or gender, you can MAKE THE WORLD YOUR RUNWAY! Of course, it’s more female centered cause I am but I wanted the book to help everyone to live their best lives even further in their purpose. There are things that models use in their everyday lives & on the runway so I expounded upon them so everyone could use them on the runway of life. From posture to poise under pressure to standing in your power to positivity and so much more. I hope people take away increased confidence, deepened purpose, a new mindset and excitement for what’s to come

How do you practice your secrets for confidence and success in your personal and professional life?

Well, practice makes perfect. I practice being intentionally positive with my words especially when I go through disappointments, I stand in my power and do the things that I’m fearful of, I work on my partnerships and do self-care rituals so I can be the best me for me, and to serve others and I work on myself physically too, so I can maintain it all.

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