- Liris Crosse, 32, was rejected due to her ‘voluptuous size’
- Took matters into her own hands and is now a top plus-size model
- Her idol was always Naomi Campbell and now she’s compared to her
- Was scouted by Evans at plus size fashion week and is breaking UK
Unless you’re born with Kate Moss’ cheekbones or Karlie Kloss’ endless legs, making it as a model in the fast-paced and fickle world of fashion is no mean feat – and something Liris Crosse knows all about.
For Liris, 32, who is now dubbed The Body and The Naomi Campbell of the plus-size modelling world, certainly came from humble beginnings.
When starting out, her statuesque form, cat-like eyes, full lips and flawless complexion got Liris in the door of most model agencies, but she admits her voluptuous shape landed her on the shelf.
Scroll down for video
Liris Crosse always dreamed of being a model but had a tough time breaking into the industry with many people telling her to lose weight to succeed – but the size 18 model (US 14) proved them wrong
Liris, who grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, shares her candid journey to the top with FEMAIL, how she proved her doubters wrong and how she’s hoping to take the UK by storm.
‘I can recall studying all the major fashion magazines as a little girl so I could see Tyra Banks and my model idol, Naomi Campbell,’ she said of her earliest fashion memories. ‘I watched fashion TV for all the runway shows and obsessed over Naomi Campbell’s runway walk.
‘I still idolise her poise, body and skin to this day and I practiced in my mother’s heels back and forth in the kitchen. I’m honored that the plus fashion world calls me the “Naomi of Plus” because she’s taught me from afar unknowingly.’
Liris, 32, is now dubbed The Body and The Naomi Campbell of plus – but it wasn’t always so simple
Liris’ model idol has always been Naomi Campbell, right, who she ‘obsessed over’ as a young girl and is now compared to by industry bigwigs
When she was starting out, despite being a healthy size 10 (US 6), Liris received rejection after rejection due to her voluptuous shape, but now she stars in regular fashion shoots, pictured
In her junior year of high school, she heard about a casting call in her area for a convention called Model Search America and immediately signed up.
She was lucky enough to get callbacks from Zoli Models, Elite Models NY, Michelle Pommier and Seventeen Magazine – but there was a catch.
‘They all loved me but wanted me to lose weight,’ she said. Despite being a healthy size 10 (US 6), Liris received rejection after rejection due to her voluptuous shape.
And even though she chose an east coast giant, Wilhelmina Models, as her mother agency, casting reps still requested that she first lose weight and then come back in six months.
Liris has also starred in top videos with Jennifer Lopez, Jay Z and Puff Daddy
Liris is breaking into the UK and appeared in a recent campaign for Sir Philip Green’s Evans, and starred in the Goddess Lingerie line through the Eveden brand
Instead of giving into their demands or giving up on what she believed was her calling, Liris, who is 5ft 11in, and now size 18 (US 14), took matters into her own hands and created the vision for them.
She became her own agent and utilised the urban market to achieve her dreams with the help of her agency.
Liris began to spread like wildfire. Essence, Honey, XXL, The Source and Black Elegance magazines were the first to believe in her vision. With these successes, Glamour, Seventeen and Girl soon caught onto her refreshing image and began requesting Liris for their glossy pages.
She booked top videos for the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Jay Z, Puff Daddy, starred on MTV and landed film roles.
Liris says she wants to change the industry by inspiring women to follow their dreams, helping to represent a different body type other than straight size in mainstream fashion
And now she’s starting to break the UK. Liris appeared in a recent campaign for Sir Philip Green’s plus-size fashion retailer, Evans, who fell in love with her when she took her runway reign to British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014. She has also starred in the Goddess Lingerie line through the Eveden brand.
‘I would love to work more in the UK with Evans, Anna Scholz, Yours Clothing, Panache, Elomi, ASOS, Simple Be, Dorothy Perkins, Carma Koma to name a few,’ she said.
‘I want to continue to change the industry by inspiring women to follow their dreams, helping to represent a different body type other than straight size in mainstream fashion like I have done through my work and to also represent for the black plus woman who feels she doesn’t see herself in mainstream fashion and entertainment.’
‘I also want to get back more into my acting career because I truly believe a plus woman can be a sexy lead on a TV series… Hey Hollywood, call me!
Liris has starred on the glossy covers of plus-size magazines in her time
The comments below have been moderated in advance.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
Find out now