Happy Birthday Nina!
Happy Birthday to our first ever cover girl, the amazingly beautiful Nina Blakemore. A Curve Ambassador for the last 20 years, Nina is now pursuing her Love Curves project, a platform for plus size fashion ideas and support. Read our 2014 interview with Nina when she featured on our first ever magazine cover and learn more about her career, beauty secrets and working with Gok Wan.
Nina Blakemore – Career, life and loves
As an editorial team, we never underestimated how important our first magazine cover would be. We knew exactly what shot we wanted to create about four months before we even got the shooting team together. We also knew Steve Walton was the man to handle the photography and from the moment we met Nina we knew she was the woman we wanted on the cover. For us, Nina epitomises natural beauty and vivacious energy; a confidence to discover and remain true to who you are. If we as a publication in any way influence brides to embrace that spirit on their wedding day then we will consider ourselves a success. We are truly honoured Nina agreed to be the first face of Buckinghams and we are delighted to introduce her as our first Cover Girl.
How did your career begin as a Plus Size Model?
“I started my career working in promotions, corporate hospitality and exhibitions. Unfortunately, I suffered from an eating disorder when I was 18. My weight plummeted and I was around a size 10. I was taken on by a modelling agency after they saw me at the Motor Show on a car stand, but I was always bigger around my hips and thighs and really struggled to keep my weight and shape to the required size. It came as much needed relief when I heard about “plus size” modelling and my agency suggested I took time out, let my body gain its natural shape and then try to break into the plus size modelling world which was just starting to make its mark in the UK – this proved to be the best decision I ever made!”
What, so far, was the most exciting moment of your career?
“I have had so many exciting moments in my career – every day is different! I love the challenge, adventure and travel that this job provides but most of all, the best positive by far, are the people that I’ve met whilst working in this industry. I absolutely loved my time working with Gok Wan on ‘How to Look Good Naked’. This programme epitomises everything that I have worked towards as a curvy girl – you don’t have to be a size zero to be gorgeous! I also had the privilege of being signed with one of the top agencies in the World – FORD Models. I lived in NYC for 3 years and worked with some top photographers and clients. It really was a dream come true!”
What tips can you give our brides for when they’re in front of the camera?
“I think the best advice I can give is just to be completely natural. You’ll find it’s these pictures that make the best ones. Remember, it’s your day, you’ll be looking and feeling a million dollars in the dress of your dreams with your gorgeous partner next to you. Just enjoy every moment and relax – this is what all the hard work was for. Enjoy being with your family and friends and celebrating the day for what it is. The photographer will capture all your beautiful moments for a day to treasure.”
What’s the best way to stand in a photograph?
“I personally don’t think wedding photos should be too staged. Just have complete fun with them! Standing sideways on with one leg in front of the other will make you appear longer and leaner; head up and smile. And don’t let your bouquet hide your beautiful dress. Place it so it is seen but leaves your dress visible.”
What’s the scariest thing you’ve done?
“One of the scariest things I have ever done is walk down a catwalk in my underwear in front of 10,000 people – plus whoever was watching on the TV!”
Can you share your beauty tips?
“Water, water, water! Plus avocado and coconut oil. Ha ha! I swear by water for my skin, keeping my body rehydrated. Boring I know and everyone says it but I swear it’s true! Avocado is amazing. I know it’s a fat but it’s a good fat. Whether you use it on the inside or the outside, in moderation, I think it’s a wonder food!”
Which is your favourite ‘must have’ beauty product?
“Organic Coconut Oil – it’s amazing everywhere – even for cooking with. I use it as a treatment on my hair once a week and also on my body as a moisturiser – all natural and very good for you!”
How do you stay fit and healthy?
“I love walking with my beautiful pooch. I have a Newfoundland called Enzo. He’s my baby and we walk for miles together and have lots of love and cuddles. I am also quite addicted to hot yoga at the moment. You feel amazing after the lesson, completely revived and refreshed! I love swimming too although I don’t go as much as I would like to.”
How do you spend your spare time?
“Presently I don’t get much spare time, unfortunately. However, when I’m not working I am always with my family. They mean the world to me.”
What’s in the pipeline for the future?
“I have lots of ideas in the pipeline for the future. I have always wanted my own plus size boutique. This has been a dream of mine for a while now and I definitely think there is a huge niche in the market for sexy, gorgeous, curvy clothes. We all deserve to feel and look beautiful, especially if we are lucky enough to have curves.”