A great interview by Imme Visser with Maxey Greene for SHNS.
“I’m curvy, only 5’7 and just walked New York Fashion Week!” gushes Maxey Greene. The 23-year-old model (MSA Models) was one of the girls at the Cabiria fashion show last Friday, the first plus size collection EVER to show at NYFW. According to Cabiria’s website, the label “is dedicated to this attitude of daring audacity. We celebrate women in beautifully made, well cut, modern clothing that shows off their figures.” Moreover, designer Eden Miller hopes the show won’t become a big issue, explaining “I’ll be happy to get press coverage…but I’m really hoping that it’s seen just as the other offerings at fashion week.”
Whether this is true, I don’t know for sure. As I was doing research writing this article, I was quite baffled there was so little to find about the show, even after its debut last Friday. And what struck me more is that there’s still no notion whatsoever about Cabiria on Style.com, famous for its quick coverage of the Fashion Weeks.
However, my friend Maxey (whom I met last March when we were both in Los Angeles) actually walked for Eden Miller this Friday, and could tell me much more inside information on the big Cabiria show!
“We definitely made history,” she says, “it was INCREDIBLE, truly one of the best days of my life.”
“The show was great! Backstage was very chaotic. As soon as I got there it was crazy. People were rushing around trying to get everything together. The first thing I did was get my nails done and then I was thrown into hair and make up. I already knew what I was wearing because we had a fitting a few weeks back, but I finally got to put it on and try on my shoes. My shoes were absolutely beautiful. Vintage and Italian and extremely painful, haha! I wore a flattering pencil skirt with a blouse. Everything Eden Miller makes is stunning and made so well. She’s so talented.”
She tells me they shared backstage with four other designers, and of course, all their models, who were all straight size. She explains at first it got a little awkward as most people backstage assumed the plus size models were part of the hair and make up team, but “I kept reminding myself that we were the first plus size models to ever be back stage so it must have been confusing for them.” When that was out of the way, the other models acted “unbelievably supportive”.
I am ashamed to admit that I had to ask whether Maxey and her co-models shared food with the straight size models, which, yes, of course they did. Muffins and fruit salad it was. No celery on the one side of the room, MacDonald’s on the other. I’m being ridiculous.
Maxey tells me about her co-models: “The other models in the show were absolutely wonderful. We all became a family after the show. We’ll be connected forever! A lot were from my agency MSA and a few from Wilhelmina. One girl, Chearice, walked in Full Figured Fashion Week with me years ago and another girl, Mimi, this was one of her first jobs ever in her career. So it was a nice mixture. They were all beautiful and very sweet. I’m so happy I had the chance to meet and work with all of them.”
When I ask whether Maxey thought it was a good idea of Eden Miller, to be showing her collection during ‘regular sized’ New York Fashion Week, she doesn’t hesitate for a second: “This is NYFW. Everyone knows what New York Fashion Week is. I think it’s great that we walked in it and I think it’s awesome that people wouldn’t have known a difference because Cabiria is a fashion line and we are fashion models. There should be no difference.”
“I had one reaction that really stood out to me the most. After the show, I came back stage to collect my things and a woman, who I’m assuming worked for the crew, came up to me and told me how proud she was to see full figured models on the runway. She was a plus size woman and she really felt connected to us. It was one of my proudest moments, knowing I could make someone happy by showing them that we can rock the runway too! The audience was filled with members of the press and a ton of people in the plus size fashion world. A friend of mine who attended the show told me the room really emptied out after Cabiria showed. It’s nice to know we had so many supporters. We were bombarded by cameras and interviewers. It was so surreal. I don’t think I realized the impact we made on the fashion world until then.”
The atmosphere surrounding the whole show is very, very positive. Maxey has told me so much, and I feel what she means. Cabiria made a big impact last Friday. It’ makes it even sadder that big fashion websites like Style.com still don’t catch on, for them. If they don’t want to be part of such a positive movement in cultural history, that’s their loss.
Maxey is sure about her position as a runway model: “I love walking runway. It’s so great to know I was the first plus size model on that runway and I’m curvy AND only 5’7! That’s pretty crazy. I’m breaking the mold over here. I loved the fact that we were mixed in. I think it’s showing people that we take this serious and it’s not just a wow factor that you can throw in a show. We are plus size and we love fashion and that will never change. It’s just time the industry changes.”