How SA modelling agencies are embracing plus-size men
Two plus-size male models have become the first to sign with two of South Africa’s top modelling agencies.
BOSS Models recently signed Edó Mostert as their first plus-size male model, while ICE Genetics has launched a plus-size men’s board featuring TJ Ngoma as their first fuller-figured male client.
"I have been approaching agencies for over two years and nobody has been interested, saying there is no market for me. The RED #PlusIsEqual™movement has really shone the light on the lack of plus-size male models in SA, and I’m excited that the bigger guys have a chance to finally be recognised and represented in SA fashion," said Ngoma.
Both men were scouted at a recent #PlusIsEqual™ fashion showing, hosted by The Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
The director at ICE Genetics, Donné le Grange, said that the need to develop the plus-size male fashion industry had been growing evident.
"We had been scouting for some time as we predicted that the European plus trend would makes its way to South Africa. Surprisingly, we were often met with reluctance from larger men to become plus-size models because they were shy to carry this label.
"When I was invited to be a judge for Africa’s very first plus-size men’s fashion show casting call, TJ Ngoma stood out immediately as a confident, charismatic and trendy plus-size man," said Grange.
Following an open casting call for plus-size male models, RED invited 13 finalists to strut their stuff in South Africa’s first completely plus-size male fashion showing.
The event offered the models an opportunity to not only make history, but also provided a platform to potentially launch their careers.
Men’s director at BOSS Models, Maria Chrysomallos, said that the company had evolved with the industry and considered inclusive representation.
"While SA has been a step or two behind the international industry, there have been great strides made in transgender and non-binary representation over the past few years, as well as a new inclusive attitude from advertisers around fuller figured talent promoting body positivity."
"When we noticed a demand for plus-size male models, we kept our ear to the ground for the chance to find the talent," said Chrysomallos.
Mostert said he always viewed modelling agencies as untouchable fortresses surrounded by perfectly sculpted bodies where only the chosen few got to enter.
"BOSS has debunked this myth. They have been so helpful and willing, as we adapt to this new journey we are embarking on together."
African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Desiree Erasmus