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ROBYN LAWLEY: the interview

Posted on: 2011/06/03


" Robyn Lawley:  bringing sexy back "

Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia June 2011


Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia June 2011
PR: The first thing we thought after seeing the Vogue Italia cover is that we want to work on our curves, and than we had a „regret free“ cookie!  

ROBYN LAWLEY:  I love cookies! Especially making them!

PR: You Like baking??! Tell us what are your favorite cookies?

ROBYN LAWLEY: I LOVE BAKING! I make a mean double choc chip cookie - the kind that you make and you turn around and they are all gone. I have the recipe written down in my diary.

PR: Hahaha. Will get to that later. So Robyn, do you feel you contributed to making thousands of people feel better about themselves? 

ROBYN LAWLEY: I think it always help when you see a person love themselves just as themselves, flaws and all, when you see someone who is comfortable in their skin it makes you realize there are more important things in life and if they happy with themselves why can't I be.

PR:  We don't love the cover- WE ADORE IT! Can't believe how magazines can influence the perception of beauty. We are all too obsessed with self image!  

ROBYN LAWLEY:   Magazines always have been projecting perceptions of beauty, and you are right we are obsessed with self image and what we see constantly in magazines will resonate with us, that’s why it’s so important for ALL magazines to be diversified with size, race and age.

PR:  How did you start modeling anyway?

ROBYN LAWLEY: I started at 16. I did go to see an agency at 15 and they said YES. But I had zero confidence and backed out of it. I always just assumed I could not do it because I was not skinny and all, the models at that moment were like Gemma Ward. I have always been a realist and I would just tell myself not to get hopes up on it: I may be good at it but I'm not what they are after.

PR: Did you diet then?
ROBYN LAWLEY: I did do all the dieting bullshit for a year and slimmed down dramatically but of course the weight kept creeping back because my body knows what size I'm meant to be.
PR: Do your agencies promote you as a plus size model?

Australian Cosmopolitan Magazine
ROBYN LAWLEY:   I have been marketed as ‘plus size’ so far and yes, it can be tough as a plus size model because we are faced with huge prejudice, we can sometimes be seen only as a gimmick someone to please the masses but not stick around.

Saying that, it has changed dramatically for me after the last couple of shoots. 

I am on two boards with my USA agency now the curve board and image and I’ve been told this next show season I’ll be sent around to everywhere as a model no "plus size" included.

PR: Who do you think is responsible for the popularity of plus size girls? We want to send them flowers and a "thank you!" note!

ROBYN LAWLEY: I think there have been a few people who have been passionate about promoting healthy models in fashion, my mother agent Chelsea at Bella models is almost obsessive about it haha.
Australian Cosmopolitan Magazine

PR: This cover didn't just happen to you out of nowhere. How long have you been working? 

ROBYN LAWLEY:   Ha-ha, no it’s been a long road. 

I modeled straight size for a year then took a 2 year break then went into plus size at 19. 

I really had to relearn how to move my body and accept its size.

I now have such fun modeling and it’s because I have such a good relationship with my body. That confidence gives you power and hopefully I empower women out there in turn.

PR: Vogue Italia is very progressive and pushing the boundaries in fashion. Do you think that their influence will make other magazines, and media in general, push the new trends even further?  

ROBYN LAWLEY:   For sure, it always takes the big guns to influence the rest I feel. Everyone is too scared sometimes to stray away from the norm. I also won't quit anytime soon and hopefully I will get a chance to push the boundaries even further and get our size 16 bums out there, because in the end we are good models, why not include us?

PR: You have agencies all over the world, so who is more critical of weight – Americans or Europeans? On one side we have Vogue Italia with the new curvy cover, and then just across the border, extremely thin girls walking the catwalks of Paris. Do you think that Europe is divided on the issue?
Cosmopolitan magazine Australia

ROBYN LAWLEY:   I think America is actually more behind. Americans are beyond obsessed with weight and it kills me to hear someone counting calories. If you are not skinny in America, you are free pickings for all kinds of humiliating insults. 

I have lived in both France and now America and the relationship majority of people have with food in France is as you've guessed, completely different than in America. 

Saying that, the Paris catwalks are notorious for only using very skinny girls and some models will only do Paris because they look so extreme. I don't get it, in the end all women I admire are just healthy looking. 

I think heroin chic is dumb. Why is looking like a heroin addict cool on any level?!? Saying that, though I love that kind of "I don't give a f**k” fashion look that comes with it, I usually dress more like Joan Jett and I'm not skinny - but hey - it still looks good if you have the confidence to pull it off.
PR: Let's break some stereotypical plus size prejudice. Plus size models don't over eat, do they? In fact, maintaining a beautiful curvy body probably means having a very carefully planned eating habits?

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ROBYN LAWLEY: I eat when I want and what I want. Saying that, though I am lucky that I love and prefer healthy food because of taste and that I am in tune with my body; I eat when I'm hungry and finish just before I'm full. Basically I eat normally. LOL. 

It’s taken a long time to get rid of that guilt feeling when I do eat. I do not binge eat or eat in secret, in fact I adore food. 

I think it’s the best pleasure in life. I wanted to be a chef my whole life so I am very Nigella Lawson in the kitchen and I will always refuse to give up that beautiful passion just so I can look like a stick insect and fit the mould.

PR: When you think about it, it's all about respecting the natural proportion of your own body. Do you have to be careful about measurements as well? 

ROBYN LAWLEY: Yes it really is, proportion is everything. You can determine a lot more about someone's health on measurements than scales or BMI. 
I'm lucky with my measurements that they fit perfectly in with majority of plus size clients. 
But same as the skinny world we can get told to "put on some more weight". It has never happened to me personally and if it did I would just say no, but some of my friends who are just beyond beautiful are losing clients because they have lost a bit of weight or the client wants bigger.
Robyn for H&M

What I really want to happen is for us to model for the middle ground as well as plus size;  I  strongly believe that no matter what size you are, you can still dress beautifully. 
PR: Do tell, because the cover of Vogue Italia caused some drama with the food on the table in front of you girls… the pasta plates, do they feed you better on set then the super skinny girls? 

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Ha-ha, that pasta smelt beyond good! I actually wanted to eat it or nose dive into it, I was so hungry! I tried but it was too messy and I didn't want to ruin my makeup. 

You know I think the message was we do love and appreciate food and that does not make us lesser of a person.
Some straight size models eat and eat really well, others do not. I hardly work with them so I could not say what food they have on set, but I always get fed really well - as does the whole crew - and we eat the amazing food together at lunch, and talk, and have fun the way a meal should be eaten.

PR: That is a small joke, but „pasta“actually did cause some comments, even with us.
ROBYN LAWLEY:  Yes, but I was prepared to throw that pasta on me if it made a cool shot and a kind of "f**k you statement, ‘yes I eat pasta and am still sexy.’ 
PR: Nevertheless, do you feel this is just one moment in fashion or that things will change (hopefully) in the industry – once magazines realize that Vogue Italia will probably sell out in a minute?

Elle France
ROBYN LAWLEY: You know, the fashion world moves at a very fast pace and very slow at the same time. Everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else as to why we don't get used; it’s the designer, no it’s the magazines, no it’s the media etc, etc. so it’s a very tricky topic.

PR: What do you think will be a difference between following the new trend, and just imitating the Vogue Italia concept?

ROBYN LAWLEY: I would hate everyone to imitate Italian Vogue. 
If more magazines feature us on covers it should be with fresh concepts and ideas. 
I just want to be considered for every job that suits my look, just as the rest of the models are.

PR: You all definitely brought sexy back! Did you feel sexy on the shoot?

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Ha-ha, very!!! And I also wanted to prove that women of all sizes can feel sexy. I mean there were a lot of people on set but you have to kind of go into your own mind and I think of a situation that calls for bedroom eyes.

PR: Bedroom eyes? Nasty! 
ROBYN LAWLEY:  My boyfriend lives in Australia so my friends’ joke I can do it so well now because of Skype and being in a long distance relationship. But for me it’s not that, it’s I just love to model and depending on what I am wearing will depend on the mood I will give.

Vogue it
PR: They exposed you completely. Did you maybe notice what brand of lingerie was used? 

ROBYN LAWLEY: OMG, well we tried on beyond 200 pieces of clothes each of us and in the end we just got more stripped down as the shoot progressed.

Robyn's facebook fan page
I think on the cover I am wearing vintage undies and maybe a Dolce & Gabbanabra. It was really hard to tell because it was fast paced and thrown on me. I can’t wait too see the credits too of what I am actually wearing and to see the rest of the story. I think it’s going to look very “eyes wide shut”.

PR: Where do you usually buy yours?

ROBYN LAWLEY: I usually just buy mine at Victoria Secret.

Cosmospolitan AU
PR: Where do you shop for your clothes? 

ROBYN LAWLEY: I mainly shop vintage around the world.
I do shop in retail shops but they really have lost it for me because, you know, someone else is going to be wearing it. 
I love pushing the edge of what I can wear and not limiting myself to any one style, I have fun with it! I'm at the age where I can play dress ups everyday and wear what I want and not care.
Plus, the sad reality is, when I went shopping the other day at David Jones all the cool stuff like Sass & Bide didn't fit me and it was so weird for me because the vintage world has my size everywhere and going into a store where they do not stock your size is infuriating and humiliating.

PR: Indeed but Robyn – no joke – you look like supermodel from the 80' with the body of Raquel Welch!

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Why thank you that is quite a compliment.

PR: Who are your role models... who would you say are the sexiest women in the history of fashion and modeling?

ROBYN LAWLEY: I do love all the "supers" of the past. I recently saw a nude photo of Cindy Crawford at the Annie Leibovitz exhibition and I was like WOW. I can relate to her body more than the current ‘super’ models. Cindy Crawford the most amazing body ever! It was a happy moment for me, we just have forgotten that hips and thighs and everything can be smoking.

PR: Can thinner girls be sexy too?

ROBYN LAWLEY:  You know all sizes can be sexy, it really is that extra bit of confidence that can make you into a tiger not a cub. Grrr ha-ha. 
Glamour magazine

PR: Ha-ha. Your body is voluptuous and fit! One more prejudice about plus size models to be solved – do you work out? 

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Yeah I work out, not crazy like Madonna but enough to stay in shape, it does get hard with all the traveling.

PR: What type of exercise?

ROBYN LAWLEY: I do traditional gym workouts and I have just started Yoga. I really like Yoga so far even though I am really bad, ha-ha. My joints are pretty worn down because I did so many sports growing up. So I'm stepping back a bit on the hardcore workouts I used to do.
PR: And what body lotions you use?

ROBYN LAWLEY: I use organic jojoba oil

PR: OK. We're never sure about touchy issues, but we will risk it and ask! Cellulite! Do you have it? 

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Yeah I have it! 

Not really much though and not enough for a camera to capture it.

My legs are one of my favorite features of my body! 

I just make sure I moisturize. 

I don’t think it should be something women are ashamed about. You could be a skinny minny and have it, and exercise night after day and it won’t go! It should be less criticized! Marilyn Monroe had about my level of cellulite and she was the sexiest woman alive, so I can live with it!!

PR: Where did you buy your favorite swimwear?

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Blackmilk - online website. I currently own a “c3p0 Star Wars” swimsuit, which I think is rather epic!

PR: Tell us the truth, when did the weight issue stop being an issue for you? 

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Probably in the last year. I know now I am a good model and move well so that gave me confidence within myself.

Women write to me too express how happy it is to see my body and shape so I feel that this whole thing is bigger than me and if I get down about my body or something happens or someone says something, and believe me they do, I just call up my sisters or boyfriend and they comfort me and then I'm back to being Happy Robyn.

It’s not easy for anyone, man or woman to accept their bodies as is. We have been designed to always want better! I'm just over that! I don’t want to exercise day - in day out or give up my food, so I am happy to stay as me.
ELLE France

PR: Do you prefer gourmet food or simple classic dishes?

ROBYN LAWLEY:  I think I prefer gourmet but then again I am the least fussiest eater of all time. My preferences as I said before tend to be more healthy though.

PR: What is your favorite food?

ROBYN LAWLEY:  I loveeeee broccoli.  My favorite food is hummus and sushi although not together!

PR: What is your favorite restaurant in Sydney?
ROBYN LAWLEY:   On a treat I'll go to Orbit bar: the tapas part. I swear, I have had food dreams about some of the food they serve.

PR: What do you have for breakfast usually?

PR: What is your favorite vegetarian dish?
ROBYN LAWLEY:  I was a veggie for 6 years. Only just started to eat meat a very strange concept for me, but I loved this place in Newtowncalled Green Gourmet - a vegan Chinese place. It’s yummy.


PR: We want to know all about your skin care routine! 

ROBYN LAWLEY: Yeah, I'm obsessed with skin, my skin is sensitive so I have to use things like rose oil and organic brands.

Facebook fan page
PR: How do you maintain it? 

ROBYN LAWLEY: I do use Dermalogica special cleanse gel to get off all the makeup, then spritz some Rose Water on, then a heavy duty Rose Cream - everyday twice a day.

PR: What moisturizer do you use at the moment? 

ROBYN LAWLEY: I use Dr Hauschka rose cream or Weleda cold cream which is my favorite at the moment.

PR: What is in your make up bag?

ROBYN LAWLEY:  I use a lot of Bobbi Brown and Benefit. My make-up up bag is full, because you have all these make-up artist using amazing stuff on you, you have to buy it! 
Now I just have a ridiculous amount and I won’t wear make-up, unless I have to for castings.

Pierpaulo Ferrari for Vogue Italia

PR: Robyn, horse shampoo? Really Robyn? 

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Ha-ha sounds like You have read my old blog, haven’t updated in over a year :(.

PR: Of course we did!!! Well, that’s a bad thing, you really should. Anyway, shampoo?

Cosmopolitan AU
ROBYN LAWLEY: I use Giovanni in USA, and Organic Care in Australia. My hair is unnaturally thick I'm the only model that never needs extensions, I'm very lucky 

PR: Summer is almost here! What is your favorite beach in the whole world? 

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Jervis Bay- Green patch! It’s heaven and only 3 hours away from Sydney.

PR: Robyn, you seem as a fearless woman!

ROBYN LAWLEY:  Ha-ha, well I feel like an Amazonian woman because I’m tall and curvy - but yes, I do believe that you have to be strong in life to get where you belong. 
I always think of Wonder Woman when I'm down and I try to be more like her, help others, be strong and fight for what you believe in.

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