Spotlight on…. Abi Hill, the Face of Simply Be

Spotlight on…. Abi Hill, the Face of Simply Be

Hello Lovelies,

It’s Friday, it’s Spotlight time and it’s a good one this week!

This week in the Spotlight, I’m pleased to introduce you to not only a gorgeous lady, but the national face of Simply Be AND a good old local lass to boot! A veritable triple threat of awesomeness!

Abi fell in to modelling accidentally, and after studying Economics at Uni (Blimey!!) she’s one smart missus, proving not all models are anorexic bimbos (Yes, stereotyping here!)

A fantastic role model for aspiring models and other fashion focused plus size ladies, I will let the lovely Abi tell you more about herself and her role as Simply Be’s face of 2012!

Q : Tell us a little bit about your modelling and why you started
I actually started as a model almost accidentally! I initially entered Miss England heats, mostly for fun. When I won one the opportunity of modelling work came about and it’s something I’ve worked away at ever since winning Miss Loughborough in 2010. My biggest break definitely came when I won the Simply Be Model Search, which got me a great agency in 12+ UK, as well as a spread in Reveal Magazine and a lovely trip to New York!

Q: What is your favourite part of modelling?
It’s tough to say – I love seeing all the new styles and trends for an upcoming season but I also love working with so many different people.

Q: What is your least favourite part?
Definitely the early mornings!! I’m also really self-critical so I forever find myself looking at a finished shoot and thinking I could have done something a little better or something.

Q: If you could go back to the time you started, what would you do differently?
I don’t know if I would do anything differently – Pageantry can be frowned upon as outdated or anti-feminist but it really gave me the confidence to push myself as a model and also as a person. I certainly can’t knock how I started out even if I’ve since taken a slightly different path. Everything happens for a reason.

Q: What advice could you give to new models just starting their adventure?
Don’t expect everything to fall into place – you get out what you put in! It’s a tough, relentless industry and not everyone makes it, so make sure you make the most of wherever you go with it, but don’t forget where you came from because it could end just as quickly. If you have a good idea what you want to achieve as a model, make sure the people you work with can fit that sort of style or genre – it’s no good shooting with a glamour photographer if you want to be a fashion model. Check out local colleges as they always have photography students looking for models, some of whom are actually very talented. Finally, some practical advice many a stylist will love you for following – good quality, well fitted nude seamless underwear. Nothing worse than a VPL on a fashion shoot, or “four-boob” under a gorgeous top. This is something I struggle with because of my weird ability to be anything from a 36A to a 38C depending on the shop (I average a 36C/38B), so once I got that sussed out I found fashion shoots a lot less stressful!

Q: What’s your shopping style – Budgeted, splurge or frugal?
I studied Economics so I pride myself on being pretty decent at money handling and budgeting…I clearly didn’t take my Economics to New York with me! Over here I’m usually pretty good at resisting temptation but it was too much over there – I didn’t buy stuff I could get here but I went crazy in shops like Victoria’s Secret (where I FINALLY found my perfect fitting bra, hallelujah! I’ve only been wearing bras ten years…) and American Eagle who aren’t over here yet, and I did buy quite a lot of NFL and NHL merchandise for my favourite teams/players.

Q: What are your favourite brands and why?
Victoria’s Secret – they cost me a small fortune but repay me with excellent lingerie and sleepwear. American Eagle – super comfy casuals and reasonably priced too (my zip hoodie which has barely been off my back since I got it was only $39 and it still looks like new). I love a good rummage through Topshop, New Look, Dorothy Perkins and H&M too, and for occasions I love my yellow Jovani evening gown. I saved up for 5 months to buy it and I still love it as much as the first time I ever saw it. My next target purchase is a cocktail dress by Butter By Nadia, it’s an American company and this dress is a halter style but you can tie it over 30 different ways, so it’s 30 dresses in one – or at least that’s how I’m trying to justify it…

Q: Do you take inspiration from the media or do you go it alone and rock your own style?
I tend to pay a bit of attention to what people are raving about but if I don’t feel comfortable in a trend, I don’t wear it. For example, I love bandage dresses but you’d never catch me wearing a crop top or bum-bearing hot pants. I was never a fan of those suspender tights either. I keep an eye on colours more than anything but regardless of whether it’s in or not, if I like a colour I’ll wear it!

Q: What would you say your ‘signature look’ is, whether that’s make up or fashion?
When I’m just lounging around I’m very much a laidback, sweatpants and oversized sports team t-shirt kind of person. Recently though when I’ve been out and about I’ve started wearing a lot more fashion and makeup inspired by the 40s and 50s – I love the femininity of that era and it’s perfect because I’m not one for flashing the flesh. Red lips, curls (I must love it to attempt curling my annoyingly straight hair!), skirts and blouses etc. It’s not always practical but hey, it looks good!

Right… now on to the more interesting questions – The personal ones. These are the ones I always wonder about bloggers!

Q: How old are you?
I’m 20, 21 in August. Starting to realise I’m no longer a teenager…

Q: What do you do? Student? Work? Profession?
Up until January last year I studied Economics at Loughborough, but I quit because I didn’t like it anymore and it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Since then I’ve worked in retail and right now I’m involved in a Prince’s Trust scheme which includes outdoor activities and community projects. I genuinely have no clue what I want to do in the long-run but I’ve looked at becoming a Fire Fighter or staying within retail. Next summer I hope to go out to America and teach horse-riding to American kids in Summer Camps.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t modelling?
Well, I touched on it earlier but I’m a HUGE sports fan – I love my American Football and Ice hockey, so I try to watch games both over here and on TV from the US and Canada. I got to see a New York Rangers/Pittsburgh Penguins NHL game when I was in New York and it was unbelievable. Next target is a New York Jets game! I also have two whippets, who I love to bits and love taking for walks on the beach. I’m lucky I live right next to a gorgeous beach here in Northumberland!

Q: What kind of music do you like?
I’ll listen to a bit of everything – my last 10 downloads on iTunes have been a Latin classical music album, Jason Mraz, Alexandra Burke, Lady Antebellum, Maroon 5, Rascal Flatts, Katy Perry, Tim McGraw and some guilty pleasures – One Direction and this year’s Eurovision winner Loreen.

Q: Happy to be seen bare faced or do you always wear make up?
Generally happy to be seen bare faced, unless I’m going somewhere really important or smart in which case I like to have at least a tinted moisturiser and some mascara.

Q: What do you love most about beauty and fashion?
Plus size fashion finally getting trendy, places finally stocking size 9 shoes and a tall section as far as fashion goes. With beauty I love being able to experiment with colours and texture.

Q: What do you hate most about beauty and fashion?
All the stereotypes about models and people in the industry being stupid little anorexic girls with no other life ambition. Modelling wasn’t my first career choice nor will it be what I do for life, so I don’t really like that assumption people make.

And finally… the biggy…..

Q: If you had to invest in 1 designer piece… money no object…. would it be a pair of shoes, a handbag or a dress? I want to see pictures!!!
I’m saving that money-no-object approach for one dress only – my wedding dress. Its one dress I can’t afford to get wrong and simply will NOT compromise on. Sorry future Mr Abi, whoever you may be…

I haven’t yet decided on a style but right now my preference is towards something with a vintage feel to it, but still with structure and sophistication. My dream dress (yes I’ve been looking!) by Maggie Sottero has been discontinued but something in this sort of style, maybe with lace as opposed to bling, would be ideal for me. Failing that I want this exact Jovani ball-gown dress – it’s amazing how I’ve picked out two totally different styles!


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