Model of the Month – Erica Lauren

Our April Model of the Month is the truly Bicoastal and curvy beauty, Erica Lauren, who is taking the plus industry by storm! Here she talks about how she started, her favorite clients, and the support she gotten along the way as a visibly plus model – keep reading to learn more about her!

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1. Where you are from?

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Born and raised in Pasadena, California.

2. What you are into… studies, hobbies, special skills etc..?

In middle school I really got into music and playing volleyball. I was in the Los Angeles Children’s Choir as well as the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra, and my love of music continued on through majoring in music performance in college! I play the upright classical bass. ūüôā While I can’t call myself an active musician these days, anyone that knows me will tell you I still love to sing and I’m so thankful for my years of studying music. I also play volleyball from time to time and try to stay relatively active!

3. Favorite clients from the biz?

Picking a favorite client is impossible! I’m lucky to have had so many great client experiences so far. If anything¬†some of my favorite moments with clients would be the first time I got booked as a signed model in NY and shot a campaign with Fashion To Figure. The FTF team has continued to be great to¬†work with ever since. Another favorite moment would be when I first got to shoot with Fashion Nova. As it’s such hugely successful brand, I had so many people, from family to strangers, reaching out and telling me how they were excited to see my photos, especially as visibly plus size model! Any chance I’ve had to work with clients/brands that I’ve known of since I was young, such as Ashley Stewart or Windsor, has definitely been a milestone.

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4. Dreams/goals any thing else of interest?

When I decided to give modeling a real shot, I told myself it was going to be all about life¬†experiences and taking it as far as the universe would allow. I would love for those experiences to include walking in NY Fashion Week for one of these designers that are making waves in the industry with their inclusive runways shows, such as Christian Siriano or Chromat. I’d also love to model overseas, and at some point it would be in-

IMG_4805.jpgcredible to be able to more formally share my life experiences and learnings with others in hopes of aiding them along in taking career risks or learning to love their curves.

5. Career highlights?

I know I already mentioned some special moments, but another highlight of my modeling career would have to be when I first walked in Style Fashion Week LA. I was booked to be the first plus size model to walk for designer Mario de la Torre, and I was the only plus model in the show that night. It was the biggest stage I’d ever walked on and the support was so amazing. Another early highlight was shooting with photographer Michelle Alexandra. It was maybe my second or third photoshoot ever and I learned so much about styling and posing in a short period of time, and her photos helped me secure agency representation and several clients.

6. How did you get into modeling?

In 2015 I was really noticing the rise of plus size models and plus size social media influencers, especially on Instagram, and how there were so many brands I’d never heard of that they were all rocking with so much confidence. I felt so inspired to finally give myself a chance after years of feeling foolish for even thinking modeling was within the realm of possibility. I eventually saw and submitted to casting for a Skorch Magazine special feature spread on body diversity and I booked it. Then about 6 months later I submitted to a second casting and ended up booking Full Figured Fashion Week in New York. Meeting the other aspiring models and industry professionals jump started everything from that moment on.

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Hannah Berner: Model, Actor + Producer

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We are so happy we got to chat with Hannah, the multi-talented fit, commercial, print, and fitness model – and most recently – video producer and comedian for the infamous Betches Instagram account. Continue reading to learn more about Hannah and how she got started!

We love watching you on Betches! How did you fall into this?

Thanks so much! I was at a desk job questioning my life purpose and crying in the bathroom when I decided I needed to quit and reevaluate my career path. I asked myself what I would do if money wasn’t¬†an issue and it was to create funny videos. I had no idea how I could do this, but I applied to a video internship and started to hone my video editing skills. Out of nowhere, a model I had met at an Adidas photoshoot (that Bicoastal booked for me) reached out to me saying that he was working for a brand called Betches who was looking for a video producer with 5 years experience. I laughed and said I’m not a good fit, but I submitted a funny video anyway. They called me into their office and said that they will start me as a freelancer. 7 months later, I was officially hired as the first video producer at Betches. Since starting the video department, I’ve increased video views from 2.2 million views in Q3 2016 to 155 million views in Q3 2017. I love creating new ideas to make my friends and family laugh everyday.

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Tell us a little bit about your other talents – sports, hosting, improv? What do you enjoy most?

I grew up around sports including basketball, golf, softball, and tennis. At 12 years old I decided to focus on tennis and¬†ended up playing for the University of Wisconsin and playing professionally for a bit. After tennis, I worked as a sports broadcaster for the University of¬†Wisconsin Athletics, so I would interview basketball, soccer, and track teams and then edit their highlight reels. Since I’ve been little, I’ve always been very silly and outgoing, so comedy was a natural step for me to use my experience in video and hard work ethic from sports to create funny content. Sports, hosting, and comedy are all different ways for me to express myself, whether it is physically or verbally. I think it’s healthy to find a lot of different hobbies and never define yourself by just one thing. Everyone is multifaceted and you can surprise yourself by finding out you are passionate about a new hobby or skill.

Tell us about your experience as a fit model with Bicoastal – what are some highlights/favorite clients?

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As a fit model, I’ve worked for Hanes, Urban Outfitters, Elie Tahari, MM La Fleur, One Jeans Group. I love fit modeling because I really enjoy being a part of the creative process. I feel like a fly on the wall while serious decisions are being made about the length of a dress that will be sold in thousands of stores or something as little as the color of a button. It’s also pretty cool to go around and brag to my friends that my body has perfect proportions and then they tell me to shut up.

Do you have any particular favorite sketches? And why? 

I do! I love to expose the reality behind social media and make fun of the fake personas that can make people feel insecure with online. During this time of social media, it’s important not to compare yourselves to someone else’s highlight reel. Let’s be serious, we are all in yoga pants with no makeup on scrolling our Instagram feed majority of the time. I made this video joking about fitness influencers:

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Love my fit fam! #motivationmonday

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To see more of Hannah’s great posts and videos, make sure to follow @betches!