Nicole LeBris has helped us showcase some of our best plus size swimsuits, cover ups, and athleisure wear. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with Nicole and thought that many of our loyal customers may enjoy learning more about Nicole. Always For me sat down with Nicole and asked her a lot of questions (and many of Nicoleâ€™s answers were even news to us!).
How did you get started with plus modeling?
I went to school for beauty makeup as well as special effects for television and film. I started in the industry as a makeup artist. Â I loved the creative element of the special effects make-up but could not see myself doing makeup for aliens and monsters for the rest of my life.
I started doing makeup for TV productions, independent films and appearances. I did make up for celebrities, politicians and athletes. Â I got the chance to be a make-up artist for Sophia Vergara, President Clinton, and numerous NBA and WNBA players. The nicest person I ever did make-up on was Tim Gunn for a Project Runway commercial. He was incredibly kind, polite and a true professional, he even sought me out after the shoot to thank for me a job well done.
There were often other plus size photo shoots taking place nearby. People suggested I give modeling a try and as a result I sent photos to various agencies. Things took off from there.
Where do you live?
I live in New Jersey but also have a home in Miami. I grew on the east coast and spent many summers in France. My dad is a chef and came from France in his early 20’s. Â My mom is the daughter of first generation German immigrants and my parents wanted us to have the chance to experience firsthand their cultural background, as well as be able to spend time with relatives. Â My sister and I spent our summers in Concarneau, France – an old fishing town where my grandmother still lives. Â It was a great experience. Â I spent summers with my aunts, uncles and cousins. I learned to speak French and even spent my junior year of high school there.
How did you get started with Always For Me?
Always For Me is close to my heart.Â It was one of my first jobs.Â The original founder, Susan Barone, found me through another model.Â I could not believe I was getting paid to model.Â We did so many of the first shoots for the company right in Susan’s backyard!Â We are soÂ busy working all day long but we also haveÂ a lotÂ of fun and so many laughs!Â Over the years we have done photoÂ shoots poolside,Â at the beach,Â on location or in a studio.Â No matter where we are there is always a positive atmosphere and I love gettingÂ a first glimpse of the upcoming collections they have to offer. Â I always look forward to working with Always For Me!
How has plus size modeling changed over the years?
Plus modeling has changed dramatically over the years. Plus size models are much more popular now. Social media has made modeling and plus size industry much more visible. Being a plus size woman is celebrated more now than it ever was. It is also now much easier to be discovered as a plus size model so there are many more models. It is more than just looking good in a swimsuit. You need to be active in the plus size community.
How have styles changed over the years?
These days plus size fashion is now more about embracing curves and not hiding them. You still need to wear flattering clothes but people are willing to show more. It is about having fun. You can be fashion forward and not hide your body.
What is your favorite part of working with the Always for Me team?
Always For Me is a fun group. Everyone is always excited about what we are shooting. We act like a real team. We all want to show how amazing the Always For Me swimsuits and cover ups are and we have fun doing it.Â It is great to see all the new colors and designs of swimwear that Always For Me offers each season. Â The Always for Me team isÂ super friendly and creative and are always open to suggestions and feedback.
What is the most exotic place you have been for a photo shoot?
Most of my photo shoots are in studios but I have done a photo shoot in Hawaii. Â The island of Kauai in Hawaii was definitely a favorite. Â The beautiful foliage, gorgeous beaches, and waterfalls are surreal. Â I would love to go back there someday.
I have had a consistent and long career.Â Â My career has been more about long and steady relationships. I work in California a lot which is nice change for me since I live on east coast. I also spend much time in the Midwest.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not modeling?
Photography has always been an interest of mine. For plus models, agents will often request the models provide their own photos, which allows them to better market us to specific clients. Â Since I studied graphic design and photography in college, picking up the camera and taking the kind of shots models needed in their book came easily to me. Â In additional, I’ve worked with some amazing photographers and learned a lot just by observing at shoot.
On an agent’s recommendation, I started to photograph other plus models for their portfolios. Â I love shooting outdoors and using natural light but have also created a small studio in my home. Photography is turning into a good second career.
Every Wednesday I volunteer at the Liberty Humane Society. Â Volunteering at the shelter is a great way to get involved and help. Â I help run their wellness clinic that provides discounted veterinary services to pets in the community and walking the dogs is great exercise. Â Â I am passionate about pet adoption and helping pets find families and homes. Â I adopted my sweet boxer/pit bull mix, Cali 6 years ago from the Liberty Humane Society where I volunteer.
I also enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, tennis and anything else outdoors.
What is your favorite thing about modeling?
Traveling the Country and meeting different people every day. I love to talk to people and hear their stories. Recently, while traveling I met a woman who volunteers for an organ donation foundation. Â She is a retired teacher, who now travels around the world delivering organs for people awaiting transplants.
Do you have a favorite Always For Me swimsuit?
My favorite swimsuit is the Always for MeÂ Twist Front Bandeau. It is comfortable to wear around outside the water but you can also swim in it. If I had to bring one suit on vacation that would be it.