For most models, a spread in Vogue is nothing short of a pipe dream.For plus-size models, it’s even more of a rarity. But Marquita Pring,who fluctuates between a size 12 and 14, has already been there, donethat. Now the 21-year-old New Yorker has a couple other things to tickoff her bucket list. “I want to have my own tapas place someday. In anideal world, I would just peace out to an island somewhere and open oneon the beach,” says Pring, who’s been repped by Ford since 2009. “We’dhave hummus, guacamole and fried ice cream.” Since posing for Vmagazine’s plus-size issue last year, her star has been on the rise. Shewalked in Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring show and then landed that VogueItalia cover this past June. Here, the young model chats about thoseexperiences, as well as padding up, shooting with Steven Meisel and hersecret meeting with Marc Jacobs.

I think you’re the firstmodel I’ve interviewed who’s from New York.
It’s surprisinglyrare. I’m not from the city though. I grew up in this teeny upstate towncalled Clinton.

What’s it like up there?

Just yourcookie-cutter suburb. Everybody was sort of the same so it was a littlesuffocating. We had a college, Hamilton College, so it was very preppy.Everyone wore Abercrombie & Fitch, which I couldn’t even fit into.

Howdid you get into modeling?
When I was 15 my mom heard somethingon the radio about this scouting contest. People had said I should be amodel but I always assumed that you had to be superskinny to do it, butI decided to give it a try anyway. So I went to Toronto, where thecontest was and they liked me.
Were there a lot of plus-sizegirls there?
No, I was definitely the only one. I rememberlooking around and noticing that right away. But it wasn’t like I wassurrounded by a bunch of models. I was surrounded by a bunch of peoplethat were trying to become models so I didn’t feel too out of place orlike I didn’t have a chance at all.

The whole discussion ofwhat qualifies as plus-size is a nebulous one. How do you define it?
Ihate the term. I don’t consider myself “plus-size.” I don’t considerany of the girls on my board plus-size whether they’re smaller or biggerthan me. But it’s true that there’s really no true definition. Thesecond I say to someone, “I’m a plus-size model,” they just look at youlike, OK, if you’re plus-size then I must be oversize. So I would loveto just do away with the term and say “curvy” instead.


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