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StyleCrush: Kelsey Olson, Plus Size Model.

If this week’s StyleCrush looks familiar, it’s for a good reason. Kelsey Olson may have just hit her thirties, but she has been a staple of the plus-size fashion circuit for years. Olson’s effervescent, easygoing, genuinely fun personality breathes fresh air into an often-stale, competitive industry. Read on to learn more about this good-natured glamour girl and her positive approach to life.

Name: Kelsey Olson
Age: 31
Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
Hometown: La Verne, CA
Profession/Blog: Model
Social Media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
Website: Kelsey Olson, Plus-Size Model

Wear Your Voice: How do you describe your personal style?

Kelsey Olson: I think my personal style is super simple and classic. I’ve tried to really tone down on volume and try and purchase quality items, things that will last me a while — a great boot or a nice knit sweater. Things that just get better with age. I’m also a really big fan of being comfy!

WYV: How long have you been modeling? What inspired your career in fashion?

KO: I have been modeling since I was 18! What inspired me to pursue this career was when I was 15, I was introduced to Lane Bryant. I hadn’t known that there were plus-size stores of any kind, except maybe Mode Plus. At the time, at Lane Bryant, they had “V Girls,” which were kinda like supermodels like Mia Tyler and Kate Dillon. This really blew my mind! Lane Bryant was putting on a competition to become a model, but you had to be 18. I promised myself that when I was 18, I was going to pursue this career. I was very lucky to meet a family friend that was in the business and she introduced me to her agent at the time, and slowly it blossomed.

WYV: You make everything look super effortless, but those of us who have been on set for photo shoots and fashion shows know that things can get hectic and photographers ask some pretty bizarre things from models. What’s one of the funniest situations that you’ve found yourself in?

KO: Where to begin? I haven’t done anything too crazy, but I have been asked to sit on the edge of a building, a very high one. Climb trees — in dresses. I think a lot of it is just being put in uncomfortable physical positions, like, “Hey, can you make your body do this one thing it’s not supposed to do?” Sure! Right away! Running and jumping in high heels is super fun and safe! I was asked to walk in heels on grass while walking a horse. The shot is actually one of my all-time favorites! You have to just roll with whatever they ask!

WYV: Who are the people close to you that have shaped your style?

KO: I think my sister, Mallory, and one of my very close friends, Cassia, have definitely influenced my style. They just know how to dress their bodies. Simple yet very bold. Not letting the clothes wear them, just being confident and owning it.

WYV: What makes you feel most powerful?

KO: I think having a good conversation or exchanging knowledge makes me feel powerful. I don’t know if that makes sense, but have you ever just walked away from a conversation or read something, and you’re like, “hell yes?”

WYV: Who are your top three celebrity StyleCrushes?

KO: This is so hard to answer! There are so many stunningly dressed celebs. I love the way Rihanna is dressed, it’s incredibly bold and fierce. I love Cameron Diaz, so simple and put together. Jada Sezer is bad ass. Hayley Hasselhoff is incredibly chic. There are to many amazing folks who are killing it!

WYV: Which designers or brands are some of your fashion faves? What do you like about them?

KO: I love Rachel Pally. Her clothing is like wearing a dream. So soft and well made, beautiful patterns and fit. I love ASOS! It’s such a great place to shop, so many options and styles. Makes shopping actually fun. Do they have physical store? They should really get a store.

WYV: Regardless of whether they are in the plus-size market or not, if you could work with any designers, who would be your dream collaboration?

KO: All of them — Ha! I mean, to be able to wear a dress designed by Zac Posen or something from Alexander McQueen’s house, are you kidding? To be dressed with such art would be such an honor.

WYV: What would you say to designers who are questioning whether or not to offer plus sizes?

KO: Get with it. We aren’t going anywhere. We are beautiful women that want beautiful clothing. Let us love you!

WYV: How do you wear your voice?

KO:  I believe that kindness goes a long way. I believe that a simple “hello” can blossom into a beautiful relationship. We, as women, as human beings, need to lift each other up. Stop bringing people down. There is no more time for that. It’s hard to be positive and it’s easy to talk crap, but who is that serving? No one. Be kind to your fellow humans and yourself.


Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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