“Everyone is entitled to fashion therefore everyone should have an opportunity to promote it and to express themselves through it. A petite model in my opinion can do just as good a job as any other model.”
Nicole Abbott, 21, is a rising Scottish-born model. She has recently launched a website, “Perfectly Petite”, which aims to raise awareness of the challenges petite models face within the industry due to the arbitrary height standards it imposes. Her determination and confidence are not only leading to the successful development of her modelling career, but are also convincing many to spread her message about diversity in the industry.
AC: Nicole, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you become a model?
NA: I am currently in my second year at the University of Dundee studying child nursing. However, acting and fashion have interested me from an early age and are still my passions. Approximately five years ago whilst acting I was asked if I had ever considered being a model. At that stage in my career I was quite shy in front of the camera even though I was confident on stage. However, I sought some advice and decided to give it a go. My first shoot was in London so I brought my Gran along with me for moral support. It went well, and I discovered a newfound passion that grew stronger and stronger. Now I model throughout Europe as well as in Vancouver.
NA: As a petite model myself I have found it challenging when competing for work with tall models that the fashion industry tend to prefer. This has made me even more determined to succeed and I happily compete against taller models as I believe that everyone should be given the same chance. People in the fashion industry say that they use tall models to create a fantasy and an illusion but they forget that the average woman is 5’4″. In my career I have met numerous petite models and members of the public who share the same vision as myself. This inspired me to found Perfectly Petite. I aim to promote petite modelling through local events such as fashion shows.
AC: You have been a contestant in the Miss Earth pageant (the second biggest beauty pageant in the world, seeking to promote environmental awareness). How do you feel about the increased attention given to ethical fashion?
NA: I feel strongly that ethical fashion should be promoted and encouraged as much as possible. During my time as Miss Earth Angus I worked hard to promote various environmental issues, recycling, ‘upcycled’ clothing and much more. I stumbled across Scottish designers who focus mainly on this fashion trend called ‘upcycling’: it involves taking an old garment of clothing and then restyling it into something completely new without throwing anything away. This could be something as simple as taking an old dress and turning it into a skirt or using old clothes to make a hat or a bag.
NA: As I have already mentioned I am into ‘upcycling’. I am also a big fan of up and coming designers who think outside the box, such as local designer Caroline Bell who designed my dress at The Miss Earth Final 2010. She kept the design elegant, but at the same time it was really striking. The attention to detail was of the highest standard and I can’t thank her enough.
NA: I really like this fashion style and I have already thought about some ‘upcycling’ ideas that I hope to create this year. Keeping up with fashion can be expensive, however if you ‘upcycle’ not only are you helping the environment, you are also saving money and keeping up with current trends. I do feel strongly though that you should only wear what you feel comfortable in and that you don’t have to follow every single new trend if it doesn’t suit you.
AC: What is your biggest dream right now?
NA: My current dream is to be a successful model worldwide. I have formed a plan that at the moment involves getting my name out there with people at all levels in the industry throughout Europe. The next couple of months on my calendar involve a lot of travelling to begin my quest.
AC: That sounds really exciting! Any message for all of us petites out there?
NA: Don’t give up or change for anyone, stay true to yourself and fight for what you believe in. It may be tough but if you stay focussed in the end it will pay off.
Check out Nicole’s website at http://perfectlypetite.weebly.com.
One: Dougie Thomson photography, Stacey Whittaker and Ellidh Ellery Wardrobe stylist.
Two: Marcus Hill photography, Heidi Mclachlan make-up artist and Glitzy Angel clothing.
Three: Paul Barclay(Arcadestudio), Lesley Scott Make up artist and Bedlam Boudior designers (‘upcycled’ dress).