A ‘super plus-size’ model has told how going from thin to fat helped her achieve career success Velvet D’Amour, a New York native now based in Paris, tried to make it as a model when she was 21 years old but was deemed ‘too fat’ by agents at a petite 117lbs Ironically, the five-foot-eight-inch blonde went on to get her big break in French Vogue and on the catwalk for John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier, aged 38, weighing 300lbs and a size 26.For the past eight years she has been striving to ‘push size acceptance along’ and today unveiled the fourth issue of her diversity-focused women’s magazine, Vol Up 2 D’Amour, 46, launched the quarterly publication in February last year in a bid to encourage women to embrace their ‘imperfections’ and be proud of their bodies. It features plus-size as well as mainstream models.Older women are excluded . . . Different ethnicities are never shown.’ D’Amour, the youngest of five children from Rochester, New York, said she always dreamed of being a fashion illustrator or designer and would look at 1940s photos of her parents for inspiration ‘I became obsessed with the more eccentric styles,’ she says But because the illustration field was dying out, D’Amour turned her hand to artwork, photography, and performance arts.She moved to Manhattan to study at the School of Visual Arts. With a great bone structure, slender figure and long curly hair, people would often mistake her for a model ‘They’d say you have the face of talent,’ she says IMG models showed interest in her – the same agency representing Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, and Alek Wek – but D’Amour says she couldn’t lose enough weight to be on their books. At the time she tipped the scales at a light 140lbs.‘At the time everyone was completely coked up and maybe 99lbs,’ she added. ‘So I went down to 117 and they said I was still too fat.’ Feeling rejected, she went on to focus on photography, spending a year studying in Italy under American photographer James White before returning to New York.