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Paloma Elsesser: The model who overcame otherness



Paloma Elsesser: The model who overcame otherness

For years, to be on the cover of Vogue, you had to look a certain way: white, tall, and above all, skinny. When the magazine placed beloved black media mogul Oprah Winfrey on the cover in October 1998, editor-in-chief Anna Wintour reportedly suggested that Winfrey shed 20 pounds before the shoot.
And it wasn’t just Vogue. Elsesser, the curvaceous London daughter of an African-American mother and a Swiss-Chilean father, will not soon forget the incident in Paris that brought her to tears.
In 2015, Elsesser, 22, was in town with makeup artist Pat McGrath, who hired Elsesser to promote her first eyeshadow. Once the model was behind the scenes of Lanvin. A self-proclaimed tomboy at Supreme, she’s never been to a show in Paris before, and her first time faded when she saw the cast: mostly white, all skinny. Elseser is beautiful, with warm brown eyes and a beaming smile. But, crushed by the weight of her otherness, she began to cry.
“I shouldn’t be here. I don’t look like anyone here,” he recalls. “Who am I kidding? I’m not a fucking model.”

How things have changed. Today, Elsesser is one of the most sought-after muses of fashion. Now 30, she has walked the catwalks of European luxury brands from Fendi to Chloé, including four shows for Lanvin, and has appeared in major campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Coach and H&M. Even Victoria’s Secret, once infamous for its one-dimensional beauty standards, hired Elsesser.
As society changes and fashion emerges “from the dark ages” where older models fought for jobs and equal pay, demand for plus size women is on the rise, says Next Models agent Becky Thorpe. These are the fees they may require. “Clients pay as much or even more than they pay for traditional models to gain access to (bigger models),” adds Casting Partner Casting Director Trianna Lawrence.
Australian Fashion Week presents its first plus size show
Plus size models, usually defined above size 4 in fashion and above size 12 in the mass market, are a lucrative business. “Once the agencies saw that a girl like Paloma had a real path to success, they started signing more contracts,” says stylist Carlos Nazario. “And when brands saw the engagement and attention they were getting on the runway and in ad campaigns, they wanted a piece of the pie too.”
But Elsesser’s elevation was not passed on to her. If he was a beneficiary of wider social currents, he was also a catalyst, driving and opening up space for others. “I think a lot of her work in the modeling business is against the industry,” says Samuel Ellis Scheinman of DM Casting.
the face of change
Elsesser appeared on the scene at a time of political upheaval. A smoldering culture war has begun to flare up in the United States after Donald Trump became president and George Floyd was killed by police, adding fuel to the Black Lives Matter fire. Simultaneously, there were broader calls for “body positivity”, a movement for greater acceptance of all bodies, regardless of size, shape, color, gender, and ability.
Fashion has changed along with society. In 2017, British Vogue hired black stylist and journalist Edward Enniful as its editor-in-chief. In 2018, Louis Vuitton hired African-American designer Virgil Abloh as artistic director of the menswear department. Fashion shows and magazines began to feature a wider range of characters. “The industry in 2017, 2018, 2019 started offering a counteroffer to the American political system of the time,” Sheinman says. “I think we’re starting to see that there has to be a radical message in casting.” It didn’t hurt that it was good marketing.

In 2016, despite being hired to spearhead the launch of Pat McGrath’s cosmetics company, Elsesser was still struggling to find runway work for major fashion brands. The following year, things began to improve after she began working with art labels such as Eckhaus Latta. In 2018, she, along with Bella and Gigi Hadid, participated in the launch of Rihanna’s Fenty x Savage lingerie line. But it wasn’t until the spring of 2020 that she signed with luxury brands such as Alexander McQueen, Lanvin and Fendi.
That season was a turning point for plus size casting. A week after Fendi first brought plus-size models to the catwalk, Jill Kortlev became the first plus-size woman to walk the Chanel show since Crystal Renn 10 years ago. From the end of 2018 to the beginning of 2022, the number of brands choosing plus-size models for their shows has skyrocketed by 374%, according to data provided by Tagwalk, a company that tracks runway trends.
The change has been a boon for Defendant Elsesser, whose runway presence has grown by more than 830% in the same period, Tagvolk said. Over the past two seasons, she has walked more couture shows than any other plus-size model in the world.
Tattoo artist creating body-positive “twisted flowers”
From “poor hippie” to the main muse
Often the best models break out of obscurity, their lives changing overnight. According to Scheinman, Elsesser’s rise was “more organic”. She started modeling late at the age of 22 with the encouragement of her friend Stevie Dance, a former fashion editor for Pop magazine.
“The call was not that I was going to change the industry,” says Elsesser. She was working as a waitress at the time and needed money. paid $500 for one day, it’s amazing.” She didn’t see many models like her, but she reasoned, “If I don’t exist, maybe I should.”
Elsesser was born in London but grew up in a “poor hippie” family in Los Angeles. His mother once claimed government benefits to buy groceries but shopped at a local health food store. She also valued intellectual curiosity, and as a child, Elsesser accompanied her to the Bodhi Tree bookstore in West Hollywood. “I remember I was in the sixth grade and brought a stack of books to my mother; one of them was written by Anais Nin, an erotic poet,” recalls Elsesser. “She said, ‘Yes, add to cart.’

Elsesser got a scholarship to an elite private school. But she says the most valuable thing she learned as a child was self-belief. One day after school, she complained to her mother about how “all the girls in class were White and skinny,” so her mother gave her “The Bluest Eye,” Toni Morrison’s seminal 1970 debut book about how White beauty standards distort Black women’s sense of self-worth. Elsesser was always bigger than her friends. “I was different but empowered in my difference,” she recalls.
After high school, Elsesser moved to New York. She studied psychology and literature at the New School but dropped out. Along the way, she befriended future fashion impresarios Angelo Baque and Raul Lopez. “It was like a weird cauldron of freaks all together, figuring it out,” she says.
Elsesser took to documenting her social milieu and streetwear-inflected personal style on Instagram, amassing a small but influential following. In 2014, she caught the eye of Pat McGrath, who made Elsesser the muse of Pat McGrath Labs’ Gold 001 eyeshadow. It launched Elsesser’s career.
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Flora by Gucci Eau de Parfum Gucci for women




Flora by Gucci Eau de Parfum Gucci for women

Flora by Gucci Eau de Parfum by Gucci is a Floral fragrance for women. Flora by Gucci Eau de Parfum was launched in 2010. Top notes are Peony, Citruses and Mandarin Orange; middle notes are Osmanthus and Rose; base notes are Sandalwood, Patchouli and Pink Pepper.

The new edition,Flora by Gucci EDP, can be expected on the market at the beginning of 2010. This version was announced as more intense, deeper, seductive and richer. Notes of Flora by Gucci Eau de Parfum promise the same youthful and optimistic expression of the composition as it was offered by EDT. The difference lies in stronger concentration of the EDP edition. Flora by Gucci was envisaged and created by Frida Giannini who was inspired by Gucci floral pattern used first as a scarf for Grace, Princess of Monaco. Floral motive has been enchanting women with glamorous and feminine details for decades.

Flora by Gucci Eau de Parfum is characterized by fresh notes of agrums in the opening, combined with beautiful peony. A heart introduces balanced aromas of rose and osmanthus, while a base is created of patchouli and sandalwood. The more opulent, stronger and more powerful EDP has the same flacon as the original edition, but is decorated with gold details on a black bow ribbon, black cap and darker liquid. The fragrance arrives in January 2010.

Read about this perfume in other languages: Deutsch, Español, Français, Čeština, Italiano, Русский, Polski, Português, Ελληνικά, 汉语, Nederlands, Srpski, Română, العربية, Українська, Монгол, עברית.

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Mandarin Orange

Middle Notes



Base Notes



Pink PepperVote for Ingredients

Designer Gucci

Gucci Bloom

Mémoire d’une Odeur

Gucci Guilty Absolute

Gucci Guilty

Gucci Rush

Gucci Bamboo

Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum

Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Femme

Intense Oud

Gucci Bloom Acqua di Fiori

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Parfum

Guilty Pour Homme

Gucci Guilty Black Pour Homme

Gucci Bloom Profumo Di Fiori

Flora by Gucci Gorgeous Gardenia

Gucci Bloom Ambrosia di Fiori

Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum Intense Pour Femme

Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme

Gucci Pour Homme II

Guilty Pour Homme Eau de Parfum


Fragrantica® Trends is a relative value that shows the interest of Fragrantica members in this fragrance over time.


no vote

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long lasting





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Collections Flora by Gucci

Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Eau de Parfum

Flora Gorgeous Jasmine

Flora by Gucci Eau de Toilette

Gucci Flora by Gucci Anniversary Edition

Flora by Gucci Eau Fraiche

Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Limited Edition 2020

Flora by Gucci 1966


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way overpriced






good value


great value

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Fashion Youth

10 Jewelry Essentials Every Wardrobe Needs




10 Jewelry Essentials Every Wardrobe Needs

All products featured on Vogue are independently selected by our editors. However, we may earn affiliate revenue on this article and commission when you buy something.

Every wardrobe has certain must-haves to keep dressing streamlined and easy. Jewelry essentials follow much the same rules of a capsule wardrobe—the best jeans, sweater, T-shirt, jacket, etc., translate to certain classic and timeless jewelry essentials. 

The perfect diamond studs and chain necklace are just as big of a fashion crutch as blue jeans and a white T-shirt. Narrow enough to keep getting dressed stress-free while also keeping you looking top-notch. Think of this as a foundational buy you can turn to daily, but one that still leaves room for those special purchases to give your look personality.

Below, our guide to the 10 pieces of classic, timeless jewelry that will never lead you astray.

Stud Earrings

There’s a reason the stud is your first earring. Besides the whole piercing process, it simply goes with everything. They add an easy touch of sparkle that can be worn no matter the occasion—gym and pool included. 

Mateo 14-karat gold pearl earrings


Tiffany Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard earrings

$1,150 AT TIFFANY & CO.

Hoop Earrings

It’s a classic style that delivers subtle attitude. Big or small, hoop earrings make a statement without being over the top.

Jennifer Fisher Lilly mini hoop earrings


Mejuri Pavé diamond huggie hoops


Bangle Bracelet

Adorn your arms with a single bangle bracelet or stack them up—the latter will create the most delightful jingling sound. They pair well with just about everything, from a cable knit sweater to a breezy sundress.

Sylva & Cie rose gold diamond bangle


Monica Vinader x Kate Young bangle


Pendant Necklace

A pendant is an easy way to wear something meaningful (your initials, your zodiac sign) close to your heart. Best of all, there’s no need to wear just one. 

Foundrae Disk Drop necklace


Sophie Buhai tiny heart pendant necklace


Gold Chain Necklace

Thick or thin, gold chain necklaces are an essential. A more chunky style will add an edge to your ensemble (perfect for power dressing), while a wispy chain adds a bit of femininity. You’ll likely need one of each. 

Laura Lombardi Calle gold-plated necklace


Lizzie Mandler gold chain-link necklace


Pearl Strand

Pearl necklaces are passed down for a reason—they will absolutely never go out of style. We love a double strand with various-sized pearls, but you can’t go wrong with the classic single stand either.

Sophie Bille Brahe Petite Peggy necklace


Loren Stewart Belisimo pearl strand neckalce


Signet Ring

Stamped with your initials, glittering with diamonds, or shiny and bare, a signet is the perfect ring for your pinkie. No other ring on your hand is necessary—but, of course, welcome.

Jade Trau signet ring


Ferian Galleon Wedgwood gold signet ring


Stacking Ring

Wearing more than one ring on a finger can take some strategy. Do they fit snuggly on top of each other?  Do they add too much bulk to your digit? A simple gold band is a great starting point but better yet, opt for an already stacked multi-ring style that will do all the work for you.

Phillips House Enchanted Sash pinky ring


Spinelli Kilcollin Nimbus ring


Colorful Stone

Playing with the gold and silver hues in jewelry is fun but so is the blue of a sapphire or the deep red of a garnet. A colored stone accessory is the easiest way to add a bit of dimension to your all-neutral ensemble or bring out the flecks of green in your eyes. 

Mateo Point of Focus ring

$1,375 AT MATEO

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Ear Rings




Ear Rings

Ear rings are one of the most popular accessories for women around the world. These small pieces of jewelry can enhance any outfit and add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any look. Ear rings are versatile and come in a wide range of styles, materials, and designs, making it easy to find the perfect pair for any occasion.

Ear rings have been worn for thousands of years, with evidence of their use dating back to ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Initially, ear rings were made from materials like bone, shells, and wood. Later, precious metals like gold and silver were used to create more intricate designs.

Today, ear rings come in a variety of styles, from simple studs to bold hoops, elegant drop earrings, and trendy tassel earrings. They can be made from materials like gold, silver, platinum, and various types of gemstones, as well as costume jewelry made from plastic, beads, or other materials.

Ear rings are not only a fashion accessory but can also have cultural or symbolic significance. In some cultures, ear rings are worn as a symbol of marital status, while in others, they are seen as a sign of wealth or social status. In addition, ear rings can also be used to express personal style, with some women choosing to wear ear rings that reflect their personality or interests.

When choosing ear rings, it is important to consider your face shape, as certain styles can enhance or detract from your facial features. Round faces, for example, are best suited for longer, dangling ear rings, while square faces can be enhanced with hoop or round earrings. Similarly, it is important to consider your outfit and the occasion when selecting ear rings, as different styles can complement or clash with your overall look.

In addition to style and design, it is also essential to consider the quality of ear rings when purchasing them. Quality ear rings will be made from high-quality materials and will be sturdy and durable, ensuring that they last for years to come. It is also essential to pay attention to the closure of the ear rings, as a secure closure can prevent them from falling out or getting lost.

In conclusion, ear rings are a versatile and fashionable accessory that can enhance any outfit and express personal style. With a wide range of styles, materials, and designs, it is easy to find the perfect pair of ear rings for any occasion. When selecting ear rings, it is important to consider your face shape, outfit, and the occasion, as well as the quality of the ear rings, to ensure that you get the most out of this beautiful accessory.

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