At 5-foot-2, Ann Lauren aims to change the ideology of a fashion industry that she says recognizes only women who are at least 5-foot-9. A model/spokesperson and producer of petite model shows, Lauren has assembled a team of expert contributors, designer sponsors, and investors for an online community of petite women: www.bellapetite.com.
She has also launched a weekly Internet radio show on AmericasWebRadio.com, airing every Tuesday at 10 a.m. Pacific time (or download them from iTunes). Next up forLauren: Bella Petite Magazine.
5-foot-5 and under.
To what do you attribute your website drawing 10,000 subscribers in the first six months?
We’ve done social marketing through Facebook and Twitter. And we hold regional [petite modeling] events around the country. I get hundreds of e-mails a day from ladies who want to be involved.
What are your magazine plans?
There needs to be a magazine to sustain the marketplace — something for models to work in. It will be a digital, interactive Web magazine that includes audio and video. We’ll also publish a limited print run [20,000 copies] that will be distributed across the country in magazine and book outlets. In October, we’ll release our Look Book: a teaser to the premiere issue in January.
How local/national are your efforts?
We held our first Palm Springs regional event on April 28 at Revive Salon and Spa. We had a couple of petite models and celebrities come in. We created content for the magazine, including shooting video. We have regional directors and experts across the country, including skincare expert Shonda Chase, who owns Revive, and actress/singer Nia Peeples, who created her own lifestyle website.
You mention a model search on your website …
That’s how we are discovering new talent. We catalog the women in every state so that when we go to a particular venue, we have models to select from for that campaign.
What might surprise people to know about the height issue?
Only 3 percent of women in the United States are 5-foot-9 or taller. Petite women make up about 70 percent of the female population.