Real Love began over 20 years ago based on an idea Paul Warren had fostered since high school; to showcase plus size models for their beauty, not their size. Over time, the idea grew into a fully formed project exploring the multifaceted beauty and personalities of these five IMG models and founding members of ALDA; a collective of women who represent beauty without divisions, boundaries or conform to one body shape or size. IMG Model’s recent announcement that they would not exclude or label their ‘curve’ girls, but incorporate them live on the same board as straight size models, added a sense of urgency to the project as Warren and An felt like the moment to actualize their aims of creating something that didn’t rely on the body but celebrated the face, was quickly approaching.
Warren teamed up with An to create a series of images that reflect beauty and not just the body. Six of the images An shot were taken with very rare 8×10 large format film. This film was mostly used in the 1960s and 70s, which are some of the decades this photo series pays homage to.
On Wednesday September 9th, Photographer Jeff An and Creative Director Paul Warren and celebrated the opening of ‘Real Love,’ a series of 26 portraits and a beauty video of Sports Illustrated model Ashley Graham, Danielle Redman, Julie Henderson, Inga Eiriksdottir and Marquita Pring. The series of group and individual portrait shots will be displayed at 555 West 25th Street from September 10th – 25th.
Guests including Ashley Graham, Danielle Redman, Marquita Pring, Joanna Mastroianni, Mona and Didier Maine de Biran arrived at the gallery to admire the stunning photographs and enjoy glasses of cool champagne on the hot summer evening.
Midway through the event George Ledes, CEO of The BF Journal paused the music and thanked everyone for attending. He introduced Paul Warren who made an emotionally driven speech explaining his inspiration behind the show; how he wanted to speak to a sense of being “labeled, marginalized and boxed in and felt that curve models were able to help communicate his story in a more commonly understood way.” He continued to say, “how overwhelming it was to see an idea he had first developed as a teenager come together” before thanking the full team and most importantly Jeff. Paul described meeting Jeff and telling him about the idea and being so moved by his response of ‘let’s do it.’” Jeff took to the center of the room to thank all who were involved for their work and dedication.
George closed the remarks by announcing a silent auction was now open whereby all proceeds from the 26 photographs would be donated to the Pink Agenda.
Additional guests included: Chantelle Fraser of Bravo’s Blood, Sweat & Heels, Givenchy models John Kolic, Ola Morafa, Hood by Air model Alex Crush, Sharon Bush, Nicole Noonan, Stanley and Cole Rumbough, Actor Thomas Beaudoin, Symrise’s Rhona Stokols, Margaret Isa Butler, Delaina Dixon, models Emanuele Fiore, Stefano Maderna, R. Couri Hay Christine Schott Ledes, Morgan O’Connor, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Leesa Rowland, and Anastasia Garvey.
Celebrate Opening of ‘Real Love’ from Photographer Jeff An & Creative Director Paul Warren
All Proceeds to Benefit the Pink Agenda: The Pink Agenda is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization committed to raising money for breast cancer research and care, as well as awareness of the disease among young professionals. The Pink Agenda finds, funds, and partners with people and programs that are improving the lives of those suffering from breast cancer and conducting the groundbreaking research necessary to improve their odd