The Runway Diva Says. . . Is an online advice column for aspiring models. As a 20 year veteran of the fashion industry as a plus sized model, I have found in my travels that most aspiring models, no matter their size, don't have a clue of the tools needed to become a successful model. Hopefully, I can help make their journey a little easier. Please Email me your questions to

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Who is The ORIGINAL Runway Diva!??

Miss Sharon Quinn also known as “The Original Runway Diva!” is a veteran of the fashion industry and a story in perseverance. Her career in modeling began in the 1980’s, when she got her first “official” tear sheet from BBW Magazine when she entered their Annual Cover Model Search. After the contest she made the rounds to the NYC agencies and was rejected by most of them, with each noting different things she needed to “fix” about herself, and telling her to then come back and see them again. She left one of the top agencies of that era with a contract in hand but never returned.

Ten years later she met Gwendolyn DeVoe, CEO of DeVoe Signature Events through a mutual friend and began doing local fashions shows with her. She became a show favorite and perfected a great deal of her signature “Walk” by doing a lot of club & runway shows with Ms. DeVoe’s organization. It was during one of these runway shows that she met New York City based designer Alexander Bruce and quickly became one of his favorite models. In 1995 Alex entered her into a local, but well known modeling competition in New Jersey and much to everyone’s (except Alex’s) surprise, she defeated over 50 standard sized models to become the first plus-sized winner in the 16 year history of that competition. She won a trip to Europe and she garnered a tremendous amount of local press from winning that title and one of the fruits that resulted from her labor was being selected as the first cover model for the premiere issue of BELLE Magazine. Having learned from her previous “Open Call” experiences of the eighties she decided to bypass the open calls and took all of her press clippings and photos and put together a press package and sent it out to all of the major agencies. She received positive responses from her efforts and decided to sign on with Susan Georget of Wilhelmina Models’ Ten-20 division. Sharon feels she has been blessed to have been working steadily since then. Her numerous works include ad campaigns for The Avenue, Nordstroms, Ashley Stewart and many others. She has been seen in national commercials for Weight Watchers and Just My Size. She has been a frequent visitor on the runways of ABC-TV’s “The View”.

On August 6, 2005 Sharon reawakened the world to the notion that “life begins after 40”, when at the age of 44 she became the 1st runner up on “Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance”, the first nationally televised plus-sized beauty competition/reality show and was the highest rated show in the history of the Oxygen Network. An astonishing 3.8 million tuned in to view the premiere and the repeat airings over the weekend. Who says big girls can’t be sexy?? Sharon’s perfect 10 score in the lingerie segment is one of the more memorable moments in the broadcast. At 6 feet tall and sporting a shaved head, she is now recognized where ever she goes.

These days Sharon divides her time between writing and recording songs for her solo debut as well as handling the role of National Producer for “Dangerous Curves…The Tour”, a traveling fashion tour for plus sized women. She has a talk show in the works and is also writing a book about her life in the fashion industry. The newly committed singer, model & actress is currently signed with Suma Management and she lives in New York City with her family.

“Surround yourself with positive people & positive things!”


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