Making A Positive Impact On Representation in Fashion

Words: Alicia Brittle
Feature Image: Rafel Cemente

By staying true to herself, Rose Concencion has shown that as a woman you don’t have limit yourself in order to fit the boxes society sets out. The successful Concencion, represented by Models 1, is sharing her experiences as a black curve model to better the representation of women in Fashion. We sat down the Concencion to find out how she began as a model, overcoming the issue of being the ‘token’ black girl on set and her hopes for the future.


First we’d like to hear a little bit about you; how old are you? What are some of your interests and passions outside of modelling? What was life like for you before you began modelling?
Hi my name is Rose Concencion and I’m 27 years old.

Life before modelling I was studying theatre arts at university and performing on stage. I’m still very passionate about acting and will continue that in the near future. I am also very passionate about beauty and in particular skincare. What goes on our skin? What’s in our products? And how is it made? As I’m learning more about it I wish to include others in that journey too.

When I was younger I struggled with acne so I had to research what worked for me and what didn’t. As I grew older In this industry I also had to learn about my hair. What worked and what didn’t work. At the moment I wear wigs. I found it easier when I’m on set and less damaging to my own natural hair.


As we know, the modelling industry is a competitive one, how did you get into modelling?
I have been modelling as a freelancer for many years while I was at college and university. So I had some experience before I approached some agencies. I think your personality and look is what makes a model really stand out. Especially in this day and age. So when I’m around people and clients I’m just myself. I also switch my look around because I tend to get bored quite easily which also shows how versatile I am as a model.

I was rejected by several agencies but it never stopped me from modelling and approving other ones. So when I was around 21/22 I got signed to Models1 and made the transition to curve modelling.


As someone who grew up as the only black girl in my area, often subjected to mixed receptions of myself, I’d love to know if you experience prejudice in the industry and, if so, how you overcome it? 
It’s quite rare to be on set with another black girl. I tend to be the only one “token” at times. My main struggles on set would be who is doing the make up and hair. Worrying  if they have the right shades or know how to work with my hair.  I try and come on set prepared with my foundation in my bag (just in case) and my wig semi prepped. We have similar and different struggles that we go through. These are just my main ones. I do believe more black models being vocal about their experiences in this industry is hopefully making a positive movement forward.


We’ve heard that you want to be vocal about being a black model in the industry and we love to hear this; how does it feel to be a black, curving model owning it in the industry? 
I believe that there should be more than one type of model. In body shapes and in colour. Black women come in so many different varieties. Different ethnic backgrounds and different shades and body shapes. I would love the industry to open up and see that there’s not just one standard of (black) beauty.


It’s great to know that what you do is having positive impact, what do you hope ‘representative’ modelling will achieve?
I hope that in the future young black girls can open a magazine and see multiple people represented. People that might look like their mums or themselves or their friends. And it might sound very hopeful but a more realistic beauty. That is not only representing beauty of today’s world but also positive and achievable beauty.


You’re currently signed with Models 1, one of the largest modelling agencies in the UK, where do you see yourself in five years?
In this industry in five years I see myself being more than just a model but as a brand. Trying to open the world to knowing more about skincare and hair for black women.


It would be great to hear about some of your positive experiences in your career so far. What’s been the best modelling job you’ve ever done? Or, if it’s a tough choice, can you give us one of your favourites?  
I have been fortunate to have worked with some amazing clients and go to some stunning locations. I think because I’ve got so much energy I loved the Espirit campaigns I did in 2016 for autumn and Christmas. Being around fellow models and just dancing around having a good time. I was surprised that they had clothing that fitted me. I was able to express my own style too.


Follow Rose on Instagram here.