“Ahead of the Curve”
By Kim Harris
In the world of fashion, plus size women are perhaps the most underrepresented women on the planet. Most models that appear on the covers of today’s fashion magazines are not a true reflection of the typical, or average, female body type. These unrealistic images sometimes create anxieties in some women who try in vain to achieve these often unattainable ideals on beauty. Priscilla Katerena Deason, a biracial (Samoan American/African American) plus size model and branding agency owner, hopes to change the way plus size models are viewed with her brand PRISCILLA KATERENA. She wants plus size women, as well as women in general, to embrace their authentic selves. You might recognize Ms. Deason, who has been modeling since 2010, from her appearances at POSH LAFW, Haute Curves, LAFW, Polynesian Exchange, and currently on Go Curvy.
correspondent for “Go Curvy,” a live UStream web television talk show that encourages curvy women with advice on fashion, make-up tips/makeovers, and other relevant issues facing the curvy community. (Thursdays, at 2PM PST, 4PM CST). SOUL and SALSA recently got the opportunity to speak with the very busy entrepreneur.
SOUL AND SALSA: How important is philanthropy to you?
Priscilla Katerena: It’s very important to give back, especially to those who are willing to carry the torch. One of my greatest gifts is teaching others to progress and move forward. I recall being very self-conscious about my weight and curves when in my tween and teen years. It is through mentoring to younger ladies that I hope to make a real impact, and help them overcome some of the obstacles that I have faced.
SOUL AND SALSA: Would you consider yourself multicultural, and if so why?
Priscilla Katerena: I do, because I was raised in a American Samoan and African American family. I identify strongly with both cultures, because I made the conscious decision to infuse myself deeply in learning all the cultural norms of both. In addition, I surround myself with myself with people from different ethnic backgrounds as well. So, I am able to explain my experiences to others. This helps me to embrace all cultures.
SOUL AND SALSA: Do you think multicultural women are represented fairly in media?
Priscilla Katerena: I believe there is room for improvement, but we have definitely come a long way. Doors are opening, but there is more work to be done.
SOUL AND SALSA: What was your favorite event to promote/direct?
Priscilla Katerena: I would have to say the Polynesian Exchange (#polynesianexchange), where I was able to incorporate two things that I love the most – culture and fashion. Plus, I got an opportunity to celebrate my Polynesian heritage with, Tongan beauty Veronica Pom’re and Samoan model Tracy Feagiai McNeil.
SOUL AND SOUL: When others think of Priscilla, what three words do you think people would use to describe you?
Priscilla Katerena: The first one would be fun, because I am always laughing or singing. Expressing joy is very important to me. Spiritual would probably be second, because of my strong belief in God. Caring also comes to mind. I am a very caring person.
SOUL AND SALSA: I have to ask about your hair, because it’s so gorgeous. What is your secret for maintaining such a beautiful head of hair.
Priscilla Katerena: That’s funny you should ask. I’m really bad at keeping a consistent hair regiment, or using specific products. However, the two things I can’t do without are a detangling brush and Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner.
SOUL AND SALSA: When it comes to fashion, who are some of your favorite designers?
Priscilla Katerena: Eden Miller and Angela Dean are two of my current favorites. Both offer designs that are ecstatic, and they fit my personal style. The fabrics are top notch.
SOUL AND SALSA: What are some of your future plans?
Priscilla Katerena: I hope to be signed to a reputable international modeling agency within a year, such as: Wilhelmina, or Dorothy Combs. Long term, I will continue to develop my brand, and make it a icon in the plus size modeling community. Eventually, I would like to be known as a businesswoman, and former model – much like Tyra Banks and her Bankable Production. Catch Priscilla Katerena gracing the runway for Full Figured Fashion Week in New York.
For more information on Priscilla Katerena and MKPR Branding Agency, visit: www.priscillakaterena.com. Facebook:/brandpriscilla. Twitter:/@pkaterena. Instagram:/@priscillakaterena.