For many of us, body positivity and plus size fashion are new concepts that weren’t around when we were younger. There’s a new generation that is growing up with these ideas, knowing they can be part of the movement. 17 year old Tola Oluwole is one such person. The aspiring actor and model talked to us about getting in front of the camera and creating your own opportunities.
When did you become interested in modeling?
I knew I wanted to start modeling when my friend got a camera and we would buy new clothes and do photoshoots. I loved being in front of the camera. This drove me to pursue a career in acting and I haven’t looked back since.
What modeling have you done?
I’ve modeled for a brand called Phannatiq at London Fashion Week and I’ve worked with some great photographers and editors at XXY Magazine for a Pablo Fanque-themed shoot. On the acting side, I was in an LGBT commercial called “COME OUT FOR LGBT”, in addition to featuring on “Jamal”, which is a part of this years Cannes Short Film Corner.
Do you currently have an agent or have you been representing yourself?
For most of my gigs, I am online 24/7 trying to get work as a plus size male model and using many modeling platforms to get work. I have an agent for my acting career, but that doesn’t get me as many modeling jobs as I’d like. I am currently hoping to get signed with a model booker for modeling representation.
So you’re really putting yourself out there and making this work! Who inspires you – in the industry or outside of it?
I would have to say people like Luka Sabbath, Ashley Graham, Raul Samuel, and all of the male plus size models out there inspire me greatly and keep me going. People like 6lack and Daniel Caesar also inspire me because of their openness in their music and personalities. I believe that being different and unique should be embraced rather than covered up, especially in the fashion industry.
Where do you think you’ll be in five years? Do you want Tola Oluwole to become a household name?
In five years I [hope to] have won an Oscar, modeled for major fashion brands, released my own music, and have written my own film.
What’s missing in plus size fashion? What would you like to see more of?
I would love to see more brands producing bigger sized clothing and supporting plus size people. I’ve noticed that brands don’t put a lot of effort into male plus size clothing. I would love to see more black plus size models in the industry and more plus size models on the runway.
What are your favorite brands?
I’m an old school guy and love my retro looks, but I’d say I’m an all-arounder. I switch it up and wear clothes according to my mood or occasion. I love wearing Asos, Adidas, Supreme, Gucci, I Love Ugly, Puma, and many more.