By Aislinn Keely
Kylie Frink, FCRH ’19, is working to make the creative industries more inclusive from the inside out. Though Frink herself has worked on “Project Runway,” walked in New York’s Fashion Week and modeled with agency Wilhelmina Models, her focus is on creating a platform for others: the recently relaunched publication Soul.
Frink is a co-founder and producer of the online publication with its Editor-in-Chief Isiah Magsino, FCRH ’19. Its editorials have gained notice since its launch last September and has even been featured in Vogue Italia.
Soul grew out of Frink’s experience as a model in the fashion industry. After being scouted at 14 in her hometown of Colchester, Connecticut, Frink took a break to pursue sports.
She returned to the industry when she came to Fordham, this time as a curve model, which is a more inclusive form of modeling, according to Frink. Through Soul, Frink uses her connections in the industry to help aspiring creatives build their own voice and platform.
“Basically, what we are trying to do is showcase new people in like a fashion or music or design industry that are really interested in creating a name for themselves but don’t necessarily have the platform to, so that’s kind of where we come in, building a platform,” said Frink.
The idea for the publication came from Frink’s own negative experiences of being controlled by an agency. “It kind of came from a very uncomfortable part of this industry,” she said.
After being unexpectedly dropped by her previous agency, Frink wanted to find a way to increase the representation of those breaking into the industry, like herself.
“That kind of struck me,” she said. “I’ve had an agency control so many aspects of my career in modeling, and to be like they can just take something away like that and have zero representation, just take away your platform and your credibility.”
The night her agency dropped her, Frink approached Magsino about what later became Soul.
Frink now models with Wilhelmina models, and has since worked on the fall season of “Project Runway.”
“‘Project Runway’ was probably my biggest project to date,” said Frink.
The season she was involved in focused on body image and inclusivity. Models of all shapes and sizes were encouraged to give their input in how they felt on the designs, according to Frink.
“We worked with the array of designers and week after week, obviously do the whole show the whole process of it, but it was all on the consensus that we got a voice doing it,” she said.
Many designers only know how to work with body sizes zero and two, according to Frink. She said this is not a reflection of society.
“This is the first season where they [“Project Runway”] kind of made a stance against that, which was really cool to be a part of,” said Frink. “It was like all heights, all sizes, all ages. It was awesome.”
Frink worked with designer Kentaro, who went on to win the competition. From her connection to Kentaro, she walked in his New York Fashion Week show.
However, Frink spends just as much time working behind the camera. At Soul, she creates editorials, connects talent with relevant contacts and even shoots music videos. She works closely with the hip-hop group Hippie Tribe, as well.
Soul’s message is focused on inclusivity and representing the creative diversity of society, according to Frink. She uses her platform to build the platform of others.
“I’ve been modeling for two years, so I’ve used my connections there to try to benefit other people trying to break in to different sectors of the industry, and using me kind of as a third party to do so,” she said.
Through Soul, Frink said she and Magsino have created a network of designers and talent by giving people the resources they need. Rather than focusing on building her own platform, Frink said she hopes to continue building a community through her work.
“It’s more about building a community of people who like people can look up to one day,” she said.
Kylie Frink, a junior at Fordham College Rose Hill, is the co-founder of the online fashion magazine Soul. (Courtesy of Facebook).