Layla Hosseini's family opened the Designer Warehouse in Cobb Corner two years ago. It is a destination spot for fashion savy shoppers.
Hosseini herself is no stranger to fashion having worked as a model since the age of 14. School was her first priority so once graduating college, Hosseini pursued modeling on a more full time basis. She signed with an agency in Boston at the suggestion of a local photographer.
Boston is a commercial market so for Hosseini, not being a size 00 has worked to her advantage. Her steady client Reebok, located here in Canton, has kept Hosseini busy for more than 10 years. She does fit modeling for Reebok where they prefer a more physically fit model rather than a New York waif.
Hosseini did venture into the New York modeling world several years ago. She said, "I wasn't sure what to expect when I went to New York because models in New York are usually 5'10" and up and a size 0. I am 5' 9" and a size 6. I went around to several agencies and was turned down by many. Then I went to Ford Models, one of the biggest agencies in New York, and they told me not to lose weight and that I was perfect for their commercial lifestyle division.
"I would tell any girl that the most important thing is to stay healthy and fit and carry yourself with confidence when meeting new clients. Don't let the fact that you aren't 5'10" and a size 00 discourage you or lead you into unhealthy habits."
A commercial market uses models who are more real. The Boston agencies take girls who are 5' to 6' and sizes 2 to 16 are welcome. There are many plus size models in Boston who are used even for department store runway events. But in Boston, there isn't the steady work that a high fashion model in New York usually sees on a regular basis. Then again a girl who is 5' 10" and a double 00 probably wouldn't work regularly in Boston because there isn't as much magazine editorial work as there is in New York.
Two years ago Hosseini came back from New York to help out in her family business, the Designer Warehouse in Cobb Corner which is the third store in their chain. A fourth store will be opening in Brockton this April.
Hosseini believes that her modeling experience has definitely helped with running the family store. She continues to model for a local Boston agency part time.