Wellington's Fashion Creative collective embraces realistic-looking women

The fashion industry doesn't have a healthy reputation, but one Wellington-based group is looking to change that.

The Fashion Creative is made up of hundreds of amateur and professional artists, including photographers, models and designers.

The group was birthed after its founding members were left unemployed following the corruption and downfall of a modelling agency.

Two years on, the group has more than 150 members and is now going international.

Donne Minnaar, Piimio Mei and Jess Baider are just a handful of women who have found a way to model without facing rejection and unrealistic body restrictions. They're encouraged to embrace their appearance and welcome those rejected by the industry.

A crew of 20 recently travelled to Rarotonga for a week, collaborating with big names like Mini Cooper and designer Pacific Sisters, whose exhibition is currently at Te Papa.

The trip has been so successful, they're now casting for a 2019 trip to Thailand.

Making money isn't the focus, the group's co-founder says. Instead it's about "chasing their passion and offering a way into the industry". 

"We take the difficulty out," says Shonty Rogan. "If you can contribute something, a skill-set, or show a passion and show us what you want... we can help you get that."

They're challenging perceptions, but not quite the business model yet.

"You don't need the industry or society to tell you need to be this size, you have to look this way to be accepted and to be deemed perfect and beautiful, because perfection doesn't exist," says Ms Baider.

The Fashion Creative says it respects those who have found success through traditional agencies, but their hope is to continue being an alternative and inclusive outlet within the industry.

If you'd like to know more about the Fashion Creative you can find them here