Anthi takes her talents from runway to catwalk with Miss Voluptuous pageant bid
A Bishop’s Stortford fashion designer is making the leap from runway to catwalk for a good cause.
Anthi Giannopoulou, 37, is preparing to take part in her first beauty pageant, the 2019 Miss Voluptuous pageant, in Warrington.
She came to the town in 2004 from her native Greece, while working as cabin crew for Ryanair at Stansted Airport.
She said: “It all started in my own private runway, the aisle of a Boeing 737 aircraft. I came to England after my studies to work in the airline industry.”
However throughout her career criss-crossing Europe, she continued to make clothes and is now a fashion designer with a particular interest in producing flattering garments for women the industry usually considers to be outsize.
“Working back with models, actresses, singers and any kind of woman in the entertainment industry, I came to realise that people have certain perceptions for ‘bigger ‘women. They call them plus size, but in my opinion they are curvy, voluptuous women with just plus-attitude, plus-style, plus-emotion.”
Her love of creating evening wear in particular prompted her to investigate the pageant scene as market research and she was persuaded to compete.
She said: “I am an introvert at heart but as with every artist, I fight with my desire to be seen and communicate.
“For me, this is my first ever pageant but from the first day entering, I was not only welcomed by the organisation but also the other girls in the pageant.”
She will be able to use her dressmaking talents - as part of her forthcoming appearance Anthi has to craft an eco-outfit costing no more than £5 and create a fun fashion frock too with a traditional evening wear round to complete the competition in September.
Most importantly she also has to raise awareness and cash for a good cause and before Christmas, with the help of the Greek community in Bishop’s Stortford, she filled handbags with sanitary products, toiletries and treats to be given to women fleeing to Refuge (www.refuge.org.uk) to escape domestic violence. Thanks to creative children, she was able to include handmade cards too.
She is using her fashion skills to design a range of three fundraising T-shirts too. Antho, who is a size 20, said: “As a curvy woman myself and a deep introvert this pageant is something I am taking part in to not only empower myself but other women, curvy or not, to believe in themselves and try something out of the ordinary.”
To review Anthi's designs see www.anthig.co.uk and to order a T-shirt, email firstname.lastname@example.org