Creating a line of activewear that gives petite women what they deserve - apparel that is perfectly fitted to them - requires that everything is designed and constructed accurately from the beginning of the process. Part of that process requires a fit model – someone who acts as a living, breathing mannequin. She helps the designer ensure that all the measurements and components are the best.
Jennifer Piacenti has served as the fit model for the two collections created by Spitfire Petite. Both her proportions and her feedback, not to mention her positive energy, her wonderful spirit, and great humor, have helped the brand achieve its high level of perfection.
What is a fit model? How does one become a fit model? Is it a full-time job? We just had to learn more. Jennifer answered our questions in a delightful interview.
Jennifer, first off, how should we introduce you?
Oh – I am just a weird New York Renaissance woman – I do a little bit of everything. I am a singer, dancer, actor, and the dance captain and one of the principal sopranos for the NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players. I am also a member of the Porsche road team, a kick-boxer, and a yoga and Pilates enthusiast.
So, are you ever bored?
How tall are you?
5’2” and ¼
How did you get into modeling and fit modeling?
As a professional actor, singer and dancer, it is important to also do print work, which is often modeling. My agency measured me and said, “Wow, you have the exact proportions needed for fit modeling.” This is not like fashion modeling where you need to be 5’11” and look like a human coat hanger. You must be proportioned in such a way that designers can use you as a human mannequin. I have the proportions of a fit model that is 5’8”, I am just shorter. I am a regular size girl – I have full hips --- so, when it came to the petite line, it worked perfectly.
Did the activity of serving as a fit model seen strange to you?
Not at all. My mom was a seamstress so I am used to standing still and having people pin things on me. It is quite fun. I can give feedback and say things like, this pocket seems like it is in the wrong place, or, this seam is unnecessary, or, this fabric isn’t moving exactly as I think it should. Or, I can do a Chaturanga and can tell the design team if the pants are riding up or not. I enjoy being involved in the design process itself.
Was there anything different about this process with Spitfire Petite?
When I first started modeling for this line, I did not realize how much better activewear could look if it really fit! I had become accustomed to clothes – including athletic apparel – that didn’t actually fit. With Spitfire Petite everything fits just right, it hits in the right place and it is so much more flattering, it looks so much better, and it is comfortable! I was thrilled – because I just won’t go to the trouble of altering my activewear – more than a hem.
We read some of the reviews of your performances with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, along with other productions and companies. They enthusiastically praise your voice: “…lovely soprano,” your acting: “… an effervescent Jennifer Piacenti) captivates (and) shines,” and your dancing: “Jennifer Piacenti floated like a swan as Isabel.” We could go on, but we don’t want to embarrass you!
From these reviews, it seems like you really have a passion for performing.
Thank you so much and yes, I would say singing is my greatest passion…. though, more generally speaking, it’s probably being creative and bringing more beauty to the world - whatever form that may take :)
We must ask what it means to be part of the Porsche road team!
It is a blast – they have 20 women who travel with them to events like the Super Bowl, different car shows and events. We know a lot about the brand so we help people understand the cars and answer their questions. I have been with them just over a year and I love it. It is flexible and it works with all the other things I do.
Can you tell us something we don’t know about Porsche?
Well, their best-selling car is their 4-door SUV, and, even though they have fantastic brand recognition, they are only 8% of the luxury market.
They are also doing a lot of marketing in China. There are two things that are important in that market: they want big cars and they want to be driven. They have created an executive version of the Panamera with extra seats for the chauffeured executives. They are turbo charged and go from 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds. It is insane.
You are on the road a lot! What do you bring and how do you fit in your workouts?
I do a lot of yoga, Pilates and barre work. I trained as a dancer when I was growing up so I can design my own workout based on my own body weight. When I am traveling that is what I must do. I spend a lot of time on the floor in my hotel room.
Above: On the left, Jennifer in "regular" yoga wear that doesn't fit at all. On the right, she is wearing Spitfire Petite that fits just right!
Do you pack your Spitfire Petite workout wear?
Of course! I never go anywhere with the leggings, tank top, and jacket.
You were the fit model for both Spitfire Petite collections. What are your favorite pieces?
The jacket! I love the zippered black Amy Signature jacket. The proportions are fantastic, and it can go anywhere, anytime … and the fabric is awesome!
Any thoughts on the new Golf and Resort collection?
The new colors and prints are fabulous. I am in love with the red and the gingham - I think it is so sweet.I don’t do golf or tennis – so the pieces that work best for me are the leggings, the jacket, and the Performance Crop Top – really love the crop top. I wear the jacket all the time including on the plane. They really are the greatest travel pieces – you can dress them up or down and since they’re made from performance fabrics, they’re lightweight and don’t take up a lot of room in your suitcase. If you decide to work out you can, if you decide to go to dinner you can; they are just great.
What else is up your sleeve, Jennifer?
A friend and I have a thing we do called Bar Burn, where we do really complicated yoga poses (sometimes on bars) while drinking whisky or other drinks I create. We are planning a shoot wearing Spitfire Petite. I will send you the photos when we do.
YOU’D BETTER! Thank you so much Jennifer! You are an amazing example of #PetitePower!