Baum-shell Rivkie stands up for the larger woman


FASHION magazine editor Rivkie Baum is standing up for curvy women.

The 28-year-old has a driven personality that has made her editor-in-chief of Britain's only plus-size fashion publication, Slink.

This month, the plus-size campaigner went head-to-head with outspoken TV personality Katie Hopkins on her latest weight loss documentary, calling her views on overweight people shallow and mentally damaging.

Rivkie said that size 24 people can be just as healthy as a size 10.

Slink Magazine started as an online publication in 2011 for women sized 14-22.

In one year the fashion and lifestyle magazine made the transition to print and it is now an international success.

London-born Rivkie explained: "We need to show these girls they are accepted by the fashion industry.

"The magazine brings diversity and aspiration for different sized women. It includes health and fitness features and is a body-positive magazine.

"Not everything is always about the body image, but unfortunately the industry has to use labels for sizes."

Rivkie explained how the modelling industry is difficult, even in the plus-size world as every client wants a different size that can never be quite right.

With photo-editing being an increasingly popular tool in the celebrity and modelling world, she called Photoshop "the oldest trick in the book".

She said: "Even before Photoshop, photos were touched up. I am not anti-Photoshop, but there is a way to use it.

"I do use it in the magazine if skin is dehydrated or if make-up is smudged, but I will never exceed its use."

The former Hasmonean High School pupil studied fashion design at the London College of Fashion.

Raised in a modern-Orthodox household to parents Heather and Aaron Weichselbaum, Rivkie grew up in what she describes as a "trendy family".

She said: "I would read glossy magazines when I was younger. During university I read three magazines a week, including - Elle, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.

"Reading magazines was an escapism, especially looking at the lovely pictures.

"Although none of my family work in this kind of industry, they have all been supportive.

"I wouldn't have been able to build this business without them."

Rivkie, who always wanted to work in fashion or journalism, had a job in a plus-size women's shop when she noticed a gap in the market for a magazine focusing on curvier women.

She explained: "In particular, I noticed there were a lot of high street brands that supply or focus on plus-size clothing.

"Asos has started to introduce plus-size clothing and Simply Be, which started as an online store, has opened high-street stores.

"But there was no magazine focusing on them and I knew it was an area I wanted to tap into."

The ambiguous title Slink took Rivkie a long time to come up with as she wanted a name that represented the magazine in the best way.

She explained: "I didn't want 'plus-size' in the name. I wanted the reader to be able to feel comfortable reading it on a train, like any other glossy magazine."

Rivkie likes featuring strong, driven women who mean business.

"They can't just be fluffy women," she said. "They have to be strong in their business and have made a change.

"I would love to interview Queen Latifah or Oprah Winfrey."

The magazine went international in September and is now published in 21 countries.

Rivkie said: "It has been an amazing journey. When the idea popped into my head to start it, my photographer friend laughed at me.

"Starting online was difficult, but it now feels great to see my magazine in print and on the stand."

Being vocal and strong-minded in the fashion industry has led her to be heard by the media world as she has made many appearances on television programmes, including ITV's Lorraine, to discuss the world of plus-size fashion, to presenting for fashion programmes.

Rivkie uses social media to her advantage for being vocal on campaigns and for the magazine.

She said: "Social media is a great medium for connecting with people.

"You have to be careful how you use it, but I like to use it for running campaigns, one of which trended twice, which I think is amazing."

Rivkie would also like to work with more fashion bloggers as she finds it an important platform that is "giving a voice within the industry".

She added: "I am working on the magazine being put in to more shops around the UK and internationally.

"I would like the magazine to keep growing and for readers to continue to enjoy the content."

In September, 2013, Rivkie and Debra Jones launched Slink Boutique - an online, fashion shopping hub for plus-size women.

© 2015 Jewish Telegraph