‘People call me Greatest Showman of models – I want to show beauty isn’t size 6’

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    Meet the man who's been dubbed "The Greatest Showman of models" as he wants to prove beauty comes in all different forms.

    Martin Kurina, 28, from Swansea, has come a long way since he grew up on a council estate in South Wales.

    He always had a great love for fashion, but it wasn't until the coronavirus pandemic that he was able to make his passion a career.

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    Prior to the pandemic Martin was working in Debenhams, but just before Covid-19 hit the company went into administration.

    A part of his job involved styling, and he always had a great eye for fashion, so he decided to see the sad news as a fresh start as opposed to something to dwell on.

    Speaking exclusively to Daily Star, Martin said he sat there saying: "Why is everyone crying? We need to see this as an opportunity."

    He was inspired to get his own office and set up a modelling agency called Emkai Models.

    Martin said: "It all started from there. I started taking pictures with a friend's camera.

    "The models were getting paid with clothes – there was no salary. But all that got them to where they are today."

    The agency, which has 45 models, has officially been operating for just over two years due to various lockdowns.

    But – when Martin thinks of a model – he doesn't picture a towering size six blonde like we have all become so used to seeing in glossy magazines.

    For him, beauty is about being different and loving the skin you're in.

    Recently the agency has signed a size 24 model who was bullied at school because of her size.

    "Now she knows she can really be a model," Martin added.

    "We've signed a woman who's age 54, and a size 12, and we love that.

    "There is no reason you can't do what you want to do.

    "We are looking for people of different sizes who want to make a difference.

    "Just because a person looks that way or may speak like that or may look different – we're an agency that likes all these things."

    Martin said someone once told him he's like the "Greatest Showman of models" – and it's pretty much true.

    This was highlighted during a recent trip to London Fashion Week when a few of the team headed to the city to hit the runway.

    Some of the models got to sit in the same room as stars like Alicia Keyes and Jay Z, which Martin said was "huge" for them.

    And in a bid to show that anyone can be beautiful, Martin is also organising the first ever Swansea Fashion Week, which will see all the models take to the stage.

    The agency will also be casting others to make sure 100 people – of all backgrounds, shapes and sizes – can take to the stage and feel great.

    Martin added: "We want someone in a wheelchair. we want someone on crutches, we want a 70-year-old on the catwalk.

    "We want to show that it's not about being a size six."

    And when it comes to what people can do to build their confidence and pose for the camera, Martin said the answer is simple.

    You need to follow people you aspire to, and don't let anyone dim your sparkle.

    "Follow someone who you can look up to," he said.

    "Someone who looks like you or has a similar outlook to you, and communicate with them. Communication is key.

    "If you want to be a model follow people who inspire you, and go get it.

    "Don't compare yourself to others."


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