Real Women

And so the Ultimo Real Women Winners are unveiled…..

I’m sure many of you will recognise some of the faces in our Ultimo Real Women Campaign 2012 as this week we unveiled the lovely ladies images and they have been splashed across the press- looking incredible!

After thousands of entries Michelle Mone OBE selected the ladies who will appear in Debenhams stores and follow in the footsteps of our famous Ultimo models. The campaign aims to blur the boundaries of how lingerie models should look and show that women of all ages/sizes/shapes/heights can be beautiful.

Michelle Mone OBE said, “I love the Ultimo Real Women campaigns, it gives us the opportunity to showcase some of the beautiful ladies out there who otherwise might not get the chance to model lingerie. Its incredible the feeling the ladies get after the shoot and the new found confidence it gives them. I’ve posed in my lingerie and I can vouch that its not an easy thing to do. I want women to celebrate their bodies.”

And so the twelve lovely ladies:

Sophie Linfield

Sophie Linfield, 26 from Nutbourne is a size 14 and 36 F

“When I found out I was a winner I was at work and was so shocked I couldn’t believe it was real. I had to keep re reading the message!! Leading up to the shoot the other girls and  I struck up a really good friendship so  I genuinely felt like I was walking into the shoot with real friends by my side the whole day was amazing but went way to quick it was over in a flash.

“The best thing about being a real women winner is the feeling that i might be able to help just one girl or woman embrace a curvier figure and feel proud of who she is .”

Dawn Williams

Dawn Williams, 38 from Flintshire is a size 8 and a 34B

“When I found out I was a winner, I didn’t believe it for 3 days .  I thought maybe Michelle Mone’s Twitter had been hacked and someone was playing a joke on me. When It finally sank in I was shaking and I asked my husband “why me, what have I got to offer”. I was sitting in my Kitchen when the winner was announced on Twitter and I said to my husband ” I think I might have won a competition” he asked if I was sure and what had I won- a handbag? A years supply of chocolate? I replied that I thought I had won a modelling competition, but at this point really couldn’t comprehend it. The day of the shoot was an unbelievable day and I can only equate it to that of my Wedding Day, I felt as if I was dreaming.  I was pampered and looked after from the moment we arrived and it felt very surreal. I got upset when it was my turn to model but with the kind words of Michelle Mone the Photographer all my new Ultimo Real Women Friends I pulled myself together and conquered a huge fear and once up there I bizarrely loved every minute. The best thing about being an Ultimo Real Women Winner is it has made me feel Special, Feminine and more confident. To Sum up my experience is easy Life Changing”

Rebecca Barrett

Rebecca Barrett, 35 from Cork is a Size 10 and a 34D

“ My experience of being an Ultimo Real Woman is amazing! It was a fantastic day from start to finish. I found everyone so helpful. It was great to meet new people and i have made new friends for life. I have gained some confidence in myself and im starting to believe in myself. I loved being pampered and feeling special. I loved posing for the photos, I loved the look they gave me. I actually felt good in my own skin. I honestly cant wait to see the pictures. I’m a mom, I’m a normal person, I take my kids to school, clean the house, cook the dinner, im a host mother for foreign student during the summer, so my time is all used up on other people… I don’t get pampered often, so it made me feel special. It was nice.  I grabbed this opportunity and i ran with it. I always tell my children to take any opportunity that comes their way, because when its gone, its gone.. so enjoy it while you can. That’s what I did.. I enjoyed every minute. Thank you Ultimo for picking me, you have honestly changed my life.”

Angela Wheeler

Angela Wheeler, 32 from Sheffield is a size 12 and a 36B

“ I was stunned when I found out- I had only entered 3 days before and didn’t think I had a chance. It was surreal, I had an alert pop up on my iPod Touch from Ultimo saying I was a winner and my mouth hit the floor. On the shoot I got to use a wind machine like Beyonce for my pics with my afro out, it was an experience to see what models go through to get that picture taken and the work that goes on behind the scenes. I also got to meet some amazing new friends who helped me strip down to my pants and see it through! It was a whirlwind of a day and an experience I won’t forget in a hurry…especially as i’m about to be all over the press semi naked!”

Leah Morris

Leah Morris, 35 from Ebbw Vale Gwent is a size 16 and a 38D

“Ultimo are indeed embracing what real women are. Women have different forms, each one beautiful and unique in shape. Taking part in the campaign was the chance for me to educate my daughters generation (all be it in a small way) that women have curves, and that our bodies are vastly different, that there is no such thing as “normal” and that a woman’s body is beautiful even if doesn’t meet the stereotypical image we seeing the media on a daily basis.  I really hope that other teenagers and women out there will draw strength from this campaign and embrace the body that they are blessed with, curves and all.  The support from friends, colleagues, family and especially my daughter who is so proud of her mum has been unbelievable! All in all the experience of being an Ultimo Real Women winner has been fantastic, I have gained new friends, taken part in new experiences and being part of a campaign that breaks down barriers and promotes real women is an honour- I still can’t quite believe I was chosen, it feels very surreal.”

Laura Sinden

Laura Sinden, 29 from Worthing is a size 12 and a 32E

“I think its a really nice idea that normal women are used in the campaign because you want to see how it looks on a normal woman, not how it looks on a skinny airbrushed model. Yes you’d love to look like that but we show that the undies look beautiful on normal people.”

Dal Dosanjh

Dal Dosanjh, 39 from Warwick is a size 12 and a 34D

“I was on a high during the duration of finding out and the actual shoot. However it was also very daunting. although connecting with the other Ultimo real winners – who were all so wonderful, and beautiful really softened the pressure, as we are all experiencing the same emotions. The shoot was amazing, but god the most nerving experience I’ve ever had. I’m usually a very confident, and outgoing person, but on the day of the shoot, I was feeling really nauseous, and having stomach flips. I suppose I was just confronting my insecurities, however the boost it gave me to my self-esteem, I can’t thank Ultimo enough. Being an Ultimo Real women really has inspired me, and it totally has changed the way I look at my body, after all I’m a real woman! And I would tell any woman out there if I could do it, so can you.The whole experience the other women (new set of friends), the shoot – location, the camera crew, PR, marketing, meeting Michelle, really has been the highlight of my year.”

Donna Evans

Donna Evans, 41 from Welwyn Garden City is a size 12 and a 34B

I was at home when I found out I’d won; I sat beaming when telling my husband what I’d won and then ran upstairs screaming to tell my daughter who’d been following the winners being picked with me each day.  The shoot was just amazing – I was made to feel so special the whole day & I just had so much fun!! Even forgot I was missing my family holiday!!  The best part of being an Ultimo Real Woman is the confidence it’s given me to be proud of who I am, as I never really believed in myself. But now I’m going to go out there and get what I want from life – in my business & in getting fitter, but loving me for me!”

“The whole experience has just been amazingly wonderful from the minute I was picked. I just wish I could do it all over again!!”

Becky Davenport

Becky Davenport, 28 from Wigan is a size 16 and a 36C

“ Applying was a spur of the moment thing. I follow Michelle (mone) on twitter and saw it, thought it sounded good and then went for it. I’m so glad I did it, one of my friends is a plus size model so she told me to go for it , she reassured me it would be fine. My family are really excited for me, my Mum has told my Dad he has to go into Debenhams and take a picture- he isn’t happy about that.”

Lisa Maclachlan

Lisa Maclachlan, 32 from Glasgow is a size 12 and 32E

It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I’d love to be able to do it all over again. Michelle , Mone O.B.E told us it would change our lives forever and it already has. The support I’ve had from my partner, family and friends has been unbelievable, even strangers congratulate me on Twitter which is lovely. It was nerve wracking on the lead up to the shoot, I’d stand in front of the mirror in my underwear and cringe ‘oh, I don’t know if I can do this’  but when we were there we all soaked it up and loved every minute of it. It was very empowering and I can say that every single one of us can hold our heads up high now and say that we are happy with our bodies and that we are real women. I’d never want to be anything less than a size 12! “

Stina Sanders

Stina Sanders, 21 from Weston Super Mare is a Size 8 and a 32B

 “I really enjoyed the day and had a lot of fun with the Ultimo team! I think I would be mad to turn down the experience, as every girl would love having their photo taken”

Ashleigh Mae Campbell

Ashleigh Mae Campbell, 23 from Dunblane is a size 8 and a 32B

Group shot of Real Women Winners


Ultimo Real Women 2012 WINNERS!

Here at Ultimo we’ve been searching high and low for the perfect women to be featured in our Ultimo Real Women Camapign 2012 and the search has now come to an end. We can’t wait to share the images of our Ultimo Real Women after the shoot- watch this space!

The lucky winners will follow in the footsteps of famous models such as Luisana Lopilato, Penny Lancaster, Rachel Hunter and Helena Christensen by taking part in a sensational Ultimo photoshoot – with a celebrity photographer to boot.

Don’t worry if you didn’t get picked this year- The Ultimo Real Women Campaign is here to stay!

Love Ultimo x

Ultimo keep it ‘Real’ with gorgeous new campaign

Ultimo, the UK’s leading designer lingerie brand, have joined the war on size zero by opting to use “real women” for its new campaign, which is unveiling this week throughout the press, and Debenhams stores nationwide.

Ultimo, which specializes in lingerie in sizes A to G cup, launched a competition last November to find real girls to showcase its summer collection. Thousands of women from across the UK applied via Facebook and Twitter, who were eventually whittled down to just eleven!

Shot in a series of elegant poses and sporting the brand new summer collection, the gorgeous winners range in sizes from 8-18 and ages 22-46 years and include a nursery practitioner, a Miss Ghana runner up, a singer and mum-of-four, an events coordinator, a fashion buyer and a student. The women are from all corners of the UK, including Cardiff, Glasgow, Dublin, London and Liverpool.

Michelle Mone OBE (39), creator of Ultimo and the brains behind the campaign, said:

“I think a lot of women are just a bit fed up with seeing models with unrealistic body images that they can never achieve themselves. This campaign was about bringing together a group of normal girls who are happy with their bodies and proud to show them off. The girls did a phenomenal job and the results speak for themselves.”

The eleven lucky ladies were taken to London for a big budget celebrity-style fashion shoot with the Ultimo ‘glam team’, including celebrity photographer Dan Kennedy, hair and make-up artists, stylist and lighting experts – the same team who worked with Ultimo babes Sarah Harding and Mel B! The winners also bagged six months worth of Ultimo lingerie.

Michelle Mone added;

“Over the years Ultimo has become synonymous with celebrity campaigns, but our lingerie is designed specifically for real women, so running this campaign was the right thing for us to do and I really hope that other big brands follow suit.”

Yvonne Akwetey, Vikkie Bamber, Michelle Barrett, Charlie Byers, Jodi Cahill, Clare Cousins, Louise Evans, Angie Mugadza, Pauline O’Neill, Bethan Riley and Kristy Rogers, were the lucky finalists chosen to front the brand. Their images will be used online at and in Debenhams stores nationwide.


Singer and Mum-of-four Michelle (31) said:

“Being involved in the campaign has been amazing. I represent every mother that has only dreamed about something like this happening. It’s great to see such an established brand like Ultimo flying the flag for real women. It’s so important that young women see what real women look like and are educated to be proud and confident in their own skin.”

Ultimo ran a similar campaign last year for the Ultimo Couture womenswear collection, but this is the first time real women have been used to model Ultimo lingerie, which is available from Debenhams stores in sizes up to a G cup.

The new Ultimo summer collection is available now from Debenhams stores nationwide and online at priced from £12.50.

Real Women Winner #12 – Charlotte Byers

Congratulations to our 12th winner for the Ultimo Real Women campaign, Charlotte Byers!

We’re delighted to announce that the beautiful Charlotte Byers from Cleveland will be joining our other Real Women on their Ultimo lingerie shoot in just a couple of weeks.

Charlotte recently graduated from Northumbria University gaining a 2:1 degree in Human Resource Management and is currently on course to starting her career in this area.

Our lovely lady has had a rollercoaster of a year, so we think she definitely deserves a wee bit of pampering!  When asked about how she feels to have won a place in our Real Women line up, Charlotte said;

“Winning this competition means so much to me.  My family and I have had a tough year with some close family members being unwell (my dad was in a catastrophic car crash which resulted in having urgent spinal surgery) and therefore this is a fantastic start to 2011 to take my mind off the poor 2010 I experienced! The reason for entering this competition is that I wanted to prove to people that you can be a curvaceous size 12/14 girl and be happy with that.  I think these days there is so much pressure for models to be size 0 which in my opinion is not very attractive.  I wanted to represent the “real woman”.

And we completely agree!  Charlotte is like many of us ladies, with a passion for spending lots of money on clothes and meeting up with friends, however, also enjoying the fantastic sport of horse riding.  Having been a passion since Charlotte was a little girl, she has fortunately had the opportunity given from her parents to actually own her own horses!

So our gorgeous girl (taken – sorry guys!) Will be adding a little equestrian elegance to the shoot later this month.  Watch this space to keep up with all the latest news and photos from the campaign!

REAL WOMEN WINNER #11 – Clare Cousins


Congratulations to our 5th Twitter winner, and 11th overall winner for the Ultimo Real Women campaign, Clare Cousins!

Clare is a beautiful addition to our Ultimo Real Women line up, based in Aintree this 22 year old Nursery Practitioner is more than qualified to show the world what Real Women are all about!

Clare says that;

“The best thing a woman can do is accept and love themselves for who they are because no one is perfect and life’s too short to try and be somebody you’re not.”

And we wholeheartedly agree.  Clare is proud of her body, lumps, bumps, wobbly bits and all!  And will be a sparkling addition to the Real Women line up as a person who loves herself just the way she is.  A confident, loveable person who loves life and will live to the fullest, we can’t wait to meet Clare and our other beautiful ladies and show the world exactly what Real Women can do!


Happy Valentine’s day Clare!

Real Women Winner #10 – Louise Evans!

Congratulations to our 4th Twitter winner, and 10th overall winner for the Ultimo Real Women campaign, Louise Evans!

Louise is a stunning 43 year old lady from Maidstone in Kent.  After her husband passed away 5 years ago, when her son was just 6 years old, Louise lost all her self-confidence and devoted her life to bringing up her beautiful son, Dow.

Having lost huge amounts of weight and dropping to a teeny size 6, Louise says she would shut herself away from the outside world for weeks on end.  Luckily though, Louise has a fantastic group of friends, who along with her son gave her the confidence to reappear in the outside world.

Louise then started to Pole dance for fitness and to build on her confidence and general enthusiasm for life, and after building her strength, came back as a beautifully formed and healthy size 12.  We can’t wait for Louise to show off her gorgeous curves and returned confidence in the Ultimo shoot!

Talking to Louise about the opportunity, she said;

“2011 is my year.   My confidence is back with a vengeance. I’m 43 years old, have a new job, after feeling redundant when my son started senior school.  I am now the Events co-ordinator for our local leisure centre, my first Interview in 14 years and first job in 5 years and to top it all on my first day I had to explain to them that I have been given this stunning opportunity with Ultimo World, something I never dreamed could happen to me!

Life has never felt better. It just goes to show that if you want something and put your mind to it you can achieve whatever you want.”

If ever a Real Women deserved to be celebrated, our lovely Louise is definitely one of them; and we can’t wait!!!


Real Women Winner #9 – Michelle Barrett!

Congratulations to our third Twitter winner; and ninth winner overall, the beautiful Michelle Barrett!

Our 31 year old beauty hails from across the pond in the beautiful city of Dublin, Ireland.  Michelle is a proud Mother of an amazing 4 children; 2 boys, and 2 girls.

But not only is Michelle a stay at home mum; by night she’s a singer in Dublin!

When asked about winning the competition, Michelle said;

“This is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me I never thought in a million years I’d be selected. I’m so excited but also nervous as I’ve never done anything like this before but it’s great that ultimo will allow us real women(wobbly bits and all) to represent them.

It’s more realistic for us women to see pictures of ourselves all shapes an sizes in ultimo’s beautiful underwear, not stick thin models!!”

We’re really excited to meet Michelle with the Ultimo Glam team!  Are you following us on twitter yet?  Search for @ultimoWorld and that’s us!  We’d love to hear from you.

Real Women Winner #8 – Vikkie Bamber!

Congratulations to our second Twitter Real Woman, and eighth Real Women winner from the wonderous world of twitter, Vikkie Bamber!

Vikkie comes from Preston in Lancashire , and at 26 years old has two amazing children, Ellis & Isla.  Having been married for almost 3 years, Vikkie has unfortunately had a tough couple of years as sadly lost her mum and father-in-law 10 days apart from each other.  But we’re hoping to brighten up her year with making her a star!

Working part time for a Hotel Company doing Sales & Business Development, Vikkie has excellent juggling skills as being a busy working mum and trying to see her friends for a good old gossip whenever she can over a glass of wine or two!

Our lovely lady likes to keep fit, and adores to run, “the freedom of your own thoughts and listening to music is amazing, very proud to have completed the Great North Run last year in just over 2 hours 9 months after having a baby”, and we’re so proud of her achievement!

When asked about the campaign, Vikkie said,

“I’m sooo grateful, excited and slightly nervous to have  this amazing opportunity to be in the next campaign it really is a true honour, I often look at models and think “oh I’d look to do that” but there is always a height restriction, or size but this is about real women and I am certainly one of those and incredibly proud of my curves, an is an amazing confidence boost!!! Anything is possible if you have a little bit of confidence…. Just hoping I do the brand proud.”

We’re sure you will Vikkie, and can’t wait to meet you at the shoot!

Real Women Winner #7 – Yvonne Akwetey

Congratulations to our first Twitter Real Women Winner, and seventh overall Real Women winner Yvonne Akwetey!

Our beautiful Yvonne comes from Roehampton, Greater London.  A 24 year old graduate, Yvonne currently works as an Administrator. Having always had a passion for modelling and the performing arts (singing, acting and dancing) she was often teased at school for being too tall and having big breasts which shattered my confidence.

Yvonne entered a beauty pageant in October 2010 (Miss Ghana UK) just to see if she could gain some confidence in herself to pursue a modelling and music career. Finishing 2nd runner up, it was the first time she thought “I can do this!” Yvonne was awarded 1st runner up in December 2010 at a local fashion show competition which gave her a bit more belief in myself. It’s at this point she thought “I love my body and I’m going to work with what I have!”  Which is a great motto for every woman.

When asked about the campaign, Yvonne said;

“When I saw the ad on Twitter that Michelle was looking for real women to model in her next campaign – I hesitated at first because it was a nationwide search and the biggest thing I’d have entered, but thought, I’ll give it a go after all she said she’s looking for real women. What can I loose if I don’t win? – I was absolutely gobsmacked and stunned when I won the very next day! I still pinch myself!

To be a real woman Ultimo model means an incredible amount to me because Ultimo have embraced me for who I am, just as I am and have given me an amazing opportunity! The fact that Ultimo cater for bigger breasted women is fantastic! It has given me more confidence in myself to chase my dreams and I hope this can be a testimony to others that it is always important to embrace what you have as we are all different and unique.”

So from a girl being teased for having big breasts to being in a national campaign for Real Women; the stunning Yvonne shows that you never know what’s just around the corner!  Congratulations Yvonne, and we look forward to seeing more of you very soon indeed!

Are you following Ultimo on twitter yet?  @UltimoWorld

REAL WOMEN WINNER #6 – Bethan Riley!

Congratulations to our sixth winner, Bethan Riley who will be starring in our upcoming Real Women Lingerie Campaign!

Bethan is 23, and graduated from University with a degree in Creative Technology.  Her dream job has always been web design and we would like to say a big congratulations to the lovely Bethan, as she has recently been awarded a promotion to do this!

Bethan enjoys visiting the gym and staying healthy and has been a vegetarian for over 10 years!  And it definitely seems to have done the trick…  Having first heard about the Real Women competition in the paper, Bethan visited the Ultimo website straight away, and we are so glad she did.  Talking about her body confidence and why she wanted to be in the competition, Bethan said;

“Although I haven’t got a ‘perfect’ body I have always been happy with it and love my shape.  Underwear is my favorite thing to buy, I love the way that wearing pretty sets makes me feel good and gives me confidence.  I would love the chance to show off my body in gorgeous Ultimo underwear.”

All at Ultimo HQ wholeheartedly agree with Bethan’s love of lingerie and we can’t wait to see this lady strut her stuff in our shoot!

Would you love to be an Ultimo model for the day like celebs Kelly Brook, Sarah Harding, Mel B?There’s not long to enter now; applications close 14th January 2011, so to become one of the lucky 24, just click here.  To keep up to date with all announcements, make sure to keep an eye on these pages!