A Modeling Agency Going Rogue: Representing ALL Sizes


Ever dreamed of being a model, but then looked at your body in the mirror and realized sadly you weren’t a size 0? Well those sad days are over, A) because you are beautiful no matter what size you are, beauty isn’t defined by a number; and B) A new modeling agency has just opened up in New York which goes against the grain of the standard high fashion rosters of all the other big names to represent plus size, curvy and various sizes when it comes to models.

Jag was founded by former Ford agents Gary Dakin and Jaclyn Sarka, both of whom co-directed Ford’s plus board for many years in New york. “We are the first agency in New York that’s dedicated solely to women of all sizes,” Dakin said. “The goal is putting girls of all sizes on the covers of magazines, in advertising, and not stopping.”

The agents took a chance and decided to branch out and start their own agency, not in an act of defiance, but because they saw a gap in the market that needed to be filled, which Ford no longer were focusing on.

“Ford decided to slim down and focus on their core business which is men and women’s fashion and the commercial divisions; there wasn’t really any room for plus sizes anymore,” Dakin said in an interview with Fashionista. “Jaclyn and I saw an opportunity to take the girls that we had developed and rebuild a brand, a different kind of brand.”

Gary Dakin was responsible for making plus size models Crystal Renn, Tara Lynn and Candice Huffine household names in the fashion world, regularly called upon to walk the runways of Paris during Fashion Week, and land the covers of French and Italian Vogue.


So both Gary and Jaclyn brought over most of their plus size roster to Jag, and added a few notable names. One of those being Jennie Runk, the gorgeous model who made headline news modeling in the latest H&M campaign and appearing on the homepage of their website. Jennie has since taken her newfound notoriety and used it as an opportunity to spread a healthy body image message.

“We’ve spoken recently about branching out from just modeling, and for me to rise up to my role as a public advocate for what I believe in. I am absolutely determined to defeat body hatred of any kind, anywhere I experience it, and they’re not only willing, but excited to help make that happen.” she tells Fashionista, and explains how pivotal they were in supporting her decision to finish college in Missouri while still pursuing a career in fashion.

Jag hopes to do away with the “plus size” labels and be an agency that offers a range of professional models to represent all types of body shapes that exist in the real world. There are many who are sick of being shoved in the “curvy” corner, because it is in fact the buxom women who are more indicative of society’s body types, rather than the very skinny tall bodies you see on the catwalks.

Jennie Runk posted her thoughts on her facebook about this issue: “People assume plus equates to fat, which in turn equates to ugly. This is completely absurd because many women who are considered plus-sized are actually in line with the American average.”


In September 2012, Australian model Robin Lawley made history by being announced as the first “plus size” model for the giant fashion house. Lawley, who battled many eating disorders at the start of her career before accepting her body shape and embracing her curves, has graced the covers of French Elle, Vogue Italia, and has just released her own line of swimwear called ‘Robyn Lawley‘. The size 12 model has been very vocal about the whole plus size notion, saying ““I don’t feel plus-sized, I feel regular sized”, which fits right in line with the mentality behind what Jag are creating.

It’s great to see attitudes changing amongst the fashion elite. It seems there are shifts happening where beauty and high fashion aren’t just defined by one particular body size or a set of numbers. We hope there will be many more agencies and brands following in the footsteps of Jag to show consumers what they really want to see. If Vogue Italia, Ralph Lauren and H&M can lead the way, then there is no excuse for any one else as far as we can see!

There are other organizations who are on the same wavelength as Jag. Healthy is the New Skinny is an LA-based movement started by husband and wife model team Bradford & Katie Wilcox. They are advocates of women of all sizes, and are determined to create a platform that shares a message of self-love and acceptance, going against the negative messages of the media puts out. Katie made headline news when she was featured in Oprah’s ‘O’ Magazine as their first nude model with the picture below. Under the HNS banner, Katie created Natural Models LA, an agency dedicated to promoting healthy attitudes, lifestyle, and body images.

Body image and self-esteem are important to women. It’s not their sole responsibility, but the fashion industry has a very influential part to play in portraying healthy role models, attainable images and widening the scope of what is deemed “fashionable”. Beauty, fashion, and confidence should never be defined by numbers or sizes.


Check out JAG featured on ABC news!


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