Vogue Hailing Plus Size Model Ashley Graham A Model For The Next Gen

ashley-graham

Plus size fashion, according the majority of the industry is a “niche” market. But in reality, it is a huge burgeoning area that anyone in the fashion world would be stupid not to jump all over. Not only is it one of the fastest growing markets in consumer fashion right now, but it is also largely untapped. Meaning, any brands who understand the value of plus size models, bloggers and designers are onto a damn good thing!

One of those models leading the plus size revolution in the high fashion world is US girl Ashley Graham. She was signed to IMG models (the world’s biggest agency) earlier in 2014 when their Managing Director Ivan Bart announced they would no longer have different divisions for models, but simply represent the best of the best.

In June Ashley was chosen as the cover girl for Elle Quebec magazine, and it caused quite a stir to have a plus size model on the cover of a major fashion publication, touting her as a “supermodel”.

Ashley-Graham-Elle-Quebec-cover

Vogue UK chatted with the curvaceous beauty and asked her what it is like to now be considered a role model for many other girls.

“There’s pressure to it, but I’m the oldest of three girls – I’m 26 and my sisters are 21 and 22 – so I’ve always known what it’s like to be a role model. I always think of them first and then I apply that to the girls who look up to me.”

But don’t think it has been a completely easy ride for her. Unfortunately there are still a lot of close-minded people when it comes to diversity in body image (congratulations! The brainwashing by the advertising and fashion industry has worked on them) and too many of those people have internet access. Ashley has received hatred online, but it is not something she is about to allow to slow her down.

“Of course I get called a ‘fatty’ on Instagram and I always get comments saying ‘Why didn’t you airbrush out your cellulite before you posted that picture?’ But I don’t care. I’ve been doing this for 15 years so I just laugh at it and I’m happy with who I am.”

There’s a serious problem when anonymous people on the internet feel it is their duty to bring others down. Imagine the impact they could have if they turned that negative energy into something positive?

“When I tell people that I work out they’re like, ‘You work out?’ But as long as you’re healthy that’s all that matters.”

The attitude that healthy means you must only be of a certain size is slowly being broken down the more diverse body types we have represented in mainstream media. Healthy at every size, as the saying goes!

ashley-graham

One of the trends we are seeing is collaborations between lingerie brands and plus size bloggers and models. It has proven to be a winning formula all round, and Ashley has been working with Navabi.

“Navabi is one of the best places with the best collections for curvy girls. I actually approached them about the collection – I’m a go-getter! I’m a natural entrepreneur – there’s no stopping me honey!”

That’s the thing about the plus size market, because the majority of the fashion world still views it as something niche, it has forced models to get creative in terms of finding opportunities that will put them on par with regular models already fronting major brand campaigns. It’s a smart move for Ashley to reach out to a brand that is looking to grow alongside a model and a market where the possibilities are endless.

“If you were to ask me five years ago how fast things are happening, I’d say ‘good’, but now they’re really moving. I feel like there’s a long way to go,” she said. “You’ll know when girls have made it in the industry when there are multiple girls everywhere and not just one golden girl. But people are coming to terms with it. I think that people don’t like change – but change is happening.”

Thanks to role models and pioneers like Ashley Graham, more and more women are learning to love their bodies in new ways and finding an increasing number of representations in the campaigns they see. Diversity seems like a no-brainer but unfortunately it takes a lot of work to change the prevailing, antiquated attitudes in fashion and beauty.

But Ashley and many others are proving it is possible. Just don’t give up!

Ashley-Graham-navabi

 

4 Comments

  1. I was channel surfing this morning and stumbled on a movie with Monique’s(sp?) character becoming a fashion designer for plus sizes. I wondered what plus size models really look like and I found June Ashley. June is very attractive, but honestly, I would consider her body size and proportions better than average, compared to other women in my community. This led me to believe that the general size charts assigned to women’s clothing need to be reconsidered to take into account ethnic differences and cultural norms because June is not what I would consider a plus size in my community.

    Understanding that the “powers that be” control the means of fashion production and marketing, I doubt if my suggestion would have any impact. But, for the casual observer and consumer, my suggestion may factor in their opinions about the definition of beauty, health and well being.

  2. Pingback: Ashley Graham: The first plus size model to walk on a Michael Kors runway! - FLOPMEE

  3. Pingback: みんなの”VOICE”がファッション・モデル業界を劇的に変える – F-Magazine

  4. Wanasia Dews says:

    Im 15 an been trying to become a model its hard can u let me know how to get into modle…my name Wanasia ….

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