When you think of all the curvy models who have made an impression on the industry—Beth Ditto, Denise Bidot, Robyn Lawley, Precious Lee, none of them have been able to really make the successful crossover of having the same social status or financial stability as a Gisele Bundchen, Cara Delevingne or even Tyra Banks who was the only Victoria’s Secret angel who by industry standards wasn’t “sample size.”
The trajectory for most curvy models has been: a couple of swimsuit ads, maybe a lingerie campaign, being the one curvy girl in a retailers curvy girl portion of the site, a stint in some kind of diversity inclusion piece every now and then and that’s about it. There hasn’t been a curvy model to be the face of a major beauty line, or a clothing line that was for all sizes and not just curvy women, or consistently used at a runway designer’s show for inspiration and not just because the designers was friends with them. (Honorable mention: Candice Huffine for Theallet.)
And curvy models constantly have to talk about their size, what they eat, and how they wanted to be labeled, further dividing them from mainstream models who are only asked how they make their skin look so great, and what kind of hair products they use.
But in Ashley Graham’s new cover on April’s Maxim Magazine, she talks about getting serious about making her brand bigger than the curvy world. “I know these celebrity entrepreneurs are just people. They’ve just been given the right opportunities and have soared with them. And that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m in total build-the-empire mode right now.”
She already walked the runway at Paris Fashion Week, has had a good amount of magazine coverage lately (ahem Sports Illustrated) has the BEYOND dress collection with dressbarn and the Addition ELLE lingerie line; she’s definitely on her way to world domination, which makes room for more.