Ashley Graham is adamant new models breaking into the industry need to be more than just “a pretty face”.
The curvy model is one of the hottest names in the business and has recently landed gigs for the likes of Lane Bryant, Revlon and Rag & Bone.
Ashley has also created a swimwear line in partnership with Swimsuits For All and denim capsule collection for Marina Rinaldi, and has now shared how important it is for rising stars to diversify in order to have longevity in fashion.
“You can’t just be a pretty face,” she told The New York Times. “You can’t just be a hot body. It’s really about being a businesswoman. It’s about having a voice. It’s about what are you doing to change your world and leave a legacy and a mark for the next generation.”
Ashley went on to explain that she still works on her runway walk and often worries that she’s going to fall on her face when strutting her stuff.
However, she finds it disappointing that it’s always the same fashion designers that cast plus-size models for Fashion Week presentations.
“We’re left with probably Michael Kors, Christian Siriano, Tome, Chromat. Oh, Alexander McQueen had two curvy girls. And that’s it,” the 30-year-old sighed. “If you really think about it, there really aren’t a lot of designers that are putting curvy women in their shows. But if you think about it glass half full, there’s never been designers that put curvy girls in their show.”
As very few curvy models get hired for shows, Ashley often feels there’s more pressure on her as she needs to represent a “whole community”. And she thinks it is the models who are sized between a U.S. four and a U.S. 12 (size U.K. eight – U.K. 16) that struggle to get gigs the most.
“When you’re a straight-size model, you have to be between a size 0 and a size 4. When you’re curvy, you have to be between a size 12 and a 16 in order to get the great work. So it’s those girls that are in between…where are the jobs for them?” she questioned.
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