unnamedPlus-size models are finally a little more visible in the fashion industry.

When Ford Models shut down its plus-size division last summer, a group of New York City models decided to form ALDA to promote size diversity in modeling. The group then approached IMG Models – an agency that normally represents straight-size supermodels – and each of the models were all signed this past January.

“I have literally gone on more castings in five months than in the last 10 years of my career,” says Ashley Graham, a 26-year-old plus-size supermodel from Brooklyn.

Graham, a size 16, has since covered the June issue Elle Quebec and was handpicked for a fashion editorial in Harper’s Bazaar.

It probably helps that demand for clothing sized 14 and up has increased 7 percent – totaling $17.6 billion in sales – in the past year, according to David Riley from the market research company, the NPD Group. Makes perfect sense for increased demand in plus-size models, too, right?

So what would ALDA like to see next?

Oh, hopefully mainstream health and beauty campaigns, a Sports Illustrated spread, and some catwalk-strutting in New York Fashion Week.

And perhaps sample clothing for runway shows and editorial shoots that represent curvy girls and not straight-size girls who wear a size 0 or 2.

“I am just waiting for a designer to have the balls to do that,” says Catherine Schuller, a former plus-size model who now runs fashion events that promote diversity.

Read more here.


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  • The New Randomness

    While I applaud these women, the concept of the plus-size model has always been puzzling and a little frustrating for me. No matter the size, models have to be 5’9 or taller. A 5’10, size 16 woman looks a lot different than a size 16 who’s only 5’4 (my height). In my mind, none of the women pictured above are plus size, so I can’t relate or see myself looking good in the clothes they model any more than I can see myself in something that Naomi Campbell might wear. Hope that makes sense.

    • vintage3000

      I know what you mean, I used to be a fashion designer and worked with production for different markets. It sounds like you are a plus size petite, which a lot of brands ignore altogether.

      I remember plus size model Emme from the 1990’s, she made a LOT of money because as a plus size lady she is still very tall with a small waist and good muscle tone. There is still a fantasy ideal standard with plus size modeling that a lot of women don’t relate to.

    • ALM247

      You are right about height making a difference. I was reading the blog above, and I immediately said out loud that “Ashley Graham doesn’t look like a size 16 to me”.

      Some people who are average height may also have a body type that makes them look 10 or 15 lbs smaller than they are.

      I think body type is a lot of it. Where on the body a woman carries her weight can make a big difference.

  • ALM247

    It never ceases to amaze me that with $18 billion on the table, some of these retailers still refuse to carry sizes over a size 12.

    How foolish to you have to be that even the prospect of hundreds of millions of dollars will not force you to expand the size options of a clothing line?

  • N.B.

    it really just depends on idk i guess your genetics?? Im not sure but what I am saying is I am 5’10 and a size 16 and my body doesnt look anywhere like hers. I looked up her measurements and she is an inch shorter than me and again my body looks nothing like her but technically we are both a size 16 similar height.

    ALso, im one of those people who carries the weight in my face. Ms Graham doesnt as many dont who may be a size 16 or size 22 but still have small faces, i dont. at any rate i guess i just agree with everyone. while it would be impossible i guess to..

  • Ayumi

    Go vegan, obesity goes away..no need for plus sizes! Problems solved!