Article Nov 17, 2016

You are no longer passing

Ashley Graham: 'I started to face criticism when I moved to New York'

Ashley Graham first experienced career criticism when she moved to New York.

The curvy model broke boundaries in fashion when she was featured in the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and has continued to land campaign after campaign.

While many embrace Ashley’s plus-size frame, the brunette star admits not everyone has been so kind.

“When I came into the industry at 12 years old I didn’t understand what perfection was, I didn’t understand what plus-size was,” she opened up to “I didn’t understand what the modelling industry was even about.

“And I never really got criticism until I moved to New York. And it wasn’t even just people in the fashion industry that gave me flack, it was society.”

Accordingly, Ashley is now a keen champion of diversity. And she hopes that women around the world will promote body confidence in their daughters from a young age.

“In reality what we need to be doing is not just changing the fashion industry, but we need to change the mentality at home for what beauty and perfection really is,” she shared.

With the shift in attitude towards bigger models, Ashley explains that designers have also taken notice and are now making their clothes in larger sizes.

The 27-year-old name checks Christian Siriano and Prabal Gurung for their plus-size creations, and says slowly but surely more designers are following suit.

“There are a few that are finally pairing up with the same people, but there are so many more that need to do like what Michael Kors has done, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and really just make those extended sizes,” said Ashley.

But what I also really want to see is those designers included make their high end line, go up in extended sizes. Because, I want to buy it!”