Nobody knows bikinis better than Ashley Graham. And after years of posing in sexy swimwear for shoots, including the cover of the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, the supermodel has finally put all of that know-how to good use with her own collection, Ashley Graham x Swimsuits for All, available now.
Inspired by James Bond, or rather Jane Bond, Graham set out to create pieces that would empower women to feel good about their bodies. “First and foremost, I wanted to make a string bikini,” she told us when she stopped by our N.Y.C. offices yesterday. "There are women my size that want to wear one and it's hard to find something to fit 47-inch hips or 36-DDD boobs.” Besides bikinis, the line also features everything from a Swarovski Crystal-covered two-piece to a sporty maillot with zippers and built-in support. “Every time I’ve ever worn a one-piece there was never a bra in it, so the girls would always go down,” she said. “I made sure every one-piece in my line had a bra embedded in it.”
Since Graham has pretty much seen and worn it all when it comes to swim, she had a few thoughts on how to make the try-on process a little more painless too. "Swimsuit shopping is not fun,” she said. "So go get a spray tan. Make sure you realize that the light that is coming over you in the dressing room is not going to be cute—just go with it.” Graham also suggested bringing along a friend for a second opinion. “Have them take photos of you,” she said. "And remember, you're not going to just try on one. You’re going to try on a ton, so if you walk away with one that's all that matters.”
And once you find that perfect suit? Graham says it’s all about channeling your confidence before you hit the beach. “It's not always easy to wear a bikini, especially when you're doing a photo shoot for the first time for Sports Illustrated, but you have to own who you are,” she said. “I get a spray tan, and I talk to myself. I say ‘thick thighs, you are just so sexy you can't stop rubbing each other.’ At the end of the day, I have an overwhelming love for myself and appreciation for my body, and confidence like that is key. And when you're half-naked on the beach, you will be able to embody that if you love who you are.”
Check out our Facebook Live broadcast above to hear our full interview with the star, during which she talks about the summer trend she is obsessed with, the best piece of style advice she has ever received, and what it was like to kiss Joe Jonas in DNCE’s new video, “Toothbrush." And for more from Graham, check out her Great Style Has No Size column in the June issue of InStyle, on newsstands and available for digital download now.