Why Ashley Graham Wanted to Shoot a Swimsuit Campaign While Pregnant
Being stunned by one of Ashley Graham's many fashion campaigns isn't rare, but when we saw her latest shoot for Swimsuits For All? Well, we had a feeling it would go down in history. Aside from showing off a variety of sexy bikinis and one-pieces for the Resort '20 collection — Graham's fifith collaboration with the brand — she also cradled her growing belly. ICYMI, the model and her husband, Justin Ervin, are currently expecting their first child, a boy.
"I’ve been blessed to experience many 'firsts' in my career, but this was extra special because it was the first time I shot a swimsuit campaign while pregnant," she revealed to InStyle exclusively over email. "Pregnancy curves are beautiful, and we really wanted to show moms-to-be that they are sexy at any stage of their life. And, I love a cute baby bump in a bikini!"
Of course, we were curious to find out more about whether or not Graham's style had changed a bit throughout the course of her pregnancy, and if she made a resolution for 2020. Thankfully, she was down to answer all that and more, ahead.
What are some things you had to take into consideration for this collaboration that you didn’t previously?
For our 5th-year anniversary collection, we put a strong focus on fit and design that can accommodate any body type to support you in all stages of life. First and foremost, the suits have to fit comfortably, and I know that come this summer, I’ll feel confident and supported in these styles.
You’ve obviously been a body-positive icon for years now. How did that come into play during your pregnancy? Did you feel any pressure to remain positive?
I’ve always been honest about my relationship with my body, and I found it especially important to share my feelings about my body throughout my pregnancy journey. It’s a vulnerable time when your body changes in new and interesting ways, and for me, it wasn’t always easy to embrace that. I looked to my community on social media, as well as my pregnant friends, for support and confidence boosts. We talk about our new stretch marks, weight gain, boobs having a mind of their own — everything!
Has your style changed at all throughout your pregnancy? Is there something you’re wearing more of now during the final stretch?
I had to get more creative with my looks once my belly really popped, but it was fun to find new ways to accentuate it while keeping my personal style. Luckily, some of my favorite looks, like bodycon dresses and cropped jackets, worked well! Right now, as we get closer to the baby’s due date, I’m living in my maternity leggings.
Some people are against investing in maternity-specific clothing. What are your personal feelings on the subject?
I was definitely not a fan of maternity jeans and didn’t wear those at all. But as the bump grew, there were some pieces that required a maternity style, like workout leggings. I couldn’t find a pair with a high enough waistband until I put out a search on Instagram. For more special occasions, my stylist Jordan and I would find ways to wear regular clothing and add paneling or tailor if need be. I’m not sure anyone makes maternity latex dresses!
What is your one-word resolution for 2020?
I don’t make resolutions. Every year, I make a vision board and throughout the year, I implement new affirmations into my routine. But, if I had one word in anticipation for our son, I'd simply say "love."
Graham's 11-piece collection comes in sizes 4 to 24 and is available to shop now on swimsuitsforall.com. All of the items ring in under $150.