By Amanda Richards
Sep 11, 2018 @ 9:00 am
Courtesy IPM Model Management, Lynell Smith

Four years ago, I read a headline that surprised me more than it probably should have:

“You Might Actually Start Seeing Models With Curves in Fashion Shows.”

In 2014, the idea seemed novel at best; at worst, it felt preposterous. Plus-size models existed, even in the ‘90s — remember Emme, Mia Tyler, and Sophie Dahl?  Generally, they were cast in campaigns far less than their straight-size counterparts, and rarely showed up on the runway. In 2006, Jean-Paul Gaultier cast a size 28 model for Paris Fashion Week, but it felt like more of a gimmick than an inflection point.

Could an industry that had spent decades ignoring plus-size people — clothing, shoppers and yes, models — have actually come around to the idea of putting plus-size models on runways?

RELATED: A NYFW Street Style Gallery Dedicated to Plus-Size Women

Thankfully, that’s exactly what happened. In the last several years, the fashion industry has made major changes with regard to size inclusivity. Granted, designers still don’t make enough clothing for plus-size women, and being plus-size in the fashion industry is still a challenge, but there is undeniably more size representation in fashion than ever before. Designers like Chromat and Christian Siriano regularly use plus-size models on their runways. Ashley Graham isn’t an outlier: she’s a household name. Plus-size models like Marquita Pring, Tess Holliday, Robyn Lawley, Hunter McGrady, and Candace Huffine regularly make headlines and covers. Modeling agencies have entire divisions dedicated to hiring models over a size 12. This evolution has made space for more plus-size models to not only shoulder their way into the industry, but also to actually build a career in it.

These up-and-coming plus-size models aren’t household names yet, but with any luck, they will be. Some of them are with major agencies, others are unsigned. All of them have appeared in campaigns and/or editorials, and they're still just getting started. Check them out below — you're going to have a whole new list of people to follow when you're done.

Solange Van Doorn

Age: 19
Instagram: @solangevandoorn
Agency: IMG Models
You may have seen her in: Campaigns for Calvin Klein Body, Victoria’s Secret PINK.

Staci Pratt

Age: 27
Instagram: @stacipratt
Agency: IPM Model Management
You may have seen her in: TV series Suite Life on Deck, and recent print campaigns for Lee Jeans, Ashley Stewart, and JC Penney.  

Jazzmine Carthon

Age: 26
Instagram @jazzminecarthon
Agency: IPM Model Management
You may have seen her in: Project Runway, where she was one of the first plus-size contestants to win the model portion of the competition. She's also been in campaigns for Good American, Ashley Stewart, Rainbeau Curves, and Gwynnie Bee, and has walked NYFW runways for Michael Costello, Esmara by Heidi Klum, Coco & Ilia, and Leanne Marshall.

Alexis Henry

Age: 27
Instagram: @thealexishenry
Agency: IPM Model Management
You may have seen her in: The latest Universal Standard and Dia & Co campaigns, as well as campaigns with Nike and lifestyle brand Fe Noel.

Dani Candray

Age:19
Agency: Unsigned
Instagram: @alopeachia
You may have seen her in: GabiFresh x Swimsuits for All campaign and #AerieREAL’s latest campaign.

Maxey Greene

Age: 28
Instagram: @maxeygreene
Agency: Dorothy Combs Models
You may have seen her in: Campaigns for American Eagle, Eloquii, AdditionElle, and Target.

Ariel Pierre Louis

Age: 23
Instagram: @couvertier_louis
Agency: Unsigned
You may have seen her in: Campaigns for Universal Standard, Chromat, and Curvy Couture. Pierre-Louis has also been featured in Ethical Style Journal, O Magazine, Essence, and Forbes.

Tayler Smith

Age: 24
Instagram: @ttaylersmithh
Agency: Unsigned
You may have seen her: Modeling for plus-size brand Universal Standard. 

Alessandra Gargia

Age: 27
Instagram: @alessandragl
Agency: IMG
You may have seen her: Dolce & Gabbana's recent campaign. 

Tinder Badhesha

Instagram: @tinderoni​​​​​​
Agency: IPM Model Management
You may have seen her in: Campaigns for Savage x Fenty, JC Penney, Kohl's, Curvy Couture Intimates, Z by Zevarra, Rainbeau Curves, Charlotte Rouse, and Mathew Paul Robinson.

Jessica Milagros Guzman

Instagram: @jmilagrosplus
Agency: IPM Model Management
You may have seen her in: A national JCPenney commercial where she was the first size 16/18 model ever featured. She's also been in campaigns for Target, Fashion to Figure, and Ashley Stewart.

Max

Age: 33
Instagram: @curvesandcatwalks
Agency: BiCoastal Management
You may have seen her: Walking the runway for Christian Siriano x Lane Bryant in 2016.

 

 

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