Robyn Lawley has been seen as a trailblazer in the fashion industry, taking plus-size modeling from the fringes to the mainstream, and now the Australian model has another mark to her resume — the first plus-size model in Ralph Lauren’s history.
The 23-year-old model has already been featured on the covers of French Elle and Vogue Italia and recently was named as Ralph Lauren’s covergirl as well, Good Morning America reported. Her work has also helped open doors for other models with non-traditional body types.
“Robyn is absolutely paving the way for fuller figured women to land these larger campaigns,” People magazine’s senior writer Jen Garcia said.
It wasn’t so easy for Lawley. She told Good Morning America that when she started out as a 16-year-old in the modeling industry, keeping up with the demand the be skinny was difficult.
“I got a huge amount of pressure to diet,” she said. “And my body, it was such a battle for me to do that because I’m such a big bone, and I’m tall and I’m broad. I really struggled to maintain that size.”
Fed up with modeling, Robyn Lawley decided to escape it all and move to France.
“I gave up trying to be a model,” she said. “And then I moved to France and fell in love with food all over again, and came back much bigger than I was. And I saw plus- size models doing well. And I decided that I wanted that, I wanted to be in magazines.”
It didn’t take long for her to catch on. By age 19, she was the first plus-size model at the legendary Wilhelmina Modeling Agency.
Robyn Lawley still faces added attention because of her size, New York Magazine noted. At 6-foot-2 and a size 12, she fields more questions about her size than most other models. In fact, on her trip to Good Morning America, the host even asked how much she weighed, to which Lawley diplomatically replied, “Well, I’m a size twelve, and I think weight doesn’t really matter.”
But regardless of the extra attention, Lawley said she is glad to help pave the way for other models like her.
“There’s so many plus-size models in New York doing so well at the moment that it’s only going to get better,” Robyn Lawley said. “I think there’s more understanding and less discrimination.”