Although stunning model Ashley Graham has been in the world of plus-size modeling for 16 years, it was after she was featured in Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue and then later took the publication’s cover that the beauty became a household name and a role model to millions.
Since becoming such a massive star of the modelling world, Graham has begun to use her platform to ignite a conversation about body diversity and the need for media and those in the fashion industry to look beyond the common standards for what determines beauty. Ashley continues to do just this by way of her editorials, campaigns and gorgeous magazine covers, while also heading her own lingerie and swimsuit line. Graham teaches women and the world that all shapes and sizes are beautiful.
— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) August 10, 2016
Ashley’s most recent campaign is for H&M studio, and Refinery 29 shares as to why this campaign is so inspirational in the world of fashion and beauty.
“In her latest gig, Graham handily proves a non-sample sized model can(and should) be the face of a high-profile brand. This ad spot is different. It doesn’t have a size-specific target customer, and that’s a really important distinction.”
Graham has previously walked for H&M’s Paris runway show earlier this year, as well as for other brands as a plus-size model. Yet this campaign throws size labels out the window. Graham spoke to Harper’s Bazaar in regards to her trouble while growing up without curvy role models.
“Growing up, I didn’t have curvy role models, mainly because I didn’t see enough curvy women represented in major ads. My hope is that young women who shop at H&M see me in the ads and are reminded that there is not one standard definition of beauty or one perfect size.”
As noted by the publication, H&M has taken the commendable step to diversify its casting in campaigns in regard to size, shape, ethnicity and age. Within a recent video by the brand, viewers can see a model donning a hijab and a 60-year-old model sporting the H&M swimwear. The brand, therefore, isn’t just paying a shallow sort of lip service to being inclusive, they actually are doing it.
“I refuse to let others dictate how I live my life & what my body should look like…” – @theashleygraham https://t.co/dVYGcqmhIJ
— Lenny (@lennyletter) August 6, 2016
Graham commented on the retailer’s inspiring moves within its campaigns.
“H&M was so honest about including so much diversity and letting people know that there’s really not only one kind of beauty.”
Refinery29 spoke to a spokesperson for H&M who relayed the vision and goal of the brand and its campaigns.
“… a diverse casting in both fashion shows and marketing (meaning models of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities) is ‘natural’ for the brand. ‘It reflects our values, our colleagues, and our customers,’ the retailer said in a statement. ‘This is our reality.’ This philosophy isn’t only refreshing and necessary, it’s also profitable — just look at the success of American Eagle’s #AerieReal initiative.”
The styles that Graham will be showcasing in H&M’s studio line will be available in stores and online starting on September 8. Prices are expected to range from $19.99 to $299.
Harper’s Bazaar shares Graham’s words about what consumers can expect and how she is more than just a sexy swim wear model.
“It’s exciting to be representing one of the most internationally known fashion retailers that is not only offering more options for curvy women, but pieces that have a high fashion aesthetic. Since I’m on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swim and have my own line of swimwear with swimsuitsforall and lingerie with Addition Elle, some people might only recognize me half naked in my bikini and bra! But I actually love modeling clothing and showing women that clothing and style can help your confidence shine.”
[Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Samsung]