Ashley Graham Returns For Her Second Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Shoot

Last year, Ashley Graham made headlines as the first size 16 to ever grace a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover, launching a high-profile modeling career that has included Vogue covers and her own plus-size Barbie doll. Now, Graham is again going to be a featured swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated, proving that once was not enough. Sharing news of the recent swimsuit shoot, Ashley talks about the past year and what she has planned for the future, as well as her experience in modeling for Sports Illustrated for a second time.

Ashley Graham Is Once Again Bearing Her Bikini-Clad Body For Sports Illustrated

Ashley Graham will return for her second Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. [Image by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images]

Ms. Graham has said that her first Sports Illustrated photo shoot changed her life, so, as People reports, it seemed like a no-brainer for Ashley to again join the ranks of fashion’s hottest models in filling up Sports Illustrated’s latest swimsuit edition. If Graham had expected a repeat of last year’s shoot, she was pleasantly surprised. The model and fashion designer says this year’s photos are more “high end” and compared the experience to her recent shoots with Vogue.

Ashley describes this year’s swimsuit photos as sexy with an editorial edge, but she’s quick to add that working with a new and renowned photographer has added to the high-quality images.

“I’ve never shot with Yu Tsai before, he is so charismatic and what I really like about Yu Tsai is he lets me be me,” says Graham.

Tsai returns the compliment, saying that Ashley exudes confidence and that translates into a special kind of magic for photographer and model. Yu says Graham’s energy can be felt in her photographs, as well as through his camera lens.

To become a regular member of the Sports Illustrated family, Graham says it feels like she’s been validated as a model and as a woman. She also says she’s grateful for the opportunity to continue living her dream.

“Every single day I’m pinching myself…because I had no idea that any dream that I ever thought of could actually be a reality and I feel so lucky and so blessed to be where I am today.”

Michael Kors Also Courted Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham models Michael Kors’ fall/winter line at New York Fashion Week. [Image by JP Yim/Getty Images]

While being asked to return for another Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue was certainly enough to fill Graham with pride, it was, by no means, her only boastful accomplishment in recent weeks, as her walk down the runway at New York Fashion Week can attest. Elle reports that Ashley modeled outfits for Michael Kors, helping to bring attention to the fashion house’s fall/winter collection at the annual event.

Graham’s participation in the runway show is significant, particularly because Kors previously stated that there wouldn’t be an opportunity to present plus size models in his fashion shows in the foreseeable future.

“The only reason we don’t have plus size on the runway, for me to have the range of sizes I would have to have a football stadium filled with clothes before I was able to put on a fashion show. I’d have to have everything from a size 2 to a size 18,” Michael Kors previously said.

The fashion designer added that, just because plus sizes aren’t represented in fashion shows, that doesn’t mean they aren’t available. At the time, Kors said the sizes modeled are meant to be representative of a wider range of sizes that run up to a size 16.

For her part in the fashion show, Ashley Graham modeled a one-piece black dress with a matching wide belt and a salt and pepper fur coat, which was draped around her shoulders. Ms. Graham turned heads at New York Fashion Week and may have given Michael Kors reason to take back his limiting comments on using plus size models for future fashion events.

[Featured Image by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images]

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