She’s easily one of the most in-demand supermodels of today, Ashley Graham, who has appeared on the numerous covers of Vogue and Glamour, walked for the likes of Michael Kors down the runway and has a healthy 4.7 million following on Instagram, could not find anyone to dress her for fashion’s biggest night.
Appearing on the autumn cover of New York Magazine this week, Graham revealed she skipped the Met Gala 2016 event because she couldn’t find anyone to accommodate her plus size figure. In the interview, Graham asserts it was only a matter of not having the right relationships with designers at the time but Jada Yuan, who interviewed Graham for the piece, attests it’s likely no one could help her because she doesn’t adhere to the traditional sample-size range.
"I couldn’t get a designer to dress me,” Graham said, adding that, “you can’t just show up in jeans and a T-shirt.”
In December 2016, Graham appeared on the January 2017 cover of British Vogue and accompanying her editorial, then editor-in-chief, Alexandra Schulman penned an editor’s letter calling out the industry who refused to dress the model for the shoot.
“It seems strange to me that while the rest of the world is desperate for fashion to embrace broader definitions of physical beauty, some of our most famous fashion brands appear to be travelling in the opposite – and, in my opinion, unwise – direction,” Schulman wrote.
While fashion still has a long way to go in terms of inclusivity, Graham is well poised to fight the battle and realises she’s been given a platform and will make good use of it for future models.
“I know I’m on this pedestal because of white privilege,” Graham told Yuan. “To not see black or Latina women as famous in my industry is crazy! I have to talk about it. I want to give those women kudos because they are the ones who paved the way for me.”
Graham attended her first Met Gala in 2017 in a red and blush-toned dress by H&M and spent the night hanging out with Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams.
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