Plus-sized influencers prove a force to be reckoned with
Plus-size influencers are proving to be a strong force within the fashion industry, with faces like Iskra Lawrence and Ashley Graham walking a record number of runway shows and fronting campaign after campaign this season.
After being dropped from her modeling agency for having too high a waist size, Iskra Lawrence wasn’t deterred from her modeling dreams. The UK native quickly landed a spot as the face of Aerie in 2015 and has been with the intimates brand ever since.
Lawrence is a strong advocator for positive body image, penning a column for SELF magazine and acting as the face of the National Eating Disorder Association. In last January, Lawrence even took to the stage to present a TED Talk in Nevada on the importance of self-love.
Fans have gravitated to Lawrence’s transparency – her raw, unretouched social media photos have earned her a following of 3.2 million on Instagram, just 100,000 less than plus-sized supermodel Ashley Graham.
Christian Siriano and Chromat both asked Lawrence walked the NYFW runway for this Fall/Winter 2017 season, only the second time Lawrence has walked the catwalk despite 13 years in the industry. Tome, Prabal Gurung, Oak, and Tracy Reese, Who What Wear, Gypsy Sport, and J.Crew also looked to plus-sized models to add diversity to their runway.
While Lawrence and plus-size supermodel Ashley Graham both had several appearances on the catwalk - with Graham making history as the first plus-size model to walk a Michael Kors show - newer plus-size models, like Jocelyn Corona and Georgia Pratt, also tapped by many designers for their presentations. According to The Fashion Spot, while plus-size models only graced the NYFW runway four times in 2015, this season there were 27 instances of plus-sized models on the NYFW stage.
Retailers adopting body positivity have seen sales soar – since adding specialist sizes like plus-size and petite, Missguided has seen sales surge 34%. Asos quickly followed suit, launching its first men’s plus-size department earlier in 2017. Midwest retailer Meijer cut its plus-size department, placing the plus-size products into its regular size offerings to give shoppers a more inclusive, integrated shopping experience.
Khloe Kardashian launched a size-inclusive denim line called "Good American" late last year, designed for women with bigger curves. Good American had a record-breaking launch, amassing $1,000,000 in sales on the first day.
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