Model, Instagram star and lingerie designer Ashley Graham is changing the industry. In a recent interview with FLARE, Ashley explains why internet trolls don’t bother her and what makes her feel beautiful and specifically how the fashion industry has changed. She also talks about what she wants to do to push it even further, and the democratization of lacy underthings.
Starting modelling at the age of just 12, Graham saw it as an opportunity, because there was so much diversity coming in and out of it. She saw the industry as a platform to speak her mind and to have women feel better about themselves, because “throughout history women haven’t felt great about themselves in relation to the fashion industry.” She believes that it’s not just about conforming to a certain type of beauty, but instead being who you are and embracing yourself through fashion, through clothes, through art.
When asked “How has the industry changed since you’ve been working in it?”, she said, “It’s changed immensely.” Being a part of the industry for over 15 years, at times in the past, she has felt like the plus-size girl was only going to be the catalogue girl. “But now plus-size women are everywhere”, Ashley explains. She talked about the cause of this shift and how it’s because people have wanted to see more curvy girls, and now there are big-name photographers shooting curvy girls.
Further into the interview Ashley was asked about her widespread Instagram following. She explained about how she grew up idolizing people with curves like, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and J.Lo. She wanted women to feel like they have multiple women to look up to, and that they’re not alone. Ashley explains, “It doesn’t matter if I have cellulite, it doesn’t matter if society thinks that I’m fat, I don’t have to say a word, my Instagram fans fight the battle for me”.
On top of her extremely successful model career, Ashley has started her own plus-size lingerie line with the help of Roslyn Griner, the VP marketing director at Addition Elle. Once she got the idea she ran with it and found herself signing papers within weeks. FLARE asked what made her ideas stand apart from any other lingerie company. She explained by talking about how she used a lacy fabric, but still staying very comfortable and affordable, “I want to feel sexy in my lingerie, and I want it to be an all-day thing.”, Ashley explained. She wears her own products primarily and says that they are what truly make her feel beautiful.
Lastly, when asked what next for her, she talked about curvy fit club, which is a workout video she put together with her trainer to help women who are more curvy keep their curves and keep them toned. It’s not necessarily to lose weight but to stay fit, but for your average girl, who likes to keep everything tight. She wants women to feel inspired and not feel like they have to look at a twig when they’re working out.