Ashley Graham: 'I'd Absolutely Walk For Victoria's Secret!'
The plus-size lingerie queen celebrates her NYFW success...
When IMG model Ashley Graham made her New York Fashion week debut earlier this week in designs from her #SizeSexy lingerie collection for Addition Elle, the body confident mega babe not only set the internet ablaze, she set fire to the rule book that says you have to be a certain size to look drop dead gorgeous in your pants.
We caught up with the Nebraskan native to ask her what it's like to be a role model for the body positive movement that's happening in fashion, whether she'd ever consider joining the world's most desirable underwear girl squad, and what we can do to take better selfies in our bikinis – priorities, people!
MTV Style: Hey Ashley! How are you?
Ashley Graham: Feeling fabulous and curvalicious!
MTV Style: Talk us through an average day in the life of you...
Ashley: On a shoot day, I could wake up anywhere between 6am and 8am, throw on my favourite eye mask and head to set. Other days are jam packed with go-sees, press interviews, showroom fittings, workouts and public speeches. Oh, and lots of social media.
MTV Style: There was nothing ‘average’ about the swagger you and your girl squad brought to the NYFW runway earlier this week though – congratulations! The response has been awesome!
Ashley: Thank you! It was so surreal. I’m overwhelmed by the positive support everyone has been showing me, and I’m glad the show and the collection made such an impact.
MTV Style: How long have you been working on the lingerie line and what did you hope to achieve with this collection?
Ashley: I’ve actually been designing my line with Addition Elle since 2013. With each new collection, we’re learning more about our customers’ needs, and what they want to buy. We always aim to create a collection with pieces that are supportive and sexy. For this collection, I definitely wanted to up the sexy factor and add some bondage and lace, two of my favourite things.
MTV Style: Debuting during New York Fashion Week isn’t for the weak though. You must have been confident that you’d slay, right?
Ashley: I’d consider myself a pretty confident woman, so yes. But I was also very confident in my team and the other models we selected to walk the show. We all slayed!
MTV Style: #IAmSizeSexy – Explain the hashtag for us?
Ashley: This campaign Addition Elle and I developed is all about owning and embracing your size, and telling the world that you will not be defined by a label in your pants. There is no ‘right’ size, and there is no ‘wrong’ size. I talk all about it in my TEDx talk that you should check out.
MTV Style: You’ve also leant your name to Lane Bryant's #ImNoAngel and #PlusIsEqual campaigns. How does it feel to be a role model for the body positive movement that is happening in fashion at the moment?
Ashley: I love it. Not many women are comfortable speaking publicly about their insecurities or ‘imperfections’ that society tells them they have. Cellulite, rolls, thick thighs – I have it, I’ve learned to embrace it, and I talk about it, which then helps other women feel comfortable in their own skin.
MTV Style: How has the industry treated you being the size you are and what positive changes have you seen happen in the fashion industry since you began modelling?
Ashley: I get a lot of love from people in the fashion industry at whatever size I am. I’ve seen the industry make great strides relating to body diversity and showing more curves in ads, on magazine covers and more. There’s definitely more progress to be made, but we’re moving in the right direction.
MTV Style: What advice would you give to someone who might be reading this and struggling with their own body confidence?
Ashley: Stop comparing yourself to other women. You were given one body. It’s yours and only yours, and don't let anyone tell you how it should look. As long as you feel good and healthy in your own skin, that’s all that matters.
MTV Style: Earlier this year you made history when you appeared in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, in a plus-size swimwear ad, for swimwear retailer SwimsuitsForAll. Please tell us you plan to make history again next year by landing yourself an editorial in the mag?
Ashley: Honey, you’ll just have to wait and find out! Did you see my casting video?!
MTV Style: If the opportunity arose, would you like to work with Victoria's Secret?
Ashley: Absolutely! I never pass up an opportunity to be in my lingerie.
MTV Style: Say you did walk for Victoria’s Secret, which babe of a singer would you love to serenade you as you strut past them on the runway?
Ashley: Ooooooh, I’d have to say The Weeknd.
MTV Style: We know you're a pro at them, so how do we take the perfect bikini selfie?
Ashley: Light is key! It can make or break any selfie!
MTV Style: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Ashley: I love to try new and fun workouts, and go on dates with my hubby.
MTV Style: Any guilty pleasures you can’t seem to quit?
Ashley: Does Snapchat count? @TheAshleyGraham... Follow me!
MTV Style: As we say goodbye to warm sunny weather, now that autumn is fast approaching, what are you going to miss the most about summer?
Ashley: Bikinis for sure, but I won’t be packing those away quite yet!
Follow Ashley on Instagram