2016 has officially been the year of Ashley Graham: she was the first plus-sized model on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, she launched a lingerie line AND a swimsuit line, and she got sexy with one of the Brothers Jonas in the best music video of the year.
And if she were a straight-size model, she'd be hailed as the second coming of Cindy Crawford. But because she wears a size 16, she couldn't POSSIBLY be a supermodel. That would be CRAZY.
But her latest achievement is changing all that.
Ashley is officially the new face of H&M Studio's Fall 2016 line, officially destroying fashion's outdated "plus" barrier.
As reported by Harper's Bazaar, this is the first time a plus-size model is representing the H&M brand as a whole. Casting body-diverse models in campaigns should be standard in the fashion world — not a one-off incident, or something that ONLY happens when a brand needs some positive PR.
Could this be the beginning of mainstream fashion getting a clue, and realizing that plus-size shouldn't be seen as second best? Because Ashley is now not *just* world's most famous plus-size model; she's a damn supermodel, PERIOD.
The H&M collection is inspired by "folkloric romance, femininity and female power" — so Graham was a natural fit.
"My hope is that young women who shop at H&M see me in the ads and are reminded that there is not one standard definition of beauty or one perfect size."
"We're seeing more inclusivity when it comes to size, and we have to continue featuring more and more diversity," says Graham.