Robyn Lawley is a gorgeous model who has posed for the likes of Ralph Lauren and covered Vogue Italia. And, like the average American woman, she’s also a size 12. In fashion world, that means she is considered “plus-sized.”
It also means, that just like the average American woman, finding a swimsuit that fit properly was a real pain in the ass. So Lawley ended up either buying suits in larger sizes to hide problem areas or just went to the beach in thread-bare suits to avoid the hassle of finding a new one.
“I’m a girl from Australia, we go to the beach often, and I’ve been a swimmer my whole life,” she told me. “It felt odd to me that even at 22, 23 years old I was going to the beach without feeling comfortable in what I wore.” (Amen!)
Since all the best ideas are bred from necessity, Lawley has launched her own swimwear line. She designed the line with herself and her friends in mind. “You know, we’re not plus-sized girls, we’re normal sized girls,” she says, “so the swimwear in my mind is really being designed for the average sized woman, not the ‘plus-sized’ woman.” (Amen again!)
Lawley and her team went into the design process with an average-sized body in mind, engineering her suits to be as practical and well-fit as they are pretty. She promises her line will support your boobs and won’t cut love handles into your sides–and still look cool and young.
Right now, the line is only available in US sizes 8 through 18–but please don’t call it a “plus-sized” line. “This whole ‘plus-sized’ term has really had a negative effect on women,” Lawley said, frustrated. “It’s okay in the fashion world referring to us booking models, but in the regular world I shouldn’t be called a ‘plus-size’ at all.”
“I don’t feel plus-sized, I feel regular sized,” she continued, “and I think that plays with girls who look at me and look up to me and think, ‘Oh my god, if she’s plus-sized, then what am I?’”
As a size 14 myself, Lawley shared my frustrations at not just the lack of fashionable clothing choices above a size 10, but at the lack of average-sized women represented on runways and in magazines. “I wish it wasn’t so rarely done,” she sighed. “If [average-sized women] were included [on the runways and in magazines] on a regular basis no one would make such a huge uproar about it. But because it’s rare, that’s the reality.”
She hopes the “plus-size” concept will go away altogether. “I grew up with women respecting themselves and I hope to continue that and try to force my way into the media so girls can have someone that’s more like them to look up to,” she says with a small laugh.
Ultimately, Lawley hopes to expand the line in the future to include more sizes–and of course, more women. “I just want it to be that brand for women to go to and know that they’re going to look cool on the beach and they’re also going to be supported,” she said.
Check out more looks from Lawley’s line, available in the US exclusively at Madison Plus Select: