Ford+, the plus size division of Ford models, just put out a new promotional book featuring some of their top models. What's striking about Ford's latest promotional push is that it's simply comprised of beautiful high-fashiony images of models who happen to not be straight size (that means they are not a 0 and can be anywhere from a size 8 to 18). It seems to be (and hopefully is) part of trend of incorporating models who aren't 0s and 2s--not just Crystal Renn--into the high fashion world, beyond catalogues.
Gary Dakin, the head of Ford's plus board, has been with the modeling agency for the last 13 years. In that time span, he says the market has changed dramatically for plus size models.
"There are better clients, jobs, photographers, rates, etc.," he says. "The girls have evolved too...they are challenged now more than ever to be better and they challenge the industry right back."
Dakin pinpoints the moment the industry began shifting to embrace plus to around 10 years ago. "It actually started changing when Kate Dillon hit and plus models started getting recognized. Crystal [Renn] took it to new heights as she challenged and changed minds. She, as Kate did before, opened doors."
Today's plus stars like Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine, Marquita Pring and Tara Lynn continue to book major campaigns, high fashion editorials, and the occasional Paris runway show.
Take a look at the plus stars of tomorrow. Some of them (like Inga Eiriksdottir and Alyona Osmanova) started off as straight size models and made the transition to plus.