Plus-size models have been making major headlines lately: Ashley Graham in Sports Illustrated, Myla Dalbesio for Calvin Klein, and, most recently, Denise Bidot for Target’s Lilly Pulitzer collection, to name a few. As these plus-size campaigns become more mainstream in fashion and garner more media attention, the world is getting to know plus-size models—but only a fraction of them.
While there are a handful of top plus-size models, there are a plethora of ones you’ve yet to hear about. You know the former because you’ve seen them. I know the latter because I was one: modeling for catalogs and e-commerce jobs, casting my butt off, and trying to forge industry relationships for a chance at the big jobs.
I know all too well that, while most of the industry’s high-profile (and high-fashion) jobs are landed by a handful of the same models, there are hundreds of other models working in fashion capitals around the world. That cadre of diverse and rare beauties are working small jobs, playing with their career strategies, and hustling hard while waiting for their big break. With this month’s #ImNoAngel campaign from Lane Bryant, the mainstream was introduced to some of these new faces—and it got me thinking. It’s about time that we start taking chances on new models!
I’m not alone in hoping that as the burgeoning plus-size market expands and becomes more “normal,” we’ll see a wider range of models at work. Until then, here are the ones I can’t wait to see in the big leagues.
Name: Victoria Lee
You may know her from: Lee is making headlines following her appearance in Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign.
Name: Carey Murphy
Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe
You may know her from: Murphy, a relative newcomer, has already appeared alongside Candice Huffine in CR Fashion Book‘s fifth issue by Brigitte Niedermair.
Name: Barbara Ferreira
Hometown: New York City
You may know her from: You may recognize this social media powerhouse from American Apparel advertising and Petra Collins’ infamous work.
Name: Christina Andrew
You may know her from: Andrew is a new favorite of Forever21 and Eloquii. Click Forever21’s home page or sift through an Eloquii look book to see her.
Name: Iskra Lawrence
Hometown: Worcestershire, England
You may know her from: Lawrence appears in Aerie’s unretouched campaigns and recently made news by implementing the National Eating Disorders Association’s inaugural NEDA Inspires award.
Name: Iman McDonnaugh
Hometown: Long Island, New York
You may know her from: After landing an Isabel Toledo for Lane Bryant lookbook, McDonnaugh nabbed a (very!) coveted Models.com feature.
Name: Elly Mayday
Hometown: Aylesbury, Canada
You may know her from: Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign also features this inspiring ovarian cancer survivor and activist.
Name: Emma Sanders
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
You may know her from: Sanders comes to the States by way of New Zealand, Japan, and Germany. She first frequented ASOS and now shoots Lane Bryant swimwear advertising.
Name: Whitney Wells
Hometown: Encinitas, California
You may know her from: Wells is e-commerce gold! You’ll find her while shopping Old Navy, Torrid, Lucky Brand Jeans, Fredrick’s of Hollywood, and more.
Name: Jocelyn Corona
Hometown: Mexico City
You may know her from: After only six months in the industry, Corona already made waves by walking in Chromat’s FW15 runway show.
Name: Sabina Karlsson
Hometown: Vyxjo, Sweden
You may know her from: Karlsson is not a newcomer, but she’s certainly one to watch. You’ll also recognize her from the runways of Chromat and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Name: Iris Monroe Bakker
Hometown: Enkhuizen, Amsterdam
You may know her from: After an Elena Miro campaign and the cover of Dutch Elle there’s no ignoring this beauty!