Robyn Lawley has become the first plus sized model to spearhead a campaign for high-end designer Ralph Lauren. Most models who are featured in major campaigns are the usual industry stick thin women. Not so for this 23-year old Australian beauty. She stands 6′ 2″ tall and wears a size 12. A far cry from the size 2-6 of regular fashion models.
Lawley started her career as a ‘straight’ size model but found the pressure to maintain a skinny figure extremely difficult. Models are at the mercy of designers when it comes to fitting the sample size clothing for photo-shoots and runway shows. She recently spoke to Good Morning America about the struggle.
“I got a huge amount of pressure to diet. And my body, it was such a battle for me to do that because I’m such a big bone, and I’m tall and I’m broad. I really struggled to maintain that size.”
Eventually she decided to leave the business and travelled to France where she fell in love with the cuisine and the art of cooking. Upon her return home, Lawley noticed the demand for plus sized models had grown and decided she would get back in the modelling game at her fuller size. She was signed by Wilhelmina and has continued to work in the business while becoming a role model for curvy women.
The 23 year-old made headlines last year when she appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia with two other plus-size models. She was also in a fashion spread in the magazine shot by legendary photographer Steven Meisel. Lawley’s success proves that the industry is slowly opening the door of opportunity for women of all shapes and sizes.
It may be a small crack…but it’s slowly opening.