Ashley Graham, a model, designer, entrepreneur, and a host was born on October 30, 1987, in Lincoln, Nebraska, to a homemaker (mother) and a database marketer (father).
The size-14 model started her modeling career at the age of 12 when she was spotted by a modeling agent while at the mall in her native home in Nebraska with her father. She was later signed up with an international modeling agency at the age of 13.
Soon after, she began to appear in commercials and catalogs, as she gradually learned what it takes to be a serious model. She relocated to New York City when she was 18 years old to focus solely on her career.
In her rapidly developing career, she has worked on everything including editorial, commercials, runway, television, film, and catalog. She is best recognized for her work as a model for the plus-size lingerie company, Lane Bryant and as a TV presenter as well as a social media influencer.
Her TV appearances included a contentious Lane Bryant commercial in 2010, and a musical video in 2016. She had also worked as an official judge for America’s Next Top Model and a backstage host for the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Ashley started presenting the Lifetime reality competition series American Beauty Star in 2019.
Making History on the Cover of Sports Illustrated
In 2016, she made history by becoming the first plus-sized or rather, curvy model to appear on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuits cover.
(Photo: ASHLEY GRAHAM ON THE FRONT COVER OF THE 2016 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT)
As a result of her success in the fashion industry, the American model also introduced clothing lines at Dress Barn, Addition Elle, and Swimsuits for All, and also published her first ever memoir, titled, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like.
She has also worked with different fashion campaigns which include Bloomingdale, Liz Claiborne, Hanes, Macy, Levi, and Nordstrom.
Ashley Graham's First Major Contract
(Photo: ASHLEY GRAHAM WITH OTHER FASHION STARS)
The curvy model secured her first major contract with Revlon in 2018 to front its “Live Boldly” campaign alongside three other fashion stars, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah, and Raquel Zimmermann.
According to Revlon, Ashley was chosen as an ambassador because of her resilience in the fashion world, rising to be among the highest paid models in the industry irrespective of her plus-sized body which has been a motivator for all other curvy women.
Ashley claims that this action is the most significant one in her career as she became the first plus-sized model to walk the runway at the New York Fashion Week.
Ashley is a model that is well known for her approachability and body confidence. She has also grown to be one of the modeling industry’s most renowned faces, especially among curvy women.
Appearing on the covers of major fashion publications throughout the world, including Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, and also cat walking on the runway for well-known fashion houses and designers has also gradually increased her popularity.
Graham’s accomplishments would be noteworthy by any standard, as she stands out because of the doors she has opened for plus-sized women in the fashion industry as a whole.
She has questioned not only the modeling and fashion industries, but also the standards of beauty acceptability in our culture today.