Women come in all shapes and sizes, we know that. Yet, to see fair and equal representation of more than one type of body image in magazines – other than size 00 – on TV and walking the runway of the Victoria's Secret fashion show is a rarity. However, one young, curvy and ambitious woman is changing the game and she goes by the name of Ashley Graham. This bodacious lady is one of the top plus-size supermodels in the world and has been featured in magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and was recently on the December 2014 cover of Net-A-Porter’s magazine, The Edit.
This lovely lady was recently in Toronto to launch her new spring 2015 lingerie collection with Addition Elle, her fifth collection with the Montreal-based retailer. Launching in March, the 11-piece collection consists of bras and matching panties, a body suit and a chemise in the colours of black and baby blue. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak with her, read below and find out Ashley’s secrets to life, happiness and success.
Astrological sign: Scorpio
Your runway walk song would be: Beyoncé©’s “Get Me Bodied”
Cindy Crawford or Naomi Campbell: Cindy Crawford hands down!
Cheese pizza or cheese burgers: Cheese pizza
You’re in front the camera 24/7 and for photo shoots you can be dressed in anything from a trench coat to a string bikini. Do you still have moments where you feel self-consciousness about your body?
No. I think every woman has her moments when she feels a little thick or chubby – and yes I have those – but I look at myself in the mirror and say “Suck it up this is your job, let’s do this.” As women it can be hard to come out of those dark moments and understand how to do it, but it’s my job and words have so much power, especially words of affirmation to yourself.
What would be your number one affirmation?
I say to myself every day, “You are a strong, powerful woman and you will rule the world.”
What did you find about women’s lingerie that missed the mark for curvy ladies and how does your Addition Elle collection make-up for it?
It was finding a good mix between sexy and supportive. My lingerie collection for Additional Elle has a little bit of bondage and a little bit of Fifty Shades of Grey; there’s not just simple lace, but the expensive Parisian lace and in this collection we also have a bodysuit, which is very difficult to find one that fits a larger cup size and gives good support. And for the first time ever, we’ve gone up to G and H cups sizes, which was the number one feedback we received from customers and here we are ladies!
On your Instagram account we see you do everything from kickboxing to pilates, how do you stay so motivated?
Girl you just go! I have tons of energy but I also have to keep my body in shape because I am a lingerie model. I’ve created Curvy Fit Club, which is my workout videos on Net-a-Porter, for curvy women who want to stay fit and tight, and keep her womanly shape. Women can look at someone who is a size 14 and see that she has a real body with cellulite and curves, but who is still sexy, fit and healthy. Hashtag #IAmSizeSexy.
You’ve been married to you husband Justin since 2010. Can you recall the exact moment you realized he was the one?
Oh yes! We were driving to his mother’s birthday party and we have a game that we play called the Nice Game; whoever initiates the game first, the other person has to say something nice about them and vice versa. He tricked me and he said, “I love that you love me” and at that point we hadn’t said “I love you yet.” I replied “You’re right I do love you” and for me that was it.
Finish this sentence: I want women around the world to ___________.
Feel comfortable in their own skin.
What are three things in your wardrobe that you cannot live without?
They are my lingerie, black skinny jeans and a tight little black dress.
If you could create a recipe for happiness, what would it contain?
It would definitely have lots of sunshine, lingerie, sand and mimosas.
Name a famous person (celebrity or historical figure) you would like to do brunch with and why?
I’m dying to meet Kathy Ireland. She is a huge inspiration to me because she crossed over from modelling to design, becoming a mega millionaire and gracing the cover of Forbes magazine.