Plus-size Fashion Icons
It's always fascinating to learn how the most famous models were discovered, and these top plus-size models are no exception. From online model scouting sites to model conventions, here's how some of your favorite plus-size models were discovered.

of 06
Ashley Graham
This plus-size superstar was just 12 years old when she was discovered at a model and talent convention. She signed her first modeling contract with a local agency and made the leap to the mega-agency Ford Models three years later. Since then, Ashley has done it all, from editorial and runway modeling to television commercials and movies. The national spotlight was cast on Ashley when she became the first plus-size model ever to wear a bikini on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 2016.

of 06
Tara Lynn
Tara Lynn grew up as a size 14/16 and was always conscious of her size. It wasn't until college that she finally accepted her body. One day, she confidently mustered the courage to walk into a small modeling agency in Seattle, which immediately signed her. She has already graced the cover of Glamour magazine and models for H&M.

of 06
Robyn Lawley
As a teenager, Robyn Lawley struggled to find plus-size modeling work in Australia. She went to casting after casting but was sent home each time because she didn't fit into the tiny sample dresses.

Even after trying every imaginable diet, her body simply couldn't achieve the look required for the mainstream modeling market. It wasn't until she stopped counting calories that her career finally took off. She found an agent, Chelsea Bonner of Bella Model Management, who gave her a new perspective on modeling and told her she was perfect just as she was. Robyn then moved to New York and fought through rejection after rejection until she eventually graced the covers of Italian Vogue and French Elle.

of 06
Marquita Pring
Marquita had always been told she had a beautiful face, so at the age of 15, she decided to give modeling a try. She attended a casting call in Canada and met with dozens of agencies. Most told her she needed to lose weight. However, some liked her look and asked her to do a test photoshoot to ensure she felt comfortable in front of the camera. She felt at ease, and when she brought the photos to a small Canadian agency, they immediately signed her.

of 06
Sophie Dahl
Sophie Dahl's story is somewhat of a legend in the modeling industry. She was discovered by the renowned Vogue stylist Isabella Blow when she found her sobbing on the street after a fight with her mother. Blow introduced her to Sarah Doukas, a top model scout and founder of Storm Models. Sarah immediately signed her, and it didn't take long for Sophie to appear in German Vogue (photographed by Karl Lagerfeld), Italian Vogue, Visionaire, and Vanity Fair.

of 06
Tess Holliday
Tess Holliday, also known as Tess Munster, tried to break into the industry at the tender age of 15. After being told she was "too short and too fat" to be a model, she put her dreams aside and started a family.

After moving to Los Angeles at the age of 24, she uploaded some pictures to an online modeling site. A casting agent discovered her page, was impressed with her look, and shortly after, the Arts & Entertainment network asked her to be the face of the hit show "Heavy." Tess appeared in national commercials and on billboards, and her modeling career took off from there. Tess was named one of the world's top plus-size models by Vogue Italia and was the heaviest plus-size model signed by a major modeling agency, Milk Model Management.
October 27, 2022