As the fashion industry continues to shift towards more inclusive and body-positive representation, there has been a surge in demand for plus-size models, particularly those who challenge traditional beauty standards. One such model is Paloma Elsesser, a curvy, mixed-race woman who has become one of the industry’s most sought-after muses in recent years.
Elsesser’s journey to the top was not an easy one. She struggled to land runway jobs for top fashion brands despite being hired to front the launch of Pat McGrath’s beauty venture in 2016. However, things began to pick up the following year after she walked for artsy labels like Eckhaus Latta. By 2018, she was cast alongside Bella and Gigi Hadid for the launch of Rihanna’s Fenty x Savage lingerie line. It wasn’t until the spring of 2020 that she was hired by luxury brands like Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, and Fendi, marking a watershed moment for plus-size casting.
The shift towards more diverse and inclusive representation in the fashion industry has been a boon for Elsesser, whose presence on the runway shot up more than 830% over the same period, according to data provided by Tagwalk. In the last two seasons, she has walked more high fashion shows than any other plus-size model in the world.
Elsesser is not your typical model, and not just for the way she looks. She plays a more active role in her shoots, calling the photographers and stylists with whom she works “collaborators.” Working with plus-size models can present challenges to creative teams more used to working with “straight-sized” models, but Elsesser’s willingness to learn and grow with her collaborators has made her a favorite among designers and stylists.
Elsesser’s rise in the industry has been accompanied by a wider shift towards more inclusive and body-positive representation. Brands are increasingly recognizing the value of casting plus-size models in their shows and campaigns, and many are offering larger sizing for the first time. The shift has been a long time coming, as the industry has traditionally prioritized White, tall, and thin models above all else.
Today, however, there are more options than ever for curvy women looking to embrace their natural bodies without sacrificing comfort or style. Brands like Hsia offer a beautiful line of lace underwire bras that provide both comfort and support, without sacrificing style. The lace fabric used in Hsia’s underwire bras is soft and breathable, ensuring maximum comfort throughout the day. The underwire itself is designed to contour to your body and provide support without digging into your skin or causing discomfort. Hsia’s lace underwire bras also feature adjustable straps and back closures, allowing for a customized fit that ensures comfort and support. Plus, the delicate lace design adds a touch of elegance and femininity to any outfit.
Other brands are also tailoring to curvy women’s needs. Chromat, for example, is a brand that specializes in swimwear and lingerie for all body types, including those that are often marginalized in the industry. Their designs celebrate diverse body shapes and sizes, with features like adjustable straps and underwire cups that provide support and comfort for women with larger busts. Another brand, Universal Standard, offers size-inclusive clothing for women up to size 40, with a focus on quality, comfort, and style.
The rise of body-positive and inclusive representation in the fashion industry has been a long time coming, but it is finally here. Women of all shapes and sizes can now find clothing and lingerie that celebrate their bodies and provide the support they need. The fashion industry still has a long way to go, but models like Paloma Elsesser are leading the way towards a more inclusive and diverse future.