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Markets Are Opening Up for Plus-Size Models

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Markets Are Opening Up for Plus-Size Models
Photo Source: Florian Innerkofler
Plus-size models are as varied as their smaller counterparts, says Ameerah Omar, director for Wilhelmina Models' curve division in New York. Some do high fashion; others specialize in commercial or lifestyle clothes; still others model swimwear or underwear.

"The beauty of our market is that it encompasses a range of sizes, providing room for flexibility," Omar says. "I find the most commonly requested size is 12 to 14. However, we represent girls between a size 8 and full 16 in order to accommodate all market needs. The height standard of at least five-nine holds true to our market."

Gigs for plus-size models are increasing across the board-from runways to catalogs to editorial copy. However, the largest market for curve models continues to be in catalogs. But as concepts of beauty evolve, it may become more commonplace to see beautiful big women doing high fashion and runway campaigns.

Adorning a glossy cover is no longer an anomaly either, though Omar says it still requires a bit of pushing the envelope on the agent's part. "International publications have been the latest explosion to showcase this excitement," she says.  "Wilhelmina's very own Robyn Lawley was the first plus-size model to appear in the pages of Vogue Australia in its 52-year history. She also appeared on the covers of Italian Vogue and French Elle, among others."

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