On Wednesday, Ashley Graham debuted a denim capsule collection for curvy girls with retailer Marina Rinaldi. The line reads like the perfect wish list of dream items, including corset tops, pencil skirts, dresses, and a bodysuit (which the model says is the perfect hack for keeping your shirt in place).
Graham was inspired to create a dream collection of sorts based on her actual wardrobe. “If it's in my closet and it can’t fit a girl who’s a size 12 or bigger, then I want to make it for her,” she explains. But, of course, this is also the ideal opportunity to make the items she wants. After all, Graham is just looking out for her customers, and who wants to deal with jeans that won’t move with you? We’ve all been there — including Graham herself.
The 30-year-old tells a story about the time her jeans ripped: She was singing Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” in front of her now-husband, Justin Ervin, and his friends. She went down in a grind dance move and then, “all of a sudden (gestures pants ripping), up the back of butt into my crotch, but you know what?” Graham says they kept the party going (she tied a scarf around her waist) and Ervin still remembers that memorable second date.
Beyond denim that will move with your body, the offering boasts some incredibly form-flattering silhouettes. But does the lingerie and swimsuit model ever feel boxed in by her own sexiness? “Of course, I do,” she says. “There’s one night I went out in an asymmetrical blue silk dress and people were like hmm…” Graham attributes it to being placed in the “sexy box,” and says it speaks to a bigger issue with how the fashion industry deals with plus-sized models. “I think there is a shift there that has to change, but I think that’s also why I like Paloma [Elsesser] so much. She’s just a cool chick and she’s still so sexy.” Another shift she hopes to see soon? More models of color. In addition to Elsesser, Graham has her eye on Muse model Karissa Rodriquez and Marquita Pring, who she calls a “staple.” And we're right there with her.