There are very few models out there who can both walk the walk and talk the talk — but Ashley Graham proved that she can do both with her body-positive lingerie runway show during New York Fashion Week at the Kia Style360 event. Not only did Graham open and close the panty parade, she also showcased her design prowess, as all of the beautiful pieces were conceptualized by her in partnership with Canadian plus-size brand Addition Elle. Considering that the majority of models strutting down the catwalk this season are more slender than shapely, Addition Elle and Ashley Graham have offered a much-needed dose of inclusivity that so many shows were lacking this season. Although their fuller figures were a welcome sight (and a realistic reflection on how Addition Elle’s customer base would look in the lingerie), it was those delicate designs that stole the show. “The inspiration really comes from the runways of Paris, everything that’s happening there,” explained Graham. “The whole Addition Elle team goes out, they look for everything, they come back, and they say, ‘Look, Ashley, this is what we got; what do you want to do with it?’ and then we go from there. Everything that’s in the collection is something that I’ve wanted to wear. As you can see, I still have on my [bra]: It’s strappy, it’s sexy, it’s so in right now — that bondage feel. And then for Holiday, you have to do a little sheen. And I really love the halter top that I came out in at the end; it’s just beautiful to have something that you can [also] wear as a top with a high-waisted skirt.”
Unlike almost any other runway we’ve ever attended, the designer actually walked in the show herself, proving why she deserves her stunning star power. “I had a moment where I was like, ‘I don't want to walk in my own show,’ and then I realized everyone here wants to see me in my lingerie; like, what am I going to do — walk out at the end in my lingerie and take a bow? No! So, I was like, you know what? I’m going to walk, I’m going to open and close it, and I’m going to let everybody know that, yes, I’m the face of it; yes, I’m the designer; and, yes, I believe in the product,” proclaimed Graham. To continue the nontraditional spin, many of the items worn by the bevy of beauties are purchasable now, while others will be available in a few months, in time for the holiday season. With pieces up to a 3X, 44 band and an H cup, and a price range running from $30 to $95, the collection proves to be not just figure-friendly but wallet-friendly as well.