Who Is Ashley Graham?
Born on October 30, 1987, Ashley Graham is an American model who has become one of the most popular faces in the modeling industry and particularly for women who classify themselves as curvy (a term Graham prefers over "plus-sized"). Known for her accessibility and body confidence, Graham has been described as an ambassador of the "real beauty" movement, which celebrates what real women's bodies look like rather than the impossible standards set by the fashion industry. With her increasing popularity, she has graced the covers of the world's biggest fashion magazines, including Vogue, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar and has walked the runway for major fashion brands and designers.
Sports Illustrated Cover
Making history in 2016, Graham became the first curvy model to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
“It was an eye-opening experience for me in that ‘Oh my God, I can do anything I want,’” Graham said about her history-making moment. “When you’re given an SI cover and you take advantage of it, you can conquer the world."
Height, Weight & Size
Graham is 5 foot 9 1/2 inches tall and weighs 200 lbs. She is a size 14.
Husband and Son
Graham first met her husband Justin Ervin, a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer, while attending church. The couple married in 2010. Graham announced her pregnancy via Instagram in August 2019, before giving birth to a son in January 2020.
In a 2017 interview with CBS, Graham admitted that her interracial relationship with Ervin, who is Black, was shocking for her Nebraska family:
"I will never forget that feeling of just sitting there with Justin, thinking, 'I'm so embarrassed that I had to bring him in to meet these people, these people who raised me and taught me how to live, and he's being treated so terribly,' she said. "And he said to me, 'Racism is never surprising, but it's always disappointing.'"
Graham's net worth is reportedly around $10 million.
Brand Building: Bathing Suits, a Book & Even a Barbie
Having become a global fashion star, Graham has launched a bathing suit line at Swimsuits for All, a lingerie line at Addition Elle, and a clothing line at Dress Barn. In 2016 Mattel approached the model to create a Barbie in her likeness, which she agreed to under the condition that the doll would have no thigh gap. Ever busy building her brand, Graham became an author a year later with the release of her memoir A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like.
"I'm having a moment, but I've been having a moment a little while right now, and I'm so thankful for it," Graham stated in an interview with CBS. "Not only are you seeing women who have my body shape, who are bigger, who are smaller, whatever; you see the industry changing right before your eyes. You can have an 'it' moment, but you have to know how to continue to move this movement into something that's bigger than yourself."
Graham was discovered at the age of 12 at a shopping mall in Lincoln, Nebraska. Soon after she was appearing in ads and catalogues and steadily learning the ropes of what it took to be a serious model. By the time she turned 18, she had moved to New York City to pursue her career full time.
Graham first signed on with Wilhelmina Models in 2001 but two years later, moved to Ford Models until the agency closed down its plus-sized division. Currently, she is represented by IMG.
Graham has appeared on the covers of Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar and has walked the New York Fashion Week runways, most notably for Michael Kors' spring/summer 2018 collection.
Among the many fashion campaigns she's appeared in, Graham has worked with Bloomingdale's, Liz Claiborne, Hanes, Target, Macy's, Levi's and Nordstrom.
Work in Television
Among her TV appearances, Graham participated in a controversial Lane Bryant commercial in 2010 and later featured in a 2016 music video for the DNCE song "Toothbrush." She has also served as a backstage host for the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and as an official judge for America's Next Top Model. In 2019 she began hosting the Lifetime competition series American Beauty Star.
Graham was born on October 30, 1987 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her father is is a database marketer and her mother is a homemaker. She has two younger sisters.
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