Robyn Lawley is a size 16 and proud of it. Australian Vogue’s first ‘plus-size’ cover girl has just broken another boundary in the fashion industry as the new face of a U.K. lingerie line for women with curves.
“I am delighted to be chosen as the face and body of Boux Avenue lingerie,” Robyn said in a press statement.”The brand is striving to promote a healthy body image and their size range reflects this.”
Notice she didn’t use the term ‘plus size.’ “I’m a normal size. I wish we could all be known as models, rather than ‘plus-size,'” she told The Australian in a recent interview.
At 6’2, the 23-year-old Sydney native spent the early part of her modeling career struggling to be the opposite of “normal” to suit fashion industry standards.
‘I stumbled across pro-anorexia websites and scoured them for tips,’ she admitted in a 2011 Fabulous Magazine interview. “I began starving myself and making myself sick after meals.”
But by the time she turned 18, her mindset changed and so did her potential impact on the industry. She signed with a modeling agency for natural body types and in 2011 landed on the cover of French Elle.
Robyn modeling polka dots in her new campaign. (Boux Avenue)
Now part of the growing movement of fashion insiders challenging the industry’s unhealthy body expectations, she’s embraced her foodie instincts with the blog Robyn Lawley Eats, a collage of recipes, indulgences and firsts (“Trying oysters for the first time properly!”) It’s everything the pro-anorexia sites are not: the only models on her tumblr are from cooking store displays. In a recent post she wrote: “A simple pan $1000 at Willams-Sonoma…not gonna lie I want it.”
She can probably afford it now. After replacing the campaign’s former plus-size model, Ola Jordan, who was six sizes smaller, Robyn is making headlines with her viral photoshoot. Lets be honest, the pictures aren’t only popular with female supporters. Dressed in a pink satin and lace bra and skimpy underpants, lounging on a sheepskin rug, normal isn’t the first word that comes to mind. Neither is “plus size.”
Former Plus size model: Size 10 model Ola Jordan was the company’s brand ambassador before Robyn (Boux Avenue)And that’s just the point. The UK brand’s Hidden Allure and After Hours Glamour lines, with sizes ranging from 8 to 20, are far from girdles. These lacy bras, undergarments and animal print slips, aren’t about reigning in waistlines but vamping them up. For now the mid-priced line (think $20-$40 range) is only available in the UK, but according the Boux Avenue website they “do their best” to accommodate international requests over email.
From an industry standpoint, Robyn’s campaign is proof that Victoria’s Secret skinny Angelsaren’t the only skimpily clad models with cross-over sex appeal. (Remember when those runway models were considered “normal” because they had muscles?) From a consumer’s perspective, it’s also a sign of what’s to come: lingerie designed for showing off your curves, not hiding them.