Some Designers Refused to Lend Clothes for Ashley Graham’s ‘Vogue’ Cover

Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham covers British Vogue's January 2017 issue, but some designers refused to lend clothes for the model. Courtesy Vogue

Say what? Ashley Graham has been on countless magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan, Self, Sports Illustrated and Maxim. And yet, when she finally landed her first Vogue cover — the January 2017 issue of British Vogue, to be precise — there were designers who refused to dress her.

"The shoot was put together fairly last-minute and we are all very grateful to the people at Coach who, under the creative direction of Stuart Vevers, moved speedily to provide clothes for us that had to come from outside their sample range," British Vogue's longtime editor in chief, Alexandra Shulman, wrote in her monthly letter.

Shulman noted that Coach was "enthusiastic about dressing a woman who is not a standard model." But she also revealed that that wasn't the case with every fashion house she approached: "Sadly there were other houses that flatly refused to lend us their clothes."

Disgusted, Shulman continued, "It seems strange to me that while the rest of the world is desperate for fashion to embrace broader definitions of physical beauty, some of our most famous fashion brands appear to be traveling in the opposite – and, in my opinion, unwise – direction."

This revelation comes just over a month after Graham publicly asked designers to start making clothes for full-figured women. "Slowly but surely there are really big designers that are coming out of the woodwork and making clothes for curvy girls, Christian Siriano, Prabal Gurung," the Lane Bryant brand ambassador told Racked. "There are a few that are finally pairing up with the right people, but there are so many more that need to do what Michael Kors has done, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and make those extended sizes. But what I really want to see – and those designers included – is for designers to make their high-end lines go up in extended sizes, because I wanna buy it!"

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