Plus-size model Robyn Lawley has defied ideals of “thinness equals beauty” to star on the world’s most covetable magazine covers and ad campaigns, and now she is taking on the plus-size swimwear market.
Sydney native Robyn Lawley, 24, has teamed up with Bond-Eye Australia to launch a collection of bikinis and one pieces available in U.S. sizes 8 to 18, designed specifically for fashionable women with curves.
“I swim almost daily, and I found most swimwear that came in my size to be boring and unflattering with no real fashion elements,” she told Refinery 29.
“I also couldn’t find any bikinis that supported my bust in the surf, or had a high enough rise in the stomach section to be flattering, so the idea was born from my own necessity and grew from there.”
Robyn Lawley, who was the first plus-size model to star in a Ralph Lauren campaign and in the pages of Vogue Australia, hopes that Robyn Lawley Swimwear, which ranges in price from $140 to $200, will be “the go-to brand for swimwear for all women”.
Robyn Lawley Swimwear
“For this first collection, I decided to start in a size range that 80% of women live between,” she explained.
“We will add sizing according to the feedback we receive and we are really hoping the demand is there.”
With plenty of swimwear experience under her belt (most recently her curves modeled H&M’s plus-size swim collection), Robyn Lawley said that the collection’s sizing is “true” for every swimsuit.
“Regular swimwear brands tend to be very small fit, and you often find yourself going up one or two sizes to be comfortable. This is not the case with my line,” she explained.
With a touch of retro, glamour and “urban edge”, the flattering collection is peppered with Robyn Lawley’s own personality.
“My dragon fruit one-piece was inspired by my love of food,” she said, referring to her well-documented infatuation with cooking.
When she is not gracing magazine covers, the six-foot-two-inch model writes a food blog, Robyn Lawley Eats – a side hobby that has been praised by the fashion industry as leading the way for a more positive body image.
Despite the fact that 50% of women wear a U.S. size 14 or larger, designers routinely cater to sizes 14 or smaller, and Robyn Lawlely hopes to be the catalyst to change that.
Robyn Lawley told Good Morning America last year: “I genuinely want companies to take notice and start being more realistic about who their customer really is. I hope to keep breaking down those barriers.”
Australian department store Myer hosted Big is Beautiful fashion launch during Sydney’s Fashion Festival 2011 on Tuesday, hiring plus-size girls to model outfits by various labels.[googlead tip=”vertical_mediu” aliniat=”dreapta”]
Sydney Fashion Festival, known as Mercedes-Benz Sydney Fashion Festival (MBFF Sydney), is Sydney’s premier fashion and lifestyle event and is a schedule of fashion events showcasing the contemporary Spring Summer Collections of Australia’s leading designer brands and retailers as these collections land in store.
Sydney’s Fashion Festival 2011 official schedule includes the collection shows and Festival Hub activities, which all take place at the Sydney Town Hall from August 23 to August 27.
Myer’s “Big is Beautiful” show during Sydney’s Fashion Festival 2011 was presented on Tuesday and used plus-size girls to model outfits by various labels, as the Australian department store claimed in a statement:
“Myer is proud to support Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival, Sydney and invites you to join us for our Big Is Beautiful Fashion Launch. The show will feature the very latest trends in plus size fashion for sizes 16 to 24. It’s fashion designed for real women with a fuller figure. For Spring Summer 2011 Myer is excited to be re-launching Big Is Beautiful and introducing Leona + by Leona Edmiston and both brands will feature in the show. This is an event not to be missed!”
Australian department store Myer hosted Big is Beautiful fashion launch during Sydney's Fashion Festival 2011
Robyn Lawley – the first ever plus-size model to feature in Vogue Australia – opened the Meyr’s show at Sydney Fashion Festival 2011 in a stunning black assymetric dress.
But while some girls looked healthy modelling sizes 16 to 24, others appeared somewhat overweight.
Some of the media reports claimed that Myer made a big mistake by adopting the slogan “Big is Beautiful” which is encouraging women to remain unhealthy. This could be classed as almost as harmful as promoting the controversial ‘size zero.’
The Myer’s fashion launch at Sydney Fashion Festival has sparked an online debate as The Australian journalist Damian Woolbough branded the choice of models “irresponsible.”
Robyn Lawley (first in left) the first ever plus-size model to feature in Vogue Australia opened the Myer’s show at Sydney Fashion Festival in a stunning black assymetric dress
[googlead tip=”patrat_mare”]The journalist wrote:
“There is a place for women of all sizes in the fashion media, as seen by the positive response to a plus-size shoot with Lawley in this month’s Vogue Australia, but obese models send just as irresponsible a message about the need for healthy eating and exercise as models with protruding clavicles and ribcages.”
However, the journalist’s post received a series of comments from readers defending Myer’s move.
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, warned the dangers of seeing skinny models on the runway far outweigh the message that plus-sized girls send, saying:
“Is it ok to be overweight? No.
But if you are big and big boned, people come in all shapes and sizes, it would be monstrously wrong to say the models are just overweight.
If they are running a show which has big girls modelling for big girls, then that would be totally appropriate.
Sending skinny girls down the runway does more damage than you might expect this show to be doing.
If the show Big is Beautiful is for ladies that are size 18 because that is their natural size then I see no problem.”
On the other hand, it seems not everyone bought the idea that big is beautiful.[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]
Only 64 tickets have been sold for Myer’s show, out of the 500 available.
Edwina McCann, Harper’s Bazaar editor told the Sydney Morning Herald:
“I don’t think the consumer is as obsessed with plus-size as the media is.
I think the consumer is quite happy to accept the fact that a model, like an Olympic swimmer, is usually an exceptional beauty and doesn’t look like the rest of us.”