The plus-size fashion industry currently accumulated $18 billion and Ashley Graham is looking to get every penny of it as she lands another milestone. Current Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model Ashley Graham continues to groundbreaking as makes her Maxim cover debut. Not only a first for the recent alum of Forbes 30 Under 30 class but also a first for Maxim as the company for the first-time ever debuts a plus-size model on the cover. A year filled with firsts, the curvy Lane Bryant spokesmodel flaunts her body in sexy images captured by Gilles Bensimon. Ashley stuns with her hair in voluminous waves and wearing a smokey eyeshadow look. In some shots, she poses in barely there lingerie and others include the model posing topless. During the shoot, Graham reveals a black swimwear piece from the upcoming May SwimsuitsForAll collection. Graham’s husband Justin Ervin even joined along in the photoshoot as he assist in using his bare hands as a push up bra cover his wife’s breast.
In her interview, Ashley talked to the magazine about wanting to build a business empire like with her Addition ELLE lingerie and collaborations with brands like Dressbarn. Graham has brought in over one-million dollars in sales with her own line collaboration with Addition Elle. Maxim described Graham’s look during the shoot as nothing short of arresting, with her serious cheekbones, flawless olive skin, and impossibly full lips. It’s as though Eva Mendes, Cindy Crawford, and Brooke Shields had melded into one woman, and then someone turned up the volume. Everything from her charcoal-rimmed eyes and extra-long eyelashes to her tousled brown hair seems to have been amplified.
Ever since Kate Lanphear’s departure as editor-in-chief last year, the men’s publication has stepped away from its shift in editorial strategy to focus on lifestyle and luxury and moved right back into “lad mag” territory. While this is the first time the U.S. edition has featured a size 14 model on the cover, this is not the first time ever the publication has featured on cover as of last-February, Maxim’s Australian-extension starred Wilhelmina plus-size model Robyn Lawley on the cover.
The 16-year veteran from Nebraska signed with Ford Models in 2003. The 28-year-old longtime Lane Bryant spokesmodel is the current face of Nydj Jeans, Forever 21, and Addition Elle. Graham also had hit the runway this month for H&M’s ’16 Fall/Winter collection. Other Ford Models to grace the cover of Maxim in the past include Brooke Burke and Elle Macpherson. Ford’s Vanessa Hanson has never graced the cover of Maxim but has had a featured editorial in the publication.
Ashley Graham is currently in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan and Grazia Germany. Graham has also been a real activist for plus-size modeling as she has already a speaker for TED Talks and this month spoke at SXSW on a panel with Yahoo’s Editor-in-Chief of Style Joe Zee titled, Acceptance Revolution: Fashion’s New Body interactive. Graham speaks on seizing the opportunity to change the term, “Plus-Size” model during her interview with Maxim. Calling it a term that has become out dated and time to take away the label and be recognized as a model.
The April issue of Maxim hits newsstands April 5th, can’t wait til then, subscribe here.