curve models

These are the hottest curve models of the moment

While campaigns, catwalks, and magazines used prescribe a certain body type, curve models have become more popular than ever before. With the shift of beauty standards, there’s finally room for models with different backgrounds, shapes, sizes, and religions – reflecting a more realistic population. Let’s talk you through a quick lesson about curve models – from their sizes to how to become one of the most prominent players in the industry.
Cover photo: © Pexels

What is a curve model?

Agencies who used to work with ‘plus size’ models most often refer to ‘curve’ models nowadays. Curve doesn’t only sound a little kinder, it’s also more inclusive. Curve can imply all types of bodies: from slim bodies with a bigger bust or bum to the formerly known plus-size ones. The term’ inbetweener‘ has been used a lot as well. It refers to models who aren’t plus size nor ‘straight’ size (size zero to two or four). ‘Life’ is also used to emphasize that curve models are average-sized.

Curve models of the moment

Being qualified as ‘plus sized’ sits below the average size of women in many countries. For example, the average clothing size in the US is 16 – 18. On the other hand, Crystal Renn – among others – has been grateful for the term since it has opened doors for curvier models. And with success. The recent spring/summer season showed how curve models can be equally part of runway shows and straight-size models. Please find below the most successful curve models of our time.

Jill Kortleve

Dutch curve model Jill Kortleve faced a bumpy start to her modeling career. Starting modeling at a young age, she always pushed herself harder to eat less and to become thinner. One day, she couldn’t do it any longer. She told her agent she wanted to stop modeling, and things had to change. Her agency, Milk Model Management, reacted very kindly, and they decided to go on as a team. Since then, Kortleve’s attitude towards herself changed tremendously. Her appearance also altered when she started to eat whatever she liked. Clients noticed this positive change as well. Since Kortleve shifted to being a ‘curve model, she has done campaigns for big names such as H&MAlexander McQueen, and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. The cherry on the pie has to be the show she walked for Chanel, where she was the first curve model ever to walk the runway for this fashion house.

Paloma Elsesser

Headhunted by beauty guru Pat McGrath on Instagram, Paloma Elsesser has become a big name in the modeling industry. She has been modeling in campaigns for Proenza Schouler, Fenty Beauty, and Glossier – among many others. The New York supermodel has made history at Lanvin and Fendi, being one of the first curve models to enter their runways.

Precious Lee

2016 Precious Lee made her name by becoming the first curve model to appear in Sport’s Illustrated Swimwear Edition. Since then, she has been modeling for Zara, Skims, Marc Jacobs, Versace, Miu Miu, and appearing on the cover of Vogue Italia – a true prestige.

Danielle van Grondelle

Scouted when she was fourteen, Danielle van Grondelle was told she wasn’t small enough, and a period of dieting and crying at her modeling agency’s measurement moments followed. Her parents always had her back, though. They assured her the fashion industry once would be centered around ‘bigger’ girls. And that became true; while ‘straight’ size is still the norm, there’s become much more space for models like Van Grondelle. Van Grondelle took her hole at Marni, MM6 Maison Margiela, and many magazines.

Ariish Wol

Canadian curve model Ariish Wol took matters into her own hands. As she looked up curve model agencies, she chose a day of the week to go agency hunting. She started at Folio, which successfully became her mother agency. Soon after signing, Wol was booked by Vogue Italia. While super nervous, it confirmed she was “clearly doing something right”.” And that’s true; since then, she’s worked for American Vogue, Molly Goddard, i_D, Mugler, and British Vogue. Her resumé only gets more impressive every day.

Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham got her big break when appearing on the Sports Illustrated Swimwear cover in 2016. Before this cover series, she had been modeling for over a decade, mainly as part of catalogs and teen magazines. She has become the highest-paid curve model of the moment, earning $5.5 to $10 million a year. She has walked the runway for practically every major fashion house worldwide.