New York Fashion Week: Breaking into the industry as a plus-size model

Thousands of women sent in their headshots to compete to walk the runway in NYC wearing Torrid’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection. But only 10 made it to the brand’s New York Fashion Week debut at Skylight Clarkson Sq in West SoHo on Sept. 12.

The plus-size retailer — specializing in styles for women who wear sizes 10 through 30 — showing at NYFW is an exciting move for many women who struggle to identify with the high fashion runways that remain primarily dominated by models sizes two and below. Torrid isn’t the only brand to attempt to boost inclusivity in the fashion universe. Christian Siriano has been known to focus on diversity, from gender to race to size. And plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Sabina Karlsson (both of whom walked in the Siriano and Michael Kors shows among others this season), have become beacons of hope for fashion-loving millennials who are itching for change in the industry standard.

Torrid’s model search, which was open to the public, gave women around the globe a chance to chase a dream that to some seemed out of reach. The winner, to be announced in November, will be deemed the “Next Face of Torrid,” a role currently held by New Jersey’s Maria Gimena.

We caught up with six of Torrid’s Top 10 model contest finalists via email to find out what their road to NYFW as a plus-size model looked like.