During the lockdown, I got a DM from the casting director for the Italian Vogue . I don’t think this is true. I was like, I don’t look like a model. It was about happiness filming, but I remember impostor syndrome. We got shot in a minute. As soon as it came out, it was such a big hit – it ignited a feeling I’ve never had. I find it very useful. I realize I’m here on purpose. It’s not just plus-size people that I get the message: Men and women also have issues with how they view their bodies.
That shoot put me in touch with a modeling agency, and I’m just being honest. I said, “I want to see a change in fashion.” I contacted the director of [my agency] Supa, and I signed it. I need someone who is willing to be an industry pioneer – a trailblazer. I immediately started working with Tim Walker and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy. Within the first few months, I got the cover of Perfect
magazine. I’m so grateful, but I’ve been learning and the brands still don’t make clothes for me that fit my size. When I started asking when I could run the show, I was told, ‘You can’t because there are no clothes made for you. ‘
I walked into the SS Daley casting [this season] with stylist Harry Lambert and [designer Steven Stokey-Daley] himself present. They took my measurements right away and told me they were going to make a custom piece for me. That was two days before the show. They adapted Hour. I often ask myself, “Am I so demanding in fashion?” This [experience] tells me that if designers want to, they will. I’m not asking for much – it’s more material.
There are three plus-size men on the runway. It does a great job. I didn’t feel tokenized; I felt special on the runway. Now, whenever I go to shoot or set, it’s my responsibility to have progressive conversations. Working with plus-size male models needs to be permanent. On the runway, it’s great to see plus-size women with so many different body types, but it’s definitely slower [in menswear]. This is a broken door – but it really needs to be kicked open.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.