Plus Sized – Models 1 and Excel – more walks beyond the catwalk

Excel Model Agency

Amy Griffiths

Amy Griffiths

I have posted previously about All Walks Beyond the Catwalk who are set up to promote different models to the standard catwalk tall and thin template – aiming to include bigger curvier models, older models and a wider ethnicity.

Another such venture focussing on the bigger curvier model has just been set up by Models 1 (set up in 1968 and now the largest model agency in Europe) who have teamed up with plus-sized model agency Excel to form a division Models1. Like All Walks Beyond The Catwalk they are aiming to prove and establish that there is a demand for models in high fashion that are neither tall or slim.

One of the challenges they face will be getting Haute Couture designers on board – they have had some initial success with Jean Paul Gaultier and Mark Fast employing plus-sized models over the last few seasons. This year was also the first time a plus-sized model graced the front cover of Vogue – in their Mexico edition in the shape of Crystal Renn. Still a long way to go but a start at least.

It does seem strange to me this need for the tall and skinny model shape upon the catwalk – the fashion designers will say their shapes better show off their outfits leaving aside that most of their customers will not have these body-shapes and sizes. It is as much expedience as easier and cheaper to design for a narrower size range but it does seem a wider size range could be catered for simply by having a range of models and body sizes along the catwalk.

I welcome this project between Models 1 and Excel and hope it proves a successful and influential initiative.Amy Griffiths