Has fashion quietly dumped the plus-sized pioneers? Have again been sidelined by stick-thin models

It was just four years ago that Tess Holliday, the world’s leading ‘plus-size’ model, sent the fashion world into a frenzy when she took her 20st frame on to a New York catwalk in a daring, skin-tight dress.

Her all-white outfit, by US fashion brand Chromat, had flesh-baring cutaways and was emblazoned with the slogan ‘sample size’.

It was, she said, a ‘two-fingers up’ to a fashion industry obsessed with skinny models.

Yet judging by the slender figures who graced the catwalks at this month’s London, New York and Milan fashion weeks, those who are a size 12 or larger – known in the trade as ‘curve models’, but to the rest of us as normal – now appear to be so last season.

Holliday, who is a size 26, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Fashion people just aren’t interested in plus-size any more.’

ALL CHANGE: Tess Holliday walks for Chromat in 2019

ALL CHANGE: Tess Holliday walks for Chromat in 2019

A model walks the runway at the 16Arlington show during London Fashion Week in February

A model walks the runway at the 16Arlington show during London Fashion Week in February

Models and their agencies say that runway work has all but dried up. One London agency for plus-size models said catwalk jobs were so scarce, its girls were ‘better off stacking shelves’ in supermarkets than appearing at London Fashion Week.

Alex Haddad, owner of BMA Models, said: ‘They didn’t want the bigger girls and we decided that financially, it’s not worth it, especially with the cost-of-living crisis.’

According to activist Felicity Hayward, curve models made up less than three per cent of the 2,640 models booked at London Fashion Week.

The New York shows used just 31 curve models on its catwalk – down from 49 last season.

Several big-name design brands that had previously used plus-size models – including Fendi, Michael Kors and Roksanda, a London label once championed by Cefinn

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