Ashley Graham: ‘I couldn’t get a designer to dress me’ for the Met Gala

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Ashley Graham is quickly becoming one of
the most well-known models on the planet, but the journey
hasn't always been easy.

She recently revealed that she couldn't even find a designer
who was willing to outfit her for the 2016 Met Gala, an annual affair where the
biggest names in fashion and Hollywood gather to show off their
red-carpet couture.

Kambouris / Getty Images

Ashley Graham attends the 2017 Met Gala on May 1.

"I couldn't get a designer to dress me," Graham, a plus-size
model, told New York magazine. "You can't just show up
in jeans and a T-shirt."

So Graham, who had been "on hold" for the event and not yet
officially invited, stayed home. While the model didn't suggest
that her size was the reason designers turned her down (she
didn't have great designer relationships nor lots of time),
there's a good chance it was at least a factor, the magazine
pointed out. After all, Graham doesn't fit into sample sizes,
and thus would have required a custom-made gown.

But this year, Graham ruled the red carpet at the Met Gala, showing up in a
striking red gown from H&M. It had a white corset and long
red skirt that hugged her curves, with a feathered train and

"Rihanna said I looked 'hot as f---," Graham told New York. "I
had no idea what to say to her. I was just like, 'You slay
every Met, Rihanna!'"

Clearly, the tide is turning for plus-size, or "curve," models. Many
designers have been featuring more plus-size women on the
runway at fashion shows and expanding their collections to
include larger sizes.

And Graham, who sat down with TODAY Style last year to talk
about body positivity and self-confidence, is at the forefront
of that change.

"At the end of the day, we are all created equally," she said
at the time. "We cannot put each other in labels. We have to
learn to grow together and work together."

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