Whilst her amazing body and flawless looks have gained her huge success, size 12-14 Robyn is not considered your average model. Despite her toned and healthy body, she comes under the banner of ‘plus-size’ models. Robyn first entered the limelight on the cover of Italian Vogue in 2011, in their special ‘curvy edition’. Whilst some may be outraged that the magazine did a ‘curvy edition’, rather than regularly featuring models such as Robyn, it gave her her big break. She is currently the face of Evans’ latest campaign, and she has previously modelled for Boux Avenue, Mango and was the first plus-size model to be used in in-store advertising for Ralph Lauren. Lawley has campaigned for the term ‘plus-size’ to be banned, saying it has negative connotations. She has also suggested that a variety of models be used on catwalks.
When Alek first started out in the 1990s, dark-skinned models were almost unheard of. However, racial diversity is still a problem in modelling. At New York Fashion Week in 2013, only 6% of designs were shown on black models. Many black models have said that they feel that they have been booked as the ‘token black girl’. Throughout her illustrious career, Alek has modelled for designers such as Moschino, Victoria’s Secret, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Armani and Christian Dior. Recently, actress Lupita Nyong’o cited Alek as inspiration for her transformation into a more confident young woman. Wek herself also champions diversity, being quoted as saying: ‘I believe that true beauty comes from inside you and that always shows through. I have no problem with whatever the next look is, whether it’s big blonde hair and blue eyes, or green hair and dark eyes. That’s fine so long as there isn’t just one ideal image’.
Born in 1928, Daphne has been modelling for over 60 years. Most recently Daphne has been the face of TK Maxx, starred in campaigns for Dolce and Gabbana and at the age of 70 appeared in Vogue. “If wearing clothes and prancing about in funny outfits is going to amuse people, I’ll keep on doing it.” Daphne has had no surgery, and is a great example of growing old gracefully.
Carmen identifies as a transgender woman and is a successful model and burlesque performer. Carmen is a strong activist for trans-equality and she promotes the idea of beauty in many different forms throughout her work. Carmen is signed to Elite Model Management, one of the biggest agencies around, and she has featured in a number of magazine spreads. “I’m very happy with myself,” she says. “It’s not even about being pretty or being beautiful, it’s just that I’m very happy with myself.” Carmen’s stance on beauty and self-worth is particularly inspiring. She is a role model for many in the LGBT+ community and in 2013 there was a petition to get the lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret to hire Carmen as their first transgender model.