Model and Icon Ashley Graham on Visible Bra Straps and Invisible Panty Lines
Model Ashley Graham has become one of those beautiful faces (and bodies) that are instantly identifiable. But the bodacious lady is so much more than meets the admiring eye. TIME named Graham one of the magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017 in the Icon category (Tyra Banks penned her tribute). Not only is Graham abolishing society’s stringent beauty standards one glossy cover at a time, but she’s helping other women through her positive message of self-acceptance and her line of sexy plus-size swimwear and lingerie.
Graham chatted with us about which top-drawer essentials in her collection are part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and how she builds up her self-esteem through lingerie and nurturing self-talk.
What do you love about Nordstrom’s “one-of-a-kind” Anniversary Sale? Why is it a great time to shop?
I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because you can find all of the quality brands you love at such great prices.
What do you usually shop during the sale?
I like to shop for investment pieces, like designer bags and shoes.
Tell us about your lingerie line, which is part of the sale.
My lingerie line with Addition Elle caters to the bold, confident woman who embraces and celebrates her shape. Our tagline is “Sexy is a state of mind.” My collections always feature sexy and sophisticated styles with luxurious details that you want to show off.
Why did you want to launch a lingerie line?
I started it for selfish reasons: I wanted to buy lingerie that was comfortable and sexy at the same time, but I found it hard to find the styles that I wanted in my size. There was clearly a need for my collection in the market, and I’m thankful that Addition Elle agreed and shared my vision.
What’s unique about your line?
We like to push the boundaries beyond your basic bras and underwear and incorporate elements that are meant to be seen, like bondage straps, mesh and creative necklines.
Which items are you really excited about? Which designs are essentials for any woman’s top drawer?
I’m honestly excited about and wear every piece! The bra is the foundation for every outfit, so most importantly, it’s crucial to have a few well-fitting bras in your collection. For something versatile that can be worn daily, I would recommend a bra from my Essentials collection or the Fatal Attraction bra, which is classic and feminine. My biggest pet peeve is having panty lines, so thongs are also essential!
How did it feel to be part of TIME’s 100?
Making the TIME 100 list was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. To be recognized as one of the most influential in the world—not just in the fashion industry—was very humbling and a reminder that we need to continue promoting all types of diversity in the media.
What does “body positivity” mean to you?
Body positivity means celebrating beauty beyond size and encouraging everyone to love the skin that they are in.
What steps does society need to take to make this a universal reality?
We need to create what I like to call “body positive” spaces. In your group of friends, make it a rule to eliminate all negative talk about your bodies and physical appearance. Parents, speak positively in front of your children and talk to them about their bodies and insecurities. Buyers, put more extended sizes in your stores. Make your voices heard via social media and tell brands and media outlets that you want to see more diversity in their campaigns and advertisements.
What’s the key to your confidence? Do you have any words of wisdom or advice other women can apply to their lives?
Don’t get discouraged. Your self-confidence is something you have to work on every single day. Practice words of affirmation and speak life into your body. Your words have power!