Plus size model is a term applied to an individual of larger stature (sometimes but not exclusively overweight or obese) who is engaged primarily in modelling plus-size clothing. Plus-size models also engage in work that is not strictly related to selling large-sized clothing, e.g., stock photography and advertising photography for cosmetics, household and pharmaceutical products and sunglasses, footwear and watches. Therefore, plus-size models do not exclusively wear garments marketed as plus-size clothing. This is especially true when participating in fashion editorials for mainstream fashion magazines.
Synonymous and interchangeable with plus-size model is “full-figured model”,”extended-sizes model”, and “outsize model”. Previously, the term “large size model” was also frequently used. Fashion designers are starting to look more closely at the earning potential from plus-size clothing, and have used plus-size models for their advertising campaigns and catwalks. Jean-Paul Gaultier and John Galliano both used plus-size models in their Spring 2006 showings in Paris. Gaultier also used plus-size models Marquita Pring and Crystal Renn in his Spring 2011 Ready to Wear show.
Italian plus-size fashion house Elena Mirò now regularly stages biannual prêt-à-porter shows during Fashion Week in Milan. Mark Fast and William Tempest each used plus-size models during their own London Fashion Week showings, and again as part of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk event in association with the British Fashion Council.