Lincoln, Nebraska native Ashley Graham was discovered at a shopping mall at age twelve. As a curvaceous young woman crossing over to mainstream fashion, Graham has graced the covers of The Sunday Times Style, Cover Magazine, and two international editions of Elle (wearing sexy swimsuits in three-quarter-length images), as well as Net-a-Porter’s The Edit. Graham also starred in a fitness special for the British luxury e-tailer. Cass Bird, the noted fashion photographer, photographed her for a lingerie-themed editorial feature for Vogue.com, and for Lane Bryant’s popular #ImNoAngel campaign.
Perhaps most significantly, Graham made history by appearing in the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, the magazine’s first-ever curvy model in a print advertisement.
Graham is well regarded in the industry for her tireless efforts as an outspoken advocate for positive body images in media. She regularly speaks at high schools across the United States and Canada to empower teenage girls battling body dysmorphia, and she recently served as a keynote speaker at the TEDx Berklee Valencia conference in Spain.
Graham has also appeared in editorial features for Vogue, LOVE, and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as Glamour, and Latina magazines. She has also fronted advertising campaigns for Levi’s, Evans, and Marina Rinaldi, in addition to Target, Hanes, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Old Navy, and Elomi Lingerie. In 2013, the budding supermodel launched a collection of intimate apparel, Ashley Graham for Addition Elle, and also starred in its advertising promotions for four consecutive seasons.
Graham first gained recognition when she appeared on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno after her debut Lane Bryant lingerie campaign was temporarily banned from television. As a testament to her tireless efforts as a women’s health and beauty advocate, the commercial was almost immediately reinstated. Graham also appeared in the 2010 feature film Dirty Old Town opposite Paul Sevigny, Scott Dillin, and William Leroy.
Off-duty, Graham is an active member of The Themba Foundation, an organization specializing in humanitarian missions to South Africa.