It seems like everywhere you turn lately, Ashley Graham is there. The model mogul has broken barriers with her Sports Illustrated cover, landed a role as Joe Jonas’ love interest in his latest music video, walked the runway during H&M’s Paris fashion week show, and launched lingerie and dress lines. And with beach season right around the corner, what’s left for her to do but launch a swim collection?
Debuting today on Swimsuitsforall.com, the 11-piece collection defies the typical options offered to plus-size women (no all-over-ruched one-pieces here). Instead, the James Bond-inspired collection is filled with sexy styles like low-waist string bikinis, super-strappy cut-out monokinis, plunging lace-up fronts, and even a Swarovski crystal-draped two-piece that looks looks ripped off a magazine cover. “I wanted [my customer] to not feel like a Bond girl, but to feel like the badass Mr. Bond himself,” Graham told Refinery29 in an exclusive interview. “When you put on these suits, you can take over the world… That’s what I’m doing! I put on a suit and took over the world!”
Graham is no stranger to Swimsuitforall, having been the face of its groundbreaking advertisement in Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Swimsuit Issue — the first ad ever in SI to feature a plus-size woman. “Working with Swimsuitsforall a couple years ago with the #CurvesInBikinis ad in Sports Illustrated was such an impactful moment on my career, and I think it was really impactful [for] Swimsuitsforall, as well,” Graham mused. “And we realized we were madly in love. And when you’re madly in love, you just want to spend the rest of your lives together, so that’s what we plan on doing — and changing the world one bikini at a time.”
Even though some celebrities seemingly treat their product lines as cash cows more than creative outlets, Graham isn’t content with letting others dictate her vision. “At the end of the day, if I’m not involved, if it’s not genuine to my style, if I’m not going to wear it, it’s not going to sell,” she explained. “And I think that’s one of the biggest issues with a lot of influencers or celebrity endorsements: A lot of people are smacking their name on things and I’m definitely not doing that. Because I want to also be able to wear it, I’m creating things that haven’t been done before, or haven’t been perfected before.”
Ranging from $79 to $398 (Swarovski crystals don’t come cheap), Graham’s line combines fashion and support to help women feel fabulous when they strip down to their womens bathing suits. But even with a variety of options — from itty-bitty bikinis to one-sleeved suits — to suit seemingly anyone, we know some people still struggle with the belief that every body is a beach body. For that, Graham has a simple piece of advice: “Just do it! I mean, there’s a moment where you’ll think, What the heck am I doing? I don’t feel like I fit in, I don’t feel like this is for me. But you just have to step outside your boundaries. One of the things I always tell women is, if you step outside your boundaries, if you get a little uncomfortable, all you’re going to do is grow as a person, grow in your fashion, grow in your mind, and you’re actually probably going to love what you see.”
1. A modern update to the classic Farrah Fawcett red one-piece.
Secret Agent Siren Swimsuit, $76.30, available at Swimsuitsforall.
2. Drape yourself in jewels with this detachable Swarovski crystal body chain.
Intrigue Bikini, $278.60, available at Swimsuitsforall.
3. The only kind of bathing suit blues we want to see this summer.
Espionage Twilight cheap bikinis, $55.30, available at Swimsuitsforall.
4. Totally worth the weird tan lines.
Liaison Swimsuit, $76.30, available at Swimsuitsforall.
5. Feel like a sartorial scuba diver with this sleek neoprene suit.
Stakeout Swimsuit, $138.60, available at Swimsuitsforall.
6. Sleeved swimwear is so hot this year.
Spy Swimsuit, $76.30, available at Swimsuitsforall.
7. Or go for a red-hot look.
Double-Cross Siren Bikini, $76.30, available at Swimsuitsforall.
8. High-cut leg holes might give you fashion flashbacks, but we say bring ’em on.
Heist Swimsuit, $208.60, available at Swimsuitsforall.
9. Or go low-cut up top.
Secret Agent black one piece swimsuit, $76.30, available at Swimsuitsforall.
10. Finally, a classic side-tie bikini — up to size 24!
Espionage Black Bikinis, $55.30, available at Swimsuitsforall.
11. Amp up your braid game with this twisted two-piece.
Double-Cross Black Bikini, $76.30, available at Swimsuitsforall.