Only six plus-size women walked the runway at Fall 2016 Fashion Week, according to our most recent Diversity Report. Even with those dismal stats, plus-size men fare far worse in terms of representation.
IMG Models hopes to spark a change. The famed agency just launched a plus-size men’s division, according to WWD. Ivan Bart, president at IMG Models, told the publication, “The body positive messaging and size diversity is something that’s relevant and something that continues to be on everybody’s mind. We have to extend the conversation for men.”
The division is called “Brawn” which Bart views as a more marketable phrase than Big & Tall: “Brawn has a body positive message. Brawn is physical strength,” Bart told WWD.
The first model signed to IMG’s brawn division, is Zach Miko, a 6’6″ actor with a 40-inch waist. The Connecticut-born comedian previously modeled for Target, promoting Mossimo Supply Co.’s big and tall line. At the shoot, Miko revealed that the only samples that arrived to set were size medium (the average male model is 5’11’).
Bart hopes that the launch of the Brawn division will encourage more brands to carry larger sizes for men. “I consider myself a beefy, stocky kind of guy or whatever buzzword you want to use. I’m in the fashion business and I’m required to dress fashionably but yet I have size issues. It becomes defeating when I don’t consider myself morbidly obese, but I go to certain stores they don’t have my size,” he said. Let’s hope designers and retailers take notice.