Robyn Lawley will appear in Sports Illustrated in a bikini from her own line, and in doing so, is the first plus-size model to grace the iconic swimsuit issue.
The 25-year-old Australian, who wears a U.S. size 12, responded to her inclusion in the magazine by saying, “I’m so excited, I’m dying ... I’m dying!”
Even though statistics show the average American woman is a size 14, a size 12 typically qualifies Robyn as plus-size in the fashion industry.
She says she doesn’t like to focus on labels, but Robyn Lawley is officially the most curvy of any SI swimsuit model in its history in any case.
“I don’t know if I consider myself plus-size or not,” she says. “I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies. ”
MJ Day, assistant managing editor of Sports Illustrated, says Lawley had been on her radar for years, regardless of the “plus size” buzz she generates.
“She sort of embodies the classic SI girl," Day says of Robyn.
"She’s interesting, she’s beautiful, she has an incredible body, and I felt that she would make a great addition to the issue ... it was simple as that.”
This approach by Day is in line with the recent movement to integrate of models of varying body types into commercial and high fashion campaigns.
Lawley has graced the cover of Vogue Italia and Cosmopolitan Australia, and shot ads for Ralph Lauren, Chantelle and Barneys in recent years.
Even so, she didn’t think Sports Illustrated was a possibility.
“I never thought that this would happen to me, so this is a milestone,” says Lawley, regardless of whether you consider a size 12 to be plus size or not.
“When I started my career 10 years ago, I had to painfully go to castings and people would look at you and say, ‘What the hell are you doing here?'"
"I want to be there for the regular girls who are my size.”
Last year, Lawley appeared in a viral campaign for plus-size swimwear line SwimsuitsForAll, which re-imagined SI swimsuit spreads with plus-size models.
What a difference a year makes.
Hannah Davis will cover the SI swimsuit issue for 2015, which is scheduled to hit newsstands nationwide next Tuesday and the Internet one day earlier.
Obviously, we can't wait.