The fashion industry is seeing some healthy change. Gone are the days when they cherished models that had a waistline that was equivalent to a thigh. Recently, the women’s fashion world started accepting curvy models. Ralph Lauren has accepted the change, and other brands like Levi’s and Vogue have joined too. The same trend has now been picked up by the men’s fashion industry. The men’s fashion industry is now accepting plus-size models. Real figures are ruling the ramp, and the change is heartily welcoming.
Zach Miko: Target’s first plus-sized model
A few years back, Zach Miko’ girlfriend bet him $500 that Miko would make it to the People magazine’s “World’s Most Beautiful.” With his heavy body, Miko thought that she must be kidding. At 6-feet, 6-inches tall and weighing 275 pounds, Miko felt anything but beautiful. At that time, he was playing the role of a Dinosaur Troubadour in a puppet show at a prehistoric-themed amusement park in New Jersey. He never dreamt of becoming a model.
In July, Miko received a call that changed it all. Target wanted him to be company’s first plus-size guy to model its big and tall line. For Miko, it was surreal, as he was fed up of being called ugly. He said yes to their offer. His wife’s bet paid off. “She’s always been very confident in me. But it was a ridiculous bet. As a man-of-size, you spend your whole life knowing you’re a big guy and you kind of also know that you’re not traditionally attractive from start to finish,” says Miko. Miko is big and tall, but not towering tall as models are expected to be. With his blue eyes, sandy blond hair, and healthy brown beard, he is making women drool.
A much-needed change for the industry
Dexter Mayfield, who was seen in LA fashion week flashing crazy colors, shares the thought. “There isn’t a plus-size male model in the industry on the runway, and we were closing L.A. Fashion Week, so I was a bundle of nerves. It was a feeling like no other, the entire room just gave me so much love and energy. I’m excited to see where things go. I would love to make it to New York, or Paris, or Milan, but if it happens to another amazing, handsome, beautiful male model, that’s great as well,” says Dexter. Dexter’s gig was even shared by Stefano Gabbana.
Kelvin Davis runs a body positive men’s fashion blog, and he is in all support for plus-sized models. His blog is titled as Notoriously Dapper, and it all started when made a trip to Express three years ago. He tried to buy a red blazer, but it did not fit him. When he demanded a larger size, the company told him they did not make any. “Express is trying to tell me that they don’t want larger guys wearing their jackets. So I decided to make a fashion blog because I realized there were a lot of guys struggling to look stylish in their own bodies. When I started I figured it was just my grandma and my mom looking at it. But men struggle with this just as much as women do—men just aren’t as vocal about it. I know a lot of guys don’t want to be out there complaining about how jackets don’t fit at Express, but I’m not afraid to speak up because I know who I am. The fact that I care about how I look doesn’t make me less of a man,” says Davis.