Ashley Graham says it would have been 'dope' to see plus-size models on Rihanna's Fenty x Puma runway

Showgoers and social media audiences loved Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma runway show during New York Fashion Week. What wasn’t to love? There was fashion (“fun and easy!”); there was pizzazz (BMX stuntmen!); there was a cast of diverse faces (Adwoa Aboah, Slick Woods, Duckie Thot).

But Ashley Graham, who attended the show but did not walk, noticed a conspicuous, surprising absence of plus-size models, a disappointing realization.

Ashley Graham walks the Addition Elle runway. (Photo: Getty Images)

“I was at Fenty last night, and that was an amazing show. But how dope would it have been to see some curves on the runway?” Graham told Yahoo Style. “It was a very diverse group of women, which was really nice,” she added.

Graham, who hosted a New York Fashion Week pop-up shop and runway for her eponymous brand’s latest lingerie collection with plus-size retailer Addition Elle, said she’s saddened that after last season’s strong showing of plus-size (Graham consciously uses the term “curve”-size) models, this year’s runways have cooled on the momentum built in February.

Models backstage at the Fenty Puma by Rihanna spring/summer 2018 collection on Sept. 10  in New York City. (Photo: Getty Images)

“I think there’s some designers who might want to have curves on the runway but haven’t figured it out maybe? It’s funny to me, because I’ll look at runways and think, I’d look so great in those clothes or, I know curvy women who would look so great in those clothes.”

A model at the Fenty Puma by Rihanna spring/summer 2018 collection on Sept. 10 in New York City. (Photo: Getty Images)

To be sure, plus-size hasn’t been completely forgone on the spring 2018 runways. There were the Christian Siriano and Prabal Gurung runway shows, both of which Graham and other curvy models walked, not to mention the Chromat show, one of the most diverse runways — thanks to its inclusion of plus-size, transgender, and older models. And theCURVYcon, a body-positive gathering focused on size inclusion that’s now in it’s third year, moved to Fashion Week for the first time to help drive the curvy discussion.

Jordyn Woods walks the runway at the 2018 Chromat show. (Photo: Getty Images)

Graham also says she’s slated to walk a few more runways yet before NYFW ends on Sept. 13.

Yahoo Style reached out to the Fenty x Puma team for comment and will update this story as we hear back. In the meantime: Rihanna, we have a feeling Graham may be interested in walking your show next season. Perhaps a few other plus-size women too.

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Alexandra Mondalek is a writer for Yahoo Style + Beauty. Follow her on Twitter @amondalek.

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