Groundbreaking! Simone Pérèle, the French lingerie company, is making strides in Australia — the brand is holding an online call for unsigned, above-size-8 models who are Australian residents. The winner will receive a year-long contract with BGM Models, the agency with whom the company is partnering for the competition. They’ll also appear in Simone Pérèle’s advertisin and runway shows.
The call is for curvier candidates who aren’t necessarily plus-sized (though they’re qualified to apply), which is where Simone Pérèle’s casting sets itself apart. Though plus-sized models are slowly gaining traction in fashion (see: Robyn Lawley for Ralph Lauren), it’s still unusual to see mainstream brands featuring women who fall in between a sample size and the plus size range. Publishing editorial work featuring a size 8 model, which is what Simone Pérèle plans to do when they have a winner, is actually the more groundbreaking size barrier to break these days.
One can hope that the increased representation of average-sized women in fashion advertising will more broadly influence more reluctant brands. The British plus-sized magazine, Slink, has noted the difficulty of getting advertisers to buy pages in their publication. That’s fairly ridiculous, since putting women who actually look like a magazine’s readership doesn’t negatively impact sales numbers. To reach a broader acceptance of all sizes will take increased visibility of the middle ones — and that’s exactly why Simone Pérèle’s modeling contest for “normal” sized women is so progressive.