In fashion diversity news, IMG Models have announced a ‘Brawn’ division of ‘plus-sized’ models specifically representing larger, taller men.
The news has been announced on the agency’s Instagram and has since been reported by WWD. As of yet, the agency’s website has no ‘Brawn’ division, nor a profile on the IMG Models website for the first model to be represented in this criteria, Zach Miko.
Miko is 6″6′ and recently made headlines as modelling for Target’s Mossimo Supply Co. as the first plus-sized male to represent the company in publicity and on their website to promote plus-sized collections.
“With everything that’s been going on with women’s fashion and body inclusivity and self-image, it’s interesting that male brands have [just started] stepping up to do the same thing,” the 26-year-old model told People, “it’s fun to be on the precipice of that.”
Speaking to WWD, IMG Managing director Ivan Bart described the thesis of Brawn, “Brawn has a body positive message. Brawn is physical strength.” Bart claimed his own experiences influenced the decision for the agency’s new direction, “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… I want every man in America to say, ‘I can do that’ when they see Zach.”
“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.”
Plus-sized female models have been present in the media for a significant period of time now. Ashley Graham recently caused controversy as the first Plus-Sized model to model for a Sports Illustrated cover. Note that in this campaign, Ashley Graham might be curvy, but the the male model standing behind her has a typical male model’s body-type.
As body image issues and their direct impacts are undeniably present in men as they are in women, this is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, the fashion industry will continue on this trend of representing diverse genders and sizes both in product and in promotion.