For a while now, there has been an ongoing discussion about the existence of icons and iconic moments in plus-size fashion. While individuals like Comedian Loni Love, feel that there aren’t any plus-size icons, those of us in the thick of all things plus-size, know that this is false. Although representation in the plus-size community differs from that of any other community of women in fashion, big things are happening and curvy girls like Paloma Elsesser are supplying our demand and proving that the plus-size community has icons.
Born in North London, Elsesser grew up in Los Angeles before moving to New York to further her education. While attending college for psychology and literature, and waitressing the now 27-year-old caught the eye of Pat McGrath thanks to her social media presence. These two magical Black girls went on to work together with Paloma serving face as one of the makeup artist muses in the campaign that launched what is now a billion-dollar business.
“A mutual friend connected Pat and me. Funnily, I was on the road with my friend Thebe and I got a call about Pat wanting to shoot and I didn’t even ask any questions. I got on a train that night and came back to NYC for the weekend. It was completely worth it,” she told Teen Vogue in 2016.
Since her lucky break into the industry with McGrath, Elsesser has appeared in advertising campaigns for Fenty Beauty, Nike, and ASOS; she has also walked the runways of New York Fashion Week and graced the cover of Vogue Arabia and British Vogue. Paloma is currently represented by IMG Models. Even better? Last month, she made history by being the first Black plus-size model to walk for for renowned Italian fashion powerhouse Fendi during Milan Fashion Week
Along with fellow plus-size model Jill Kortleve, Elsesser’s presence on the runway took the audience by surprise, made history and stole the show.
Of course, she was beyond geeked!
“I will save all the prophetic language, for once, as I literally have no words!!! I would simply like to express my gratitude for this monumental moment. thank you to EVERYONE INVOLVED,” she wrote.
There is no denying the fact that Paloma is definitely one of the industry’s “it girls” and defies the myths of what someone with her resume should look like. Right now, she is exactly what fashion needs and the plus-size community is here for it! So to celebrate her, here are some of her best looks from the runway, red carpet and beyond:
1. Paris Fashion Week -Alexander McQueenSource:Getty
2. Whitney Museum Studio Party 2018Source:WENN
3. BoF 500 GalaSource:WENN
4. 2020 Milan Fashion Week – Salvatore FerragamoSource:Getty
5. 2019 Savage X Fenty ShowSource:WENN
6. 2020 New York Fashion Week – Coach 1941Source:Getty
7. 2020 New York Fashion Week- Eckhaus LattaSource:Getty
8. 2020 New York Fashion Week – Street StyleSource:Getty
9. New York Fashion Week – Coach 1941 Front RowSource:Getty
Hanging with the homies: Jon Batiste, Michael B. Jordan, Megan Thee Stallion and Miles Chamley-Watson