Friday, 16 April 2010

ASOS Curve Models...

EDIT - January 2011 -

I just wanted to update this post. I look at fashion a wee bit differently than I did when I first started talking about the Model choices at ASOS. I think that ALL the women modeling are stunning. My earlier frustrations, looking back on these posts is more that they were not always a great representation. It is clear ASOS, with the amazing current choice of model has made a huge effort. All the clothes look amazing on the current models, and I think the women - who all look different and healthy and curvy are a great representation. I especially think this as it looks like the "sample" sizes are being MADE for their curves too - thereby better representing the shape on them, AND the shape on us. That, or the clthes are pinned VERY well.
I love the girls - Laura, Justine, Bree, Amy etc. are amazing! Stunning. I think they are great choices and beautiful women.
In fact, I have interviewed one of them (as of May 2011) - Bree Warren - HERE... She is amazing.

I thought about taking my earlier posts (below) down, but I know they brought up a lot of debate and indeed - responses from ASOS. I have a great deal of respect for their responses as well as your responses. Clearly - I have posted several ASOS Curve outfits on this site since writing these pieces and do love the clothes... These posts will stay, but if you read them, please note that my blog has organically changed in the last year. I believe in a complete celebration of fashion and curves - I respect what ASOS do and how they provide for us. I think they have made strides from the first early steps they made and think the clothes they make are beautifully represented... I haven't always loved the clothes or how they have showcased them... but I do now.


Rant. Rant. Rant. You've read me bring this up before...


I just got a really good and honest reply on the ASOS Live Community about the choice of models for Curve... I am posting what ASOSFi said in reply to the posts (including mine)... I suggest though, that to maintain the integrity and context of what ASOSFi said, that heading to the actual, original post which contains 12 posts in all (at the moment) is the best idea.

The original topic was:

Is the Model featured a Plus-Size Model?

ASOSFi Wrote -


Thanks for your reply.

I understand where you are coming from, but in the world of modelling plus size is considered anything over a size 12 - I know that sounds completely insane but it is just the way the industry works.

I have spent the last 6 months pouring blood, sweat and tears into finding an appropriate Curve model, literally, it's very close to my heart and it saddens me to hear you aren't happy with our choices.
Unfortunately, the plus sized model industry isn't that large, and it's extremely hard to find a model that would be right for ASOS that is also a size 20. It's probably the hardest challenge I have faced in my two years working here. I have met every plus sized model in London.

The issue is, when we're casting we take so many things into account, we really need the creme de la creme of the model scene here because it's very full on - every model has a certain number of shots they need to get in a day, quickly. Also not everyone photographs well under our lighting, the model needs to be in proportion otherwise they aren't showing off the clothes well. We need girls with good hair and skin, because we don't have time to keep doing their make-up. These are all things we need to consider, which makes finding a model extremely difficult.

I also have to say we are following the same path as every other plus sized retailer, and in many cases we have bigger models than them. One of our plus sized girls has told me stories of her having to wear a fatsuit for shoots, whereas another has told me about her being digitally enhanced to look bigger - ASOS would NEVER ever hop on this bandwagon. We'd prefer to be truthful to our customers.

Doing a model comp is something we have discussed but these sorts of things take a lot of planning... so keep looking!



I find this answer very interesting and honest, but there are other thoughts swirling about in my head too... what do other people think? It is clear that ASOSFi is very passionate and her response says a lot.

I just want to mention that I do like a lot from the ASOS Curve range and check their new items often - I also think the models are stunning.

For more ASOS Curve Action - I also always check what Devon is wearing from ASOS Curve - she is a more faithful representation of what the clothes will look like... I also love checking out the ASOS Fit Model Vanessa Reece's blog where she posts recaps of Fit Sessions as well as pictures of her in the clothes too! There is now a fanpage group that you can join on Facebook too!

Oh, and how cool is a search for a model idea? I would love to see an actual size 20-26 rocking the Curve. Thoughts?

Smooch. x.

PLEASE NOTE: Since this original post ASOS has actually pushed this debate further by advertising the thread on both twitter and their "Community Home Page" - it is all worth a look, no matter what your opinion and certainly, it is great to see such a healthy and live venting of thoughts online.
This has also been discussed on Facebook at the "I love ASOS Curve Club" fanpage which are where I posted my final comments... the same text is in the comments section below.

PS - Am I mistaken, or is the ASOS CURVE model (above) Australian Laura Wells? I posted a picture of Laura here sending love to BGM Models... same girl, right?


  1. Ugh, they can spout as much rubbish about the plus-size model industry as they like, but the fact of the matter is that until they put their clothes on a model who is at least a size 20, they are showing us the clothes on a model who is too small and not an accurate representation of how the clothes will look.

    I'm so fed up with seeing their size 14 models drowning in too much fabric.

  2. Thanks for the mention, I appreciate it. I always try and post honest reviews of stuff I get. I adore some of the pretty plus size models that Curve has, but I agree with you that they're not the most accurate representation for the range.
    With time we can only hope that us bigger girls get better representatives, but for now it's quite hard to get accurate reviews/views on plus size items without turning to the blogging community.
    Devon xx

  3. Devon, I love your reviews. In fact - it is something about your site I love - they are honest and I often go back and reread them/look at pictures. In the ASOS sale, I KNEW you had reviewed that dress - so went back and found the review and only THEN did I purchase. x.

    Bethamint - I know... this is an issue that I am passionate about because of how much it frustrates me. x.

    BBM - Heck, yeah it is! x.

  4. Em, that's so lovely to hear you say, really. I am actually quite flattered by what you've just said, you may be making me blush a little ;)
    Apart from stroking my ego I do have more to add on the subject, really!
    I am totally with you on this and I understand where Asos Fi is coming from but there just seems to be a brick wall encasing the plus size modelling industry at the moment. What would they call the size 22/24/26+ models? Super plus size? Jumbo size? Obese plus? Are they not also plus size models or is this just me?

    Devon of xx

  5. This is such hard issue.

    I wonder if the reason the size 20+ models don't have the experience ASOS is looking for BECAUSE places like ASOS - who sell the clothes they fit - don't hire them.

    I wonder if maybe ASOS has just looked at conventional plus models as opposed to the ones who actually reflect the range they sell.

    This won't be an improved situation until places like ASOS start improving it.

  6. My final thoughts, as I wrote on Facebook today in the ASOS CURVE CLUB page -

    I guess the issue at some of the core of this is that the women modeling couldn't wear the clothes down the street... One of my sisters was a model for years, so I know quite well how things work - I just think that the "spin" being delivered by ASOS makes it worse. The suggestion about plus size girls and their skin, hair, ability, look etc - is both patronising and offensive... So too is the inference that they don't have time to retouch a model's makeup... during a fashion shoot... please.

    I also think it is very telling that ASOS (in that community forum) have tried to push focus onto other retailers.

    I appreciate ASOS is a business. They want to make money from plus-size girls but not have the associated visual model.

    Now, by saying that, I'm not diminishing the work or creativity behind the outfits or how amazing the clothes are. Indeed, I look at the clothes and it looks like the designers and buyers are enthused and love their jobs - they make fabulous choices, but really - for ASOS corporate/marketing it comes down to money and image. I like that they know that the people consuming their goods have something to say about how those things are sold to them.

    And finally - Laura Wells - the model, well - I love her. I first saw her model for City Chic in Melbourne last year and she looked phenomanal. Check it:

  7. I'm going to shock you further by telling you that in the modelling world plus-size refers to anything above a 6. It's definitely a separate standard.

  8. Hi Laura -

    I know, it is amazing, huh!

    Have you seen this Ellen program -

    So insightful from the models perspective!


  9. Hi Em,

    I'm ASOSFi! I've only just got around to checking your blog, but I'm really saddened by your final comments here.

    There is no 'spin' ... I've been very honest and answered all your queries. I know a lot about this because I do it for a living, I've honestly met every plus sized model based in London. My twin sister is a size 24 and I've regularly asked for her advice during the casting period. We've done market research and competitive research, everything we can do really.

    The point about skin/hair etc , I'll explain in more detail: there is only a HANDFUL of size 20 models out there that are available to me - i.e. within price range, readily available to work full days regularly in London. As with any casting, men's/women's/plus-sized/maternity - from that pool of models, I have to ascertain who's hair/skin/figure etc works under our lighting. I wasn't saying plus sized girls have bad skin at all, just that from the handful available, the choices are cut down even more if they don't look right... it's so rare to find ANYONE that's right for us, and that's across the board, not just on Curve. If it was easy, I wouldn't have a job!

    I'll explain to you how ASOS works as well, so you're aware that we really don't have time to be doing someone's make-up all day long and all the things that come along with that. We have 6 in-house studios. These studios are in use every single day, with 2 or 3 models per studio. We need to get roughly 100 items of clothing shot per studio, so no, we don't have time to be fixing someone's skin all the time, or their hair. Obviously we have make-up artists and hair stylists on set, but they need to be close to perfect from the get-go to get all those shots done.

    Which brings me to my next point - our models also need experience to get the shots done. It's a tough day and they need to keep churning out the poses. We don't have time to keep telling them what to do, we need 'naturals'.

    And lastly... of the few size 18/20 models that do exist out there, they tend to be over a certain age. An age that is not ASOS's core customer... so it's us being caught between a rock and a hard place. If we had a 40 something woman modelling the clothes, I doubt 18 year old girls would buy them. The plus size market tends to gravitate towards the older customer, and that isn't ASOS's target. So it's a difficult one.

    I haven't tried to push the focus onto any other retailers, but I did mention the fact that most other retailers use fat suits, because that has been the most shocking revelation to come out of this discussion for me, and I just wanted to make everyone aware that at least we are being 100% honest with our consumers. In my opinion, that's far better than taking a size 16 girl and making her wear a fatsuit. How would you feel if ASOS had done this, and then you'd found out about it? It would be disastrous in my opinion!

    In the end, it's nothing to do with size, or not wanting a visually associated model as you suggest. It saddens me that you seem to have taken a lot of negative connotations from my replies to you, because as I've said before, this is something very close to my heart. It's so much harder to work around than anyone seems to realise, and it's extremely frustrating. I appreciate all your feedback, and we ARE listening, always.

    Hopefully this will help you see, from my point of view, the sheer frustration of the situation!


  10. Hi ASOSFi -

    Thank you for coming and checking my blog and following up on this...

    I apologise if the word "spin" offended you - your passion about this issue is abundantly clear. I honestly initially felt there were a lot of excuses really, but you have certainly conveyed your passion and absolutely and clearly clarified how you feel about all this as well as the situation.

    Thank you.

    I hope your sister gets to enjoy loads a slammin' Curve clothes.

    I got a dress last week - and love it.

    Thanks - Em. x.

  11. I always thought these girls were just on the smaller side of the plus sized spectrum. Some of them actually have my shape. No one is as busty as I am but they can sure fill out some skirts like I do.

    I say they should do a lovely plus sized model search. It shouldn't include cheesy challenges like America's next Top Model. They should do the initial basic photos in the lighting they use to narrow it down by face and pose and eventually give them the big how many looks can you rock in an hour. That should let the best women win and we can get a few new faces on the site.

  12. This picture is so lovely ,when I see you blog I feel very happy ,thanks a lot !


Hi there! Thank you for leaving your post. Due to some blatantly obvious spammers I have had to turned comment moderation back on with word captcha for older posts. Hopefully the spammers will bugger off and I can take some of the settings back to normal quickly! Thank you and smooches! Em. x