The modelling industry has made major strides when it comes to inclusivity, with both “real people” (including those with mental and physical disabilities) and models of all sizes infiltrating magazine pages.
The same cannot necessarily be said for male models. Few brands have deviated from the typical lean, chiseled man, complete with distinctive cheekbones.
But that’s about to change.
International model management firm IMG Models has just done something game-changing for the male modelling industry with the introduction of “Brawn.” Brawn is the name of the new plus-size men’s division of the agency for taller, larger men.“Brawn has a body positive message. Brawn is physical strength,” IMG Models President Ivan Bart told WWD.
The agency’s first brawn model is Zach Miko (also an actor, comedian, and writer) who was featured on Target’s e-commerce site in 2015 modelling Mossimo Supply Co.’s big and tall line. Miko is 6’6″ and has a 40-inch waist.
After the mass embrace and growing success of plus-size models like Ashley Graham, it was only a matter of time until the guys got in on the action. “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,” Bart said.
The move will hopefully make fashion both more accessible and approachable for men of all sizes, and inspire brands to cater to more varied body types. While there are stores that offer stylish clothing for larger men, the options aren’t exactly plentiful.
“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,” Bart said. “It becomes defeating when I don’t consider myself morbidly obese, but I go to certain stores they don’t have my size.”
Aside from the whole size issue, the tall, lean look isn’t for everybody, and many people would probably rather look at a bulkier, more traditionally masculine looking man like Miko anyway.