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H&M Casts Ashley Graham, But Won’t Sell Plus Sizes In-Store

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Ashley Graham in H&M's fall 2016 studio campaign Photo: H&M

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H&M’s studio collection — the more experimental, higher-price-point line that’s shown during Paris Fashion Week — is set to arrive in stores on September 9th. Model of the moment Ashley Graham is one of three models featured in the lookbook, a fact H&M proudly touts in the second paragraph of its press release surrounding the launch.

Above that, though, is the note that “plus size will be sold exclusively on hm.com.” Exclusive makes it sound like a good thing! But not selling size 14 in store when your face is a size 14 isn't really a good thing.

Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor, says this collection is “about female strength and power, with a fresh look at folklore and romance. It’s very elevated, and also very real.”

Another thing, though, that’s very real, is the fact that plus-size women have a notoriously difficult time shopping for clothing in real life. It’s a category that almost always falls under a separate tab on e-commerce and conspicuously missing from the brick-and-mortar presence of most mainstream stores.

It’s been a joy to see Graham’s face and body all over the place this summer, so here’s hoping that the brands who take advantage of her fresh kind of fashion fame are excited to dress other women her size.

We’ve reached out to H&M and will update if we hear back.