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Plus size models continue to break barriers within the fashion industry, paving the way for more diversity and inclusivity.

In 2018, we saw plus size models being featured in major campaigns for beauty, mainstream fashion and lifestyle brands as well as being in commercials and TV segments. Some were even seen on billboards and in store windows.

And this is just the beginning as these models show no signs of slowing down.

Here’s 10 plus size models we have our eyes on this year:

#1: Denise Mercedes

From being featured in a billboard in Times Square for Aerie and being seen in American Eagle store windows to working with Calvin Klein on a body positive collaboration, Denise Mercedes is on fire right now!

This model is no newbie to the game so we’re so happy to see her making major moves and getting her due. She has also founded the #becauseitsMYbody movement as a response to haters on social media, pushing the message that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Denise has collaborated with brands such as Rebdolls, Forever21, Fashion to Figure, Target and JCPenney. We would not be surprised if we saw her in a beauty campaign this year. L’Oreal, please book her ASAP!

#2: Anita Marshall

“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.” That sums up Anita Marshall in a nutshell. This veteran model almost didn’t pursue modeling when she was told she was “too big” at her first casting. But she decided to continue and we’re so proud to see how far this past PMM cover model has come. She has worked with major brands such as Target Beauty, Nike, Good American, Eloquii and Lane Bryant. 2018 was a big year for her career and we can’t wait to see what she does this year.

#3: Erica Lauren

This stunner was one of the first size-18 models to be used by major brands such as Simply Be, Fashion to Figure and NY & Company. Erica seems to be everywhere, popping up on websites for Ashley Stewart, Simply Be, Torrid and more. Standing at almost 6 feet tall with legs for days, she walked runways in NY and LA Fashion Weeks, and has also become a successful brand influencer while using her platform to also promote body acceptance and diversity. We would love to see her on TV or perhaps an active campaign for Nike or Day/Won.

#4: Liris Crosse

Known as the Naomi Campbell of Plus, Liris is another veteran supermodel who continues to make big moves in this industry. Did you think she would stop after her win on Project Runway as the first plus size model to win Best Model of the Season? Nope. In 2018, she continued to grace magazine covers and model in campaigns while executing her model bootcamps and working on her new book, which drops early this year and is available for pre-order. Liris also inspires and empowers others to pursue their own goals and dreams via her #LirisMotivates hashtag, which includes public speaking and community service. We know 2019 is going to be on fire for her.

#5: Ariel Pierre Louis

This showstopper, who’s a proud visibly plus size model, is well on her way to supermodel status. Having already walked in NYFW for Chromat and Leanne Marshall, she continues to push the envelope on what a traditional model should look like. We love when she rocks her natural hair but then changes it up with cornrolls, looking like she’s a pro while remaining so humble and down-to-earth. Ariel is such a natural, having already worked with brands such as Ashley Stewart, Universal Standard, Dia & Co, Bon-Ton and JC Penney. Christian Siriano, please cast her in your next NYFW show.

#6: Venezia Cruz

This beauty is not only a model but also an influencer and body positive advocate. She’s been extremely candid about have cystic acne and why she chooses to wear makeup, which she views as art. But she stresses that everyone should do what makes them happy and not to get validation from others. Venezia has worked with brands such as KKW Beauty, Boohoo, Charlotte Russe, Monday Swimwear and Babes and Felines. We would not be surprised to see her in a future Sports Illustrated Swim issue or modeling for swim brands such as GabiFresh for Swimsuitsforall and Alpine Butterfly.

#7: Bree Kish

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@sephora 💋

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You’ve probably seen this gorgeous redhead modeling for one of your favorite brands or in the recent Target commercial promoting last minute holiday gifts. She most recently worked with ASOS and we love how she can go from looking like the girl next door to editorial edgy. In 2018 alone, she was featured in Wet and Wild Beauty’s Breaking Beauty campaign, on a video billboard in Times Square for Sephora, in-store ads for Benefit Cosmetics and Target Beauty as well as in-store ads for Sephora.

In addition to all that, in 2018 she worked with brands such as Lane Bryant, Eloquii, Torrid, Nordstrom, Just Fab, Beach Bunny Swimwear, Harvey’s, Volcom and Alpine Butterfly Swim. In other words, Bree stays working and shows no signs of slowing down. 2019 is not ready!

#8: Riley Ticotin

In 2018, Riley was seen working for brands such as Simply Be, Panache Lingerie, Mary Kay, Rachel Roy, Lane Bryant, Boohoo and Old Navy. This natural beauty is such an amazing chameleon when it comes to modeling, effortlessly switching it up into whatever look is needed to get the job done. We especially love when she is in editorial edgy mode and we can so see her gracing the cover of Vogue in a couture look. We hope to see her in more beauty campaigns this year and someone, please book her in a commercial please!

#9: Faith Costa

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(1/2) Dresses, dresses, dresses for every holiday and winter occasion! Now when you shop for dresses at @torridfashion you can see them on multiple different sizes! Just hit that "select fit model" button and choose a size to see (I'm the size 4😉)! xx HMUA by @yasulina xx #torrid #torridinsider #torridmodel #bicoastalmgmt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #effyourbeautystandards #celebratemysize #plusisequal #bigandblunt #beinyourskin #plussize #plussizefashion #fashion #faithplusfashion #plussizemodel #model #ootd #psblogger #blogger #smile #visiblyplussize #pmmlovemybody #fullfiguredfashion #plussizemeplz #bodypositive #selflove #feminism #plusfashion #inclusive #fallfashion #winterfashion

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This size-24 model is busting down doors in the modeling industry and paving the way for models over a size 18 to come through and book major jobs. Faith has worked with brands such as Torrid and Dia & Co as well as indie designers Tru Diva Designs, Nina Sharae Resort & Swimwear and All67.

She’s also a successful influencer and blogger, as well as an extremely talented artist. We can’t wait to see what she does this year because she is proving that models over a size 18 can be seen front and center, working in major fashion campaigns.

#10: Sara Smith

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Dreams absolutely come true. Thank you @bicoastalmgmt & @torridfashion for making this gal literally run from the front of the store bawling my eyes out as I spotted me through two racks of clothes at the back of the store! Never in my life did I ever think this would be me up there. 13 year old Sara came out in me as I walked out of the store tonight after staying in there for an hour soaking it all up. She was so happy. She cried. She’s crying again because she lived through the hell that got her where she is. I’m proud of you. And I’m proud of me today. I. Have. Made. It. 👏🏼😭 To the ones who have made me who I am & the supporters that have tagged along either from the jump or 2 months ago: THANK YOU! You people are the ones who keep this flame going inside of my heart 👏🏼

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Sara is another model pushing barriers in the modeling industry. Standing at almost six feet tall and a size 20, she is showing that plus models over a size 18 without a flat tummy can be successful too. And to whoever said a plus size model over a size 14 couldn’t be editorial, has not seen Sara. This stunner could easily slay a Vogue or Glamour cover or be on a billboard. We saw evidence of that in her intimates shoot for Torrid alongside supermodels Candice Huffine and Julie Henderson.

She’s come a long way from 2017 when she was selected to walk in Torrid’s NYFW runway show and she has worked with the brand ever since. Now signed to Bicoastal Management, we can’t wait to see what she’ll do this year.

What models will you be watching this year? Who are some of your favorites? Follow us on social media @plusmodelmag and let us know!

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