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Ashley Graham: 'I couldn't get a designer to dress me' for the Met Gala

Ashley Graham revealed that she sat out the 2016 Met Gala because she couldn't find a designer to dress her.
/ Source: TODAY

Ashley Graham is quickly becoming one of the most well-known models on the planet, but the journey hasn't always been easy.

She recently revealed that she couldn't even find a designer who was willing to outfit her for the 2016 Met Gala, an annual affair where the biggest names in fashion and Hollywood gather to show off their red-carpet couture.

Ashley Graham attends the 2017 Met Gala on May 1.Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

"I couldn't get a designer to dress me," Graham, a plus-size model, told New York magazine. "You can't just show up in jeans and a T-shirt."

So Graham, who had been "on hold" for the event and not yet officially invited, stayed home. While the model didn't suggest that her size was the reason designers turned her down (she didn't have great designer relationships nor lots of time), there's a good chance it was at least a factor, the magazine pointed out. After all, Graham doesn't fit into sample sizes, and thus would have required a custom-made gown.

But this year, Graham ruled the red carpet at the Met Gala, showing up in a striking red gown from H&M. It had a white corset and long red skirt that hugged her curves, with a feathered train and shoulder.

"Rihanna said I looked 'hot as f---," Graham told New York. "I had no idea what to say to her. I was just like, 'You slay every Met, Rihanna!'"

Clearly, the tide is turning for plus-size, or "curve," models. Many designers have been featuring more plus-size women on the runway at fashion shows and expanding their collections to include larger sizes.

And Graham, who sat down with TODAY Style last year to talk about body positivity and self-confidence, is at the forefront of that change.

"At the end of the day, we are all created equally," she said at the time. "We cannot put each other in labels. We have to learn to grow together and work together."