For all the strides made in the fashion industry toward inclusivity, for the most part, men are still often left out of the equation.
IMG Models, which has been a pioneer in breaking those barriers, just made another major move. After adding plus-size models to its regular roster in 2014, WWD announced Tuesday that the iconic agency has launched a "Brawn" division -- exclusively for plus-size male models.
If the new division's first signed model looks familiar to you, your obsession with Target might be the reason. Zach Miko, a comedian, musician, blogger and model, made waves back in October as the brand's only plus-size male model.
Ivan Bart, President of IMG Models, told WWD it was partially his own experiences that led the agency to start the new division.
“I consider myself a beefy, stocky kind of guy or whatever buzzword you want to use," he said. "I’m in the fashion business and I’m required to dress fashionably, but yet I have size issues. It becomes defeating when I don’t consider myself morbidly obese, but I go to certain stores they don’t have my size."
The news comes at a pivotal moment in fashion. Plus-size model Ashley Graham made history in February when she became the first plus-size model to cover the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and more brands than ever are opting to feature more "realistic" looking people in their ads. One male model does not a revolution make, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. And as Miko Described to The Huffington Post, he can't wait to see what comes next.
"To be in the same conversation as icons like Ashley Graham is not only incredible but humbling, and I am so grateful for this chance. I want all men to know that they are attractive and it is time to open up the conversation. We all want to feel and look great, and we all can. I can't wait for every brand to catch on and provide for us the clothes to show how we feel. I’m excited to be there every step of the way."