A leading fashion retailer have launched a hunt for a new generation of curvy British models – flying in the face of the fashion industry’s obsession with super skinny women.

Simply Be weighed into the debate by partnering with fashion influencers in an attempt to mobilise women above a size 12 to put themselves forward as catwalk contenders and challenge the current size limits.

While steps have been taken by some in the industry, Simply Be believes more women above an industry-standard size 8 need to be represented in fashion campaigns – especially as the average dress size in the UK is a 16.

Simply Be are appealing to British women to tweet or Instagram their full length picture to @Simplybeuk using the hashtag #CatwalkContender.

Cath Ryan, Head of Brand at Simply Be says, “As a retailer who caters for women sized 12 to 32, we have always photographed our clothing on curvy women – but the pool of models is so narrow that we’ve decided to ask women of the UK to help us usher in a new wave of women that can help us change the face of fashion.”

The search follows the brand’s response to the controversial Protein World advert last month. Simply Be countered the ‘Are you beach body ready?’ posters by taking ad space at Knightsbridge tube station with a spoof featuring a size 16 model and the words ‘Every Body Is Beach Body Ready’.

Joining Simply Be’s Head of Brand on the model search panel is body confidence campaigner and broadcaster Jameela Jamil, who speaks passionately about her experiences of being body-shamed.

Also lending her extensive experience is ex-curve model and MD of Milk Management Anna Shillinglaw. Anna has been instrumental in ensuring Milk is the model agency at the forefront of representing a diverse range of women.

Joining the panel from a media perspective is Shelly Vella, Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Fashion Director. Cosmopolitan’s new ‘Shaping Perceptions’ campaign aims to inspire readers to express themselves through style regardless of their size.

Continues Simply Be’s Cath Ryan, “We all see beautiful women on streets of the UK daily who could easily have a successful career in modelling, but they think that their size is a barrier. The truth is that the industry is starting to change, but we need women to help us drive through this change quicker.”

Jameela Jamil says, “Women battle with body confidence on a daily basis and isn’t made easier with the constant barrage of images we see portraying the ‘perfect body’.

“I’m excited to be in involved in finding an amazing new curvy model that can represent the majority of British women. Fashion is for everyone, it’s not just for skinny girls!”

Anna Shilllinglaw, MD, Milk Model management says, “We’re delighted to be working with Simply Be to rally women to put themselves forward as a catwalk contender. We are looking to find gorgeous and aspirational women that happen to be bigger than a size 8!

“At Milk Management we are taking strides to give the industry access to models that represent the women of the UK with our Curve Board – we want girls of all shapes and sizes who have an editorial appeal.“

Entrants can also enter by attending the Leeds casting on  Wednesday 1stJuly being held in the Simply B store in The White Rose Cente. where they will have the opportunity to meet with members of the judging panel;

  • One Years modelling contract with Milk Model Management
  • Model for Simply Be’s Christmas campaign
  • £1000 to spend at Simply Be
  • 12 Months Subscription to Cosmo
  • Cosmo goody bag worth £150

For more info on how to enter please visit

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