Plus-size Dublin model, Tia Duffy, was one of three lucky ones to have been hand-chosen to walk in Toronto Fashion Week, earlier this month.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror, 29-year-old Tia spoke about how when she first started modelling, she never thought she would experience such opportunities.
“When I started modelling I couldn’t have seen myself working on the international stage. I remember when I started out I was working at a hair competition and someone said to me I was a bit big to be a model.''
“I was only 19 and it really stuck with me because I did have body image issues during my teenage years. I’m only a size 12-14 though and when I realised fashion brands me plus-size I thought that has to change.”
Tia is now based in Toronto, where she had founded BeBodyAware, an organisation which promotes positive body image and the importance of diversity.
“We want to send out a positive message and make people aware of photoshop and subliminal messages. Toronto Fashion Week is a huge thing here and I noticed they didn’t have any plus-size models.''
“I approached designers but at first nobody answered but as my profile rose they did. I walked Fashion Week for Lesley Hampton, she’s an amazing young designer who’s going to be huge.''
“She’s the only one who used plus-size models during Toronto Fashion Week, she has also worked with amputee and cancer survivor models before, she wants to represent everyone.''
In the interview, Duffy referenced that in the past she used to be a bit intimidated by fashion week and all the thin models, but that this experience felt ''different and so positive.”
She has also mentioned that she would love to work closer to home.
“In Ireland we’re a bit behind in terms of plus sized models, more plus-sized models are working in Toronto and New York but Europe just seems a bit behind. We’re collaborating with designers for Be Body Aware and I’d love to collaborate with Irish designers.''
To check out more of Tia's work, check out BeBodyAware's Instagram right here.