We’ve Come a Long Way!
The year was 1989 and Darrianne Donnelly was just starting out in the modelling industry as one of the first plus-size models in Australia, with much success.
“At first I thought the reason I was attracting so much attention in the industry was solely because I was bigger,” says Darrianne. “Over time, I realised it wasn’t entirely because I was a size 16 among a bevy of waif-thin women, but that there were so few women stepping up to the job.”
So, dressed in a variety of those early-90′s shoulderpads, Darrianne forged a career as a very successful plus-size model. “Modelling back in those days for someone my size was mostly limited to catwalk”, Darrianne remembers, “I got a lot of catalogue work for Grace Bros and smaller retail outlets, but in terms of the mainstream fashion industry, plus-size was not getting a look-in”.
The “plus-size” industry was so small during that time, that the same models were turning up for every casting.
With a bit of research Darrianne realised this was due to potential plus-size models being unaware the opportunity existed to be a model. It was with this in mind, coupled with an increasing desire to change the portrayal of women in advertising, that she opened her own agency.
With a family of three, and at the bright age of 42, BGM opened its doors in 1997. With just two models (Darrianne and her friend Tracey), working out of the spare room in the house, BGM started its vision to bring “real women” to the mainstream media.
Now 15 years down the track, and thanks to growing consumer demand to see an accurate, authentic portrayal of women in media, BGM Models has flourished into an international modelling agency with a client list that includes Avon, Commonwealth Bank, Special K, Big W, Myer, Mysize, Maggie T, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Today Tonight, and Australian Women’s Weekly (to name a few).
There have been some incredible milestones along the way (click here for a detailed view).
- The first plus-size photographic shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine
- The first plus-size fashion parade in Australia at Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival in 2009
- The first plus-size fashion parade in Melbourne at L’Oreal Fashion Festival in 2009
- The recreation of the famous Herb Ritts Supermodel photograph in 2007.
In 2012, as more and more advertisers recognise consumer dissatisfaction with female representation in media, the demand for authentic looking women continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. BGM are proud to be at the forefront in the industry for representing and celebrating women in their original, beautiful size.