You may know 27-year-old Hunter McGrady from her stunning Sports Illustrated spreads who is also the curviest model to ever be featured or through her philanthropic work with 1 Heart, 1 Mission and the JED Foundation, but regardless of how you met her, we can assure you’ll never forget her.
As the daughter of an actor dad and supermodel mom with resumes as long as lifespans, Hunter was destined for greatness and now she has solidified her place among the greats, especially as the first designer in her family.
The Fall collection of her line, “All Worthy” released on August 31st and is sold exclusively through QVC. Her line debuted back in April and is impeccably inclusive with the pieces ranging from 0-36 aka XXS-5X, which is reflective of Hunter’s own experience having been on the spectrum of size 4 to 18.
Hunter isn’t afraid to speak her mind on inclusion or rather the lack thereof…
She challenged brands to “get different body types. Don’t just get the hourglass.” She continued, “I know that I have a smaller waist and bigger hips and bigger boobs. I know that I have more of an hourglass, but I think it’s really crucial to showcase different body types and the models are out there for that.”
Hunter’s switch to the design side began with her swimwear collaboration with Playful Promises. However, with her QVC collection, this is the first time she’s doing more than simply approving pieces.
She stated, “I’m really the designer and it’s my thoughts in my head and my vision from pencil on paper. To picking fabrics, to being in the room with the fit model to, seeing every single step all the way through.
This is my first time doing that and it’s been a labor of love. It’s just been so rewarding to see the outcome and the final products. Every single drop, I have butterflies just thinking about it because it’s so major.
It’s something that I’ve worked on with the team at QVC for the last year and a half and it’s really, really cool.”
In a refreshing conversation with Hunter, she gushes about what her dream campaign would look like, how her legacy lineage shaped her, her introduction into the plus size community, her advice to aspiring models, and what’s next for ‘All Worthy.’
Up Close and Personal with Hunter McGrady
The Curvy Fashionista: When you’ve talked about some of this collection, you’ve talked about some pieces that you’ve kinda missed and wanted and without giving away too much information especially coming into the Fall, what’s something that you’re really excited about?
Hunter McGrady: Denim. I actually just shared some denim [recently] and oh my God, my DMs were crazy! I’m a size 18/20. I’m more on the 20 right now and I’m about 6ft tall so for me, finding denim that fits well and moves with me— and it’s not just jeans either.
We have a ton of other stuff coming as well and we’re working really hard on perfecting the fabric and the fit of our denim pieces that are coming and I’m so excited for that!
TCF: I am obsessed with coats and texture. Is this something that is a key item in All Worthy coming up for the Fall?
HM: Oh girl, we got you. Coats have been my most exciting thing to create. We have one that is coming that is literally so epic. I moved to NY about 5 years ago and I didn’t even have one coat. I literally came here with like a cardigan.
I’m from LA.
Then, I became obsessed with coats because I’m like ‘oh I need them now’ and I never found some I loved that were long and fabulous. We have the most amazing coats coming with texture. We have faux fur. A little bit mixed together like a hoodie and a faux fur and they’re really fabulous.
TCF: To look back at when you initially started to where you are now, did you have an inkling of like this is my calling/purpose or have you been pleasantly surprised along the way or both?
HM: That is such a good question! I think both. I have always had a passion for fashion and design. However, I didn’t know how I was gonna break into it because I know it’s such a competitive field, but I also know that the way that I wanted to do it— which was to make sure it was really inclusive.
Not just in sizing, but also lengths. We have petite, regular and tall lengths and we go up to a 5X.
TCF: Thank you!
HM: Of course! I gotta get all my girls in there. I can’t just stop at numeric and 5x. And, I wanna get the lengths into there, too. So I never really knew how I was gonna break into it.
I definitely knew I wanted to and so in the same moment, I’m so pleased with the way that it did happen and with QVC, they’ve just given me so much reign as far as design and say & it’s just been so wonderful.
TCF: I love it! Do you see All Worthy branching to its own standalone line or will it stay on QVC?
HM: All Worthy will stay on QVC because they have just been so loyal to me and I’m so loyal to them. They just get my vision. They understand it. I’m the first of the brands to go up to such an inclusive size.
Most of the brands already go up to 3x which is amazing, but I’m the first to go up to a 5x and 36 which, by the way, sold out first in like everything which goes to show you the need for it.
They have big visions for it and it’s been a dream partnership.
TCF: Real talk, was there some pressure because you talk about your own journey, challenges and triumphs through that. Did you feel that pressure or did you feel like you finally found a way to make it yours?
HM: That was one thing I’m so grateful for with my family. I could’ve said I wanted to do anything and they’d be like ‘wonderful. I’m here for you.’ I think that was so lovely for them and they always made it mine.
They never made it anything, but mine. My dad was always like ‘Hunter, this is your journey. This is your separate thing.’ You know, everyone’s [thing] looks completely different and that’s what’s so awesome.
There are so many careers out there, but they were really solid as far as making it known that this was my own thing.
TCF: That’s beautiful because there are always different pressures that are around us especially growing up that kinda shape us to where we are.
TCF: When you joined Wilhelmina, were you familiar with the plus-size community? Like coming into this, how were you introduced into the plus size community?
HM: It’s funny I signed when I was about 18 or 19 years old. Plus size modeling was obviously around. You can date back to like Emme who is like the OG plus size model. But it really just wasn’t as prevalent even then, but I remember seeing this cover of Vogue Italia with Robyn Lawley, Candice Huffine and Tara Lynn, and literally a week after I saw that, I signed with Wilhelmina!
I was so intrigued. Like I look like them. I can live out my dream while loving my body like what?! This is crazy. That was so surreal to me.
I thought modeling was over and that was a dream of mine for so long and I was like ‘oh I’ll never fit the mold. I’ll never be a certain size. I just can’t. Just not the way that my body is.’
So to see that Vogue Italia cover, that was really just a pivotal moment in my understanding of plus size modeling and then going into Wilhelmina, I was like you guys have a plus size— curve division?
I remember at the time I think they were only, I think, 6 girls on the board and there weren’t nearly the agencies that there are today. There was Ford Plus. There was Wilhelmina Curve.
Plus size modeling has really grown in the last 10 years. It’s funny my sister is rewatching RHONY and is appalled at the way some of these women are talking to their daughters about their body and she keeps sending me videos like ‘oh my God I can’t believe they even aired this.
This is so detrimental.’ And I’m like ‘dude that’s the way we were living 10 years ago.’
TCF: And so outside of the modeling space, do you read and follow different blogs? Have you been inducted into the community side of it?
HM: I love— I’m such an advocate for CeCe Olisa who does CurvyCon. I think she’s absolutely amazing and she’s just been such a huge game changer in the whole plus size community.
Love to keep up with what’s going on. Oh, I still am a blog reader.
I love The Curvy Fashionista! I have to say, I love you guys’ site. Honestly, I think you guys are absolutely amazing and I think it’s important to stay hip to it.
TCF: I think it’s interesting when you look at— you said like 10 years ago, when you look at how social media has kinda ushered in the growth of plus size fashion world.
HM: It’s been really huge. When you see these bloggers and influencers, who, for the longest time, have kinda had to fake it till you make it because there really wasn’t that much for us, as far as fashion goes.
So what are you gonna tell someone that’s plus size, that they can’t be a fashion blogger?
These women have really worked hard to source different items of clothing and it’s always funny because whenever someone would ask what I’m wearing, I would really only have like 3 different places to say.
Like ‘oh shoot you got that from Torrid, girl?!’
So I give them so much credit because they’ve worked so hard and I’m so glad that times are changing now.
TCF: I’m curious since you’ve opened the doors and are given more of a visibility, do you find that other brands are starting to be more receptive to a fuller size model?
HM: This is a conversation I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had with my girlfriends who are like a size 18-20-22. I think very slowly, but surely. Let me tell you something. I can’t tell you how many brands stopped working with me once I— brands that are plus size, that don’t even cater to a smaller size— they stopped working with me once I gained weight to an 18.
Only an 18 and now I’m a 20.
Like they stopped working with me once I was out of the 14-16 range and after that, it was kinda heartbreaking. I was kinda like ‘wow I don’t even want to support a brand that doesn’t want to support me.
I mean you’re selling to me. I’m your customer still. I’m your customer first before I’m your model and it just gave me a birds eye view of the fact that there’s still a change that needs to happen, even with these plus size retailers and plus size companies.
We need to see true plus size.
One of the things I’m so proud of is that one of the models on the QVC site is like a 20-22. I was like listen, if I’m gonna sell the sizes, I want to see different sizes. Yeah, I want to see my size 2 girl because we offer a size 2, but I wanna see a 22-24.
Like, I wanna see even larger than that, because that’s what I’m selling to. You know how uncomfortable it is to look on a site and see someone who is not even near your size, but it is “plus size” and you’re like ‘well I have no idea how that’s gonna look on me.’
It’s just really disheartening and fashion doesn’t stop at a certain size. It looks wonderful on everybody and I think that any other way of thinking is really archaic and detrimental to society and I hope that brands see this success.
One of my favorite models is Maxey Greene and she models for nearly everybody. I will buy something literally because Maxey is modeling it ‘cause I’m like I want that to sell out so that they see how important that is.
TCF: Let me switch gears for a bit. So with you, you’ve had your swim line, you have this clothing line, what is a dream or goal of yours that you’re working towards?
HM: Two things: 1. I would love to continue to grow All Worthy.
Not just as the clothing line, but grow it to accessories and shoes. I would love to do wide width, wide calf shoes. I literally have no boots because I can never find it.
Ohhh, I would love to grow it even further as a brand and one day, once I have enough life under my belt, I would love to write a book.
I’m only 27 and I know that this is just the beginning of my story so once I have just even a little bit more under me, I’d love to write a book.
TCF: If you could give an aspiring or someone who wanted to get into modeling, what kind of advice would you give them today?
Hunter McGrady: I think that’s actually one of the biggest questions I get in my DMs of people being like ‘what can you tell me?’ ‘Where do I start?’
Luckily, these days there are so many amazing agencies out there. And honestly I suggest a boutique agency for everything. Because, you just sometimes get lost in the shuffle and they have open casting calls usually once a week.
However, right now submit online!
Utilize social media. So many people right now are on social media getting brand deals. So use it to your advantage.
There’s a ton of rejection along the way but you’re gonna grow that thick skin and just know that it is something that will shape you and don’t take it personal. I used to be so butt hurt about it. Like ‘oh my God they hate me’ and then they book me for a campaign.
Then there’s times when I’ve booked a campaign and I’ve been cut out of the campaign. So I think there’s two sides of it.
I was talking to Tyra Banks one time and she was like ‘Hunter, I went into so many agencies and they told me no.’
Can you imagine? Tyra freakin Banks?! She’s the OG and one of the greatest models and that was really an eye-opening thing for me.
TCF: What’s one brand that you would love to work with?
HM: Oh my gosh that’s really a great, huge question. You know what? I think it would have to be a brand that said they would never do plus or has never done plus.
Really high-end like a Chanel or Gucci. Something really major like that just to show them that it can sell. Just to make that history.
TCF: If you could direct a campaign, what would be one of the things that you would need to make sure it would have?
HM: Oh my God, I would have so many models it would be insane. I would have so many models that people would say I can’t have that many models. I would love to do a campaign that showcases all the types of beauty there are out there.
My friend, Travis Curry did something similar last year and he just had different body types. He had one of our friends that has alopecia.
It was just a beautiful photo shoot because I know that so many people saw themselves in that. And I would just love a campaign showcasing different types of beauty and body types and just diversity.
TCF: Aside from your brand, who are the first three brands you’re reaching for in your closet?
HM: Yes! She’s just amazing and creates some really amazing tailored pieces that I think are important. I just know the work that went in it and I love supporting her.
TCF: As you should!
HM: It’s so funny because it’s just so surreal to be reaching for my own things.
TCF: Most of all, what does curvy, confident chic mean to you?
Hunter McGrady: Chic is something that is really what you make it. Sometimes, sweatpants can be chic if you feel that they’re chic.
Curvy, confident I mean those things are things I certainly embody or try to embody.
You know confidence is something I work on every single day.
Granted, there are days I don’t wanna get out of bed, but I think we all have those days. But curvy confident chic is something that I think so many want to strive to be and so many are out there already doing it.
You can shop the All Worthy Collection by Hunter McGrady at QVC.com!
Check out Hunter McGrady as a panelist for QVC’s virtual body positivity summit! Alongside some of our faves like Tanesha Awasthi of Girl With Curves and Nicolette Mason, the event is free.99 (!!) and will take place on September 29, 2020.
The full rundown can be found here. Let us know if you’ll be tuned in!
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