Molly Constable may look blasé in Savage x Fenty’s fall campaign—her fuchsia-gloved hand draped over an eye, slouched into an office chair in a cubicle so drab her lilac lingerie set practically glows—but on set she swears the vibe was anything but boring.
“Every time I’ve shot for them, you watch them build the set from the ground up,” she says of the Rihanna-helmed brand, which launched in May of last year. “It’s really interesting just to see what kind of creative process they go through to design these things. They have the most amazing creative directors, the coolest photographers, and the best production teams.”
They also have some of the most forward-thinking, diverse casting in the biz—something Constable says she wishes she had seen when she was growing up.
“I always wanted to be the girl who bought sexy lingerie, so I’d go to these stores and buy a red thong and be like ‘Oooh, I’m so sexy,'” she laughs. “But since I’ve always had bigger boobs and a little bit bigger hips, I was just never the type to go out of my way to try and find these brands, because they never had sizes that fit me, even when I was in high school. And if they did, it was just turmoil every time my mom and I would go shopping.”
With Fenty, it’s a different story. For starters, the brand carries a broader range of sizes than, say, Victoria’s Secret (32A to 44DDD and XS to 3X, to be precise). Plus, the vibe is all about inclusivity. “You can be any type of person, any size, any color—you can be whoever you want as long as you like fun colors and cheetah print,” she says.
Constable, then, fits the bill precisely, though you’re just as likely to find her on a snowboard near her hometown in upstate New York as you are in full Fenty glam. (No surprise, then, that Volcom signed her as an ambassador last summer.)
Discovered over Instagram in 2012, Constable has since built a wide-ranging portfolio that includes campaigns for Universal Standard and Beyond Yoga, editorials for Galore, Schön, and CR Fashion Book, and runway work for Tome, Addition Elle, and, of course, Savage x Fenty. The gig that arguably made the biggest splash, though, was her 2017 shoot for Playboy by photographer Heather Hazzan, which earned her the title of the magazine’s first plus-size model (and made everyone else wonder what took them so long).
Photo by Tyrone Lebon
As impressive as her career trajectory has been thus far, Constable has seen what can happen when publications want to put on a veneer of inclusivity without actually doing the work—and she’s not afraid to call it out on Instagram when stylists do the bare minimum in pulling larger sizes for a shoot.
“It doesn’t happen that often,” she notes. “But when it does, it’s just like, ‘Okay, you’re clearly not on the path you want everyone to think you’re on.'”
If all goes according to plan, though she’ll soon have the chance to beat them at their own game: She’s hoping to get into styling this year, and pursue a silversmithing hobby she recently picked up after discovering Brooklyn designer Britt Bolton’s hand-hewn jewelry.
“She was super cool and I was always wearing her rings. I only wear silver, and I was just like, ‘Why don’t I just do this myself?'” Constable says. “I’ve always liked to draw. I can draw my own designs. And then if I learn how to use a welding tool, why not go into it? It’s just a fun little side project that I really want to commit to.”
In time, she says, she’d also like to follow in the path of her fellow model Adwoa Adboah in becoming an advocate for mental health and healing: Constable has been gradually more outspoken about overcoming an abusive relationship, and eventually she hopes to use her platform to help others in similar situations.
Already, she says, she doesn’t take it for granted when girls reach out to her on social media to tell her they look up to her. And in Fenty, she’s found a community that thrives on lifting women up (look no further than the incredibly enthusiastic reviews and Instagram comments for proof).
“I’ve always wanted to work for someone that is inclusive and supportive of who you are rather than trying to change you into some glammed up girl when they know that that’s not your aesthetic,” she says. “I think being a model, you kind of have to suppress your creativity. So I never thought that there would be a brand that would actually want me for being myself and not try to push my boobs up into my chin and just let me do my thing and have some fun with it and meet amazing people on the way.”