“We often hear ‘this is the first time I’ve seen myself represented in advertising or media’ in our DMs,” shares Jane Belfry, “and that is exactly why it’s important.” Just over a year ago, Belfry launched The Btwn, a modeling agency with a singular goal: to represent talent who have long been overlooked by traditional agencies and the fashion industry as a whole. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that fashion’s relationship with bodies above a size 0 has always been fraught. The path to size inclusivity in an industry as image-dependant as this has been riddled with stereotypes, labels, and tokenizations.
No question, then, that there’s a long way to go until we can make everyone, and I do mean everyone, feel seen and accepted. Of the many facets of the industry, models play an important role as the faces of brands, campaigns, and magazine spreads. “I hope to help close the gap between straight-size and plus-size, do away with height and measurement requirements, and shift the focus to what makes models special in their own right,” Belfry insisted. Well, fast forward to the present-day and The Btwn is delivering on its mission. With a roster of over 50 models between NYC and L.A. and an impressive casting résumeé including features in Teen Vogue and a swimwear partnership with Target, Belfry and her agency are already making waves in the fashion industry. And we have a feeling they’re only just getting started.
“There will always be an aspirational aspect to fashion, media, and advertising,” Belfry continued, “but making room for an entire range of people to be shown in those roles is crucial. Who we aspire to be should feel attainable and celebratory of many.” So with celebration in mind, we tapped seven on-the-rise faces signed with The Btwn who represent the multi-faceted, label-rejecting talent the agency is known for. Ahead, read our discussion on their experience in the industry, why representation matters, and what they hope to see next in fashion.