Ashley Graham felt she was the ideal candidate to launch a plus-size lingerie line.

Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham

The 29-year-old model teamed up with the fashion house Lane Bryant in 2010 because she "really wanted" to create an underwear collection and felt her fans would expect her to front the campaigns and design the garments.

Speaking to New York magazine about her career, the brunette beauty said: "Then I really wanted to design lingerie because I felt, 'I'm the plus-size lingerie girl. If people think about plus-size lingerie, they're going to think of me. How can I capitalize on that?' "

But the fashion icon has revealed she has constantly been told she will never be a successful model, be a cover girl, and is "not good enough" for the industry.

Speaking about the naysayers, she said: "I was with an agent who told me, 'You're not a cover girl,' and I took that as, 'Okay, he's right'. Then I went to an agency [IMG] that said, 'Why aren't you?'

"It's like, 'Plus what?' That's something I've always been told: 'You're not good enough because you're plus-size.' I'm not here to ban the word from the dictionary."

And it wasn't until the Nebraska-born became the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue in 2015 she realised her potential and felt it was a platform for her to "conquer the world".

She explained: "It was an eye-opening experience for me in that 'Oh my God, I can do anything I want.' When you're given an SI cover and you take advantage of it, you can conquer the world. Look at Chrissy Teigen. Look at Tyra Banks. Look at Kathy Ireland. She's a mogul in this industry now."

And Ashley is happy to take "the brunt work" and face any backlash surrounding curvier models who want a career in the fashion business to inspire the future generation for women.

She said: "This is the thing: I know I'm paving the way for the next generation of girls, and they're not going to have to do this. That's what I hope. I'll take the brunt work and just handle it, and then you guys can just sail right on through."