Ashley Graham skipped the 2016 Met Gala because no designers would dress her


Ashley Graham made a sexy splash when she arrived at the 2017 Met Gala in a H&M couture gown featuring a fiery red and burgundy train of florals and a va-va-voom cream bustier. Even Rihanna told her she looked "hot as fuck."

So it's a wonder as to why she didn't attend the year before, for 2016's technology-themed gala. However, in her cover story for New York mag's fall fashion issue, the supermodel reveals that the reason behind her absence was because she had nothing to wear — fashion houses simply refused to outfit her for the event.

"I couldn't get a designer to dress me," she says. "You can't just show up in jeans and a T-shirt."

Ashley Graham at the 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute GalaPhoto: Getty Images

Since that time, Graham has certainly had plenty of designers clamoring to dress her. With the help of her stylist, Jeff Kim, the 29-year-old consistently wears labels like Roberto Cavalli, Jonathan Simkhai and Badgley Mischka. She adds that now, most of the red-carpet looks are borrowed, even though designers know full well that Kim will "aggressively tear off sleeves, lower bust lines, and add slits to better suit her body."

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Ashley Graham out and about
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Ashley Graham out and about
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 15: Event honoree, model Ashley Graham attends the Urban Arts Partnership 25th Anniversary Benefit at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Model Ashley Graham walks the runway at Addition Elle Presents Holiday 2016 RTW + Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection at Kia STYLE360 NYFW on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/WireImage Style360)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Model Ashley Graham walks the runway at Addition Elle Presents Holiday 2016 RTW + Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection at Kia STYLE360 NYFW on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/WireImage Style360)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Designer and model Ashley Graham (L) appears on the runway at the Addition Elle Presents Holiday 2016 RTW + Ashley Graham Lingerie fashion show during Style360 Fashion Week September 2016 at Metropolitan West on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: Model Ashley Graham attends the Endometriosis Foundation of America's 6th annual Blossom Ball hosted by Padma Lakshmi and Tamer Seckin, MD at 583 Park Avenue on March 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Blossom Ball)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Model Ashley Graham attends 'Orange Is The New Black' Season Two Series premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on May 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by J Carter Rinaldi/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Ashley Graham attends the LOVE x Balmain Xmas Party at The Ivy Market Grill on December 15, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for LOVE x Balmain)
THE VIEW - Guests include plus-size swimsuit model Ashley Graham; Spike Lee ('Da Sweet Blood of Jesus') and Victor Rasuk ('Fifty Shades of Grey') today, Monday, February 9, 2015 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Model Ashley Graham attends 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Celebration at Marquee on February 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Model Ashley Graham attends the 2015 amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on February 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: Model Ashley Graham attends the FULLBEAUTY Brands Launch event at Gustavino's on April 2, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 06: Model Ashley Graham attends as Lane Bryant celebrates the launch of their campaign #ImNoAngel on April 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for #ImNoAngel Cacique Exclusively For Lane Bryant)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Ashley Graham attends the Cash & Rocket photocall at the London Eye Pier on May 15, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Model Ashley Graham attends the 2015 CurvyCon at Metropolitan Pavilion on June 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Model Ashley Graham attends the 'Patrick Demarchelier' special exhibition preview to celebrate NYFW: The Shows for Spring 2016 at Christie's on September 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Model Ashley Graham attends the Lane Bryant launch of the #PlusIsEqual campaign at Times Square on September 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Lane Bryant)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Ashley Graham attends the Us Weekly Fashion Week At KIA STYLE360 At Row NYC on September 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/WireImage for STYLE360)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Model/designer Ashley Graham walks down the runway during the Addition Elle/Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection fashion show during the Spring 2016 Style 360 on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Ashley Graham walks the runway as Addition Elle presents Fall/Holiday 2015 RTW and Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection At KIA STYLE360 on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/WireImage for STYLE360)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Model Ashley Graham attends the Milly By Michelle Smith Fashion Show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Art Beam on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Model Ashley Graham attends 2015 Harper's BAZAAR ICONS Event at The Plaza Hotel on September 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Model Ashley Graham attends the NYDJ 2016 Fit To Be Campaign Launch at Lord & Taylor on January 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Plus-size model Ashley Graham attends the NYDJ 2016 Fit To Be Campaign Launch at Lord & Taylor on January 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 28: Model Ashley Graham attends the Forbes 30 Under 30 cocktail reception at Forbes Building on January 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: Sports Illustrated Cover Girl Ashley Graham visits at SiriusXM Studios on February 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Rommel Demano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: Sports Illustrated cover models Hailey Clauson and Ashley Graham pose together at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 - NYC VIP press event on February 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Model Ashley Graham attends the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 Swim BBQ VIP at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach on February 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Model Ashley Graham attends the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: TV personality Joe Zee and model Ashley Graham are photographed in the Getty Images SXSW Portrait Studio powered by Samsung at the Samsung Studio on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Smallz & Raskind/Getty Images for Samsung)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Ashley Graham arrives at Chelsea Piers for The America's Next Top Model on August 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Ashley Graham arrives at Chelsea Piers for The America's Next Top Model on August 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Ashley Graham arrives at Chelsea Piers for The America's Next Top Model on August 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Model Ashley Graham poses backstage before the Addition Elle/Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection fashion show during the Holiday 2016 Style 360 NYFW at Metropolitan West on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Ashley Graham attends Prabal Gurung - Front Row - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Gallery, Skylight at Clarkson Sq on September 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Ashley Graham attends the Charlotte Tilbury party at the Samsung space on September 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Ashley Graham attends the Christian Siriano fashion show during New York Fashion Week September 2016 at ArtBeam on September 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Model Ashley Graham attends Harper's BAZAAR Celebrates 'ICONS By Carine Roitfeld' at The Plaza Hotel on September 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
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Graham, who was photographed for the cover by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpalo Ferrari in a Dolce & Gabbana leopard print ensemble from the fall 1991 collection, also acknowledged the issues that come with being the face of the curvy movement, as well as her efforts to bring her fellow curve models (she hates the word "plus," as it conveys a sense of otherness, or being not "normal") up alongside her, especially those of color. "I know I'm on this pedestal because of white privilege," she says.

"To not see black or Latina women as famous in my industry is crazy!" she adds, name-dropping Marquita Pring and Precious Lee. "I have to talk about it. I want to give those women kudos because they are the ones who paved the way for me."

Related: See Ashley's style transformation through the years:

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Ashley Graham style transformation
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Ashley Graham style transformation
CANOUAN ISLAND, THE GRENADINES - MARCH 31: Crystal Renn and Ashley Graham attend Raffles Resort Canouan Island Melky Jean Performance at Raffles Resort on March 31, 2006 in Canouan Island, The Grenadines. (Photo by Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 3818 -- Pictured: (l-r) Model Ashley Graham during an interview with host Jay Leno on April 30, 2010 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
NEW YORK - JUNE 13: Model Ashley Graham and designer Abby Z attend the 3rd annual Geminis Give Back at 1OAK on June 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 13: Model Ashley Graham attends the 3rd annual Geminis Give Back at 1OAK on June 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 09: Ashley Graham attends 2010 Moves Magazine Power Women awards dinner and ceremony at Astor Center on November 9, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 01: Model Ashley Graham attends a special viewing of 'All on the Line' at the Lane Bryant Store â Brooklyn Fulton Street on December 1, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Lane Bryant)
BROOKLYN, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Lane Bryant model Ashley Graham poses for a photo during Fashion Guru Jay Manuel Hosts Lane Bryant's Fashion Night Out on September 6, 2012 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for Lane Bryant)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Models Ashley Graham (L) and Crystal Renn attend the Rad By Rad Hourani - Unisex Collection #6 show during Spring 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at on September 9, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: Model Ashley Graham attends the 6th Annual Blossom Ball Benefiting Endometriosis Foundation Of America at 583 Park Avenue on March 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Model Ashley Graham attends 'Orange Is The New Black' Season Two Series premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on May 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by J Carter Rinaldi/FilmMagic)
THE VIEW - Guests include plus-size swimsuit model Ashley Graham; Spike Lee ('Da Sweet Blood of Jesus') and Victor Rasuk ('Fifty Shades of Grey') today, Monday, February 9, 2015 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Model Ashley Graham attends the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue celebration at Marquee on February 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Model Ashley Graham attends the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue celebration at Marquee on February 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Ashley Graham attends the 2015 amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on February 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: Model Ashley Graham attends FULLBEAUTY Brands' launch of fullbeauty.com and Fullbeauty Magazine on April 2, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for FULLBEAUTY)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 06: Model Ashley Graham attends as Lane Bryant celebrates the launch of their campaign #ImNoAngel on April 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for #ImNoAngel Cacique Exclusively For Lane Bryant)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Ashley Graham attends the Cash & Rocket photocall at the London Eye Pier on May 15, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Model Ashley Graham attends the 2015 CurvyCon at Metropolitan Pavilion on June 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 20: Ashley Graham attends a Dinner Honoring The Women Of 'Pixels' at Upland on July 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Model Ashley Graham attends the Patrick Demarchelier Exhibit Fashion Week kick off party at Christie's Auction House on September 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Ashley Graham attends 'Real Love' Opening Reception at 555 West 25th Street on September 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Ashley Graham attends the Us Weekly Fashion Week At KIA STYLE360 At Row NYC on September 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/WireImage for STYLE360)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Ashley Graham attends the Us Weekly Fashion Week At KIA STYLE360 At Row NYC on September 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/WireImage for STYLE360)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Model/designer Ashley Graham walks down the runway during the Addition Elle/Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection fashion show during the Spring 2016 Style 360 on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Model Ashley Graham attends the Lane Bryant launch of the #PlusIsEqual campaign at Times Square on September 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Lane Bryant)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Ashley Graham attends as Addition Elle presents Fall/Holiday 2015 RTW and Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection At KIA STYLE360 on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/WireImage for STYLE360)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Ashley Graham at the 2015 Harper's BAZAAR ICONS Event at The Plaza Hotel on September 16, 2015 in New York City. PHOTOGRAPH BY Photo Image Press / Barcroft Media UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.com (Photo credit should read Photo Image Press / Barcroft Med / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 06: Model Ashley Graham attends the Forbes Under 30 Summit at Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 6, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Plus-size model Ashley Graham attends the NYDJ 2016 Fit To Be Campaign Launch at Lord & Taylor on January 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Model Ashley Graham attends the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 at Forbes on Fifth on January 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Model Ashley Graham poses at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 - Swim City at the Altman Building on February 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: Hailey Clauson and Ashley Graham attend Sports Illustrated Celebrates Swimsuit 2016 at Brookfield Place on February 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Ashley Graham attends Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 - Swim BBQ VIP at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach on February 17, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Model Ashley Graham attends the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: TV personality Joe Zee and model Ashley Graham are photographed in the Getty Images SXSW Portrait Studio powered by Samsung at the Samsung Studio on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Smallz & Raskind/Getty Images for Samsung)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Ashley Graham attends the 2016 Forbes Women's Summit on May 12, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 12: Model Ashley Graham attends Ronda Rousey launches her #PerfectNever Campaign with Reebok Women on July 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Reebok)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Ashley Graham arrives at Chelsea Piers for The America's Next Top Model on August 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Ashley Graham arrives for GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2016 at Tate Modern on September 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Model Ashley Graham attends the Press Room at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Model Ashley Graham attends the Christian Siriano fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at ArtBeam on September 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Ashley Graham attends the Charlotte Tilbury party at the Samsung space on September 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Ashley Graham attends Prabal Gurung - Front Row - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Gallery, Skylight at Clarkson Sq on September 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Ashley Graham attends Addition Elle Presents Holiday 2016 RTW + Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection at Kia STYLE360 NYFW at Metropolitan West on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/WireImage Style360)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Model Ashley Graham attends the 2016 Dressbarn Fall Campaign Launch With Ashley Graham at Industria Superstudio on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Model Ashley Graham attends Fergie, First Lady of Los Angeles Amy Elaine Wakeland & Barneys New York Host Dinner to Welcome Cindi Leive & Glamour's 2016 Women of the Year to the West Coast on November 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Glamour)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Honoree Ashley Graham attends Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Glamour)
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