Alison Zupancic is a tall plus size model from Washington, D.C, currently based in New York City. I was honored to chat to this inspiring woman about her work, representation, and of course, a little fashion!


tall, plus size representation

TPL: Do you feel there are stigmas around being tall and plus size?

AZ: Absolutely, there are stigmas surrounding being tall and plus size. Society often perpetuates the idea that tall women should be slender, which is simply not the case for many of us.

Also, the assumption that being plus size and tall automatically means a fuller bust is a misconception. As a 5’9″ plus size woman with a smaller bust, I can personally attest that finding well-fitting tops and dresses can be a challenge.

TPL: In your opinion, do you find women with a similar physical body type more relatable as idols/role models?

AZ: In my opinion, I find women with a similar physical body type (tall and plus-size) more relatable as idols and role models, especially when it comes to fashion. I often seek inspiration from celebrities and influencers who share my body type, or at the very least, their stylists.

The same principle applies to beauty: I prefer to follow routines and use products that cater to my specific skin type, shape, and color. This is why diversity is so important in the world of influence. You’ll eventually discover your tribe, but it’s also essential to understand that not everyone is meant to be your role model.

The assumption that being plus size and tall automatically means a fuller bust is a misconception. As a 5’9″ plus size woman with a smaller bust, I can personally attest that finding well-fitting tops and dresses can be a challenge.

ALISON ZUPANCIC

fitness feats

Alison is not a woman who defines herself by any one title, and she refers to herself as a fitness influencer as well as a tall plus size model. It was interesting to see how she makes these two co-exist.

TPL: Do you ever feel added pressure to appear “fit” as a plus size woman because of the stupid stigmas around being overweight, or is this just part of who you are?

AZ: Being a plus-size model and a fitness influencer has been a part of who I am for a long time. I’ve been involved in sports since pre-K, started weightlifting in middle school, played women’s tackle football post-college, and have always embraced my taller and thicker physique.

Over my 18-year law enforcement career, I’ve been through four academies, accumulating nearly two years of physical fitness training. Throughout this journey, it has always been about my internal dialogue, my personal growth, my standard of strength, and my self-motivation. While there may be societal stigmas around being overweight, and I’ve experienced my fair share of fatphobia, I’ve never felt external pressure because I know that no one else can be as demanding of me as I am of myself.


modeling work

TPL: What’s the biggest compliment someone’s given you about the modeling work you do?

AZ: The most significant compliment I’ve ever received about my modeling work comes from the unlikeliest of sources: my colleagues, a male-dominated field of law enforcement professionals. When your face is on a double-decker bus in Washington, DC, it’s hard to keep your side gig a secret.

What I appreciate most is when individuals who aren’t typically interested in fashion or industry norms acknowledge my work. It shows that it’s reaching beyond the target market, and it’s opening the eyes of others to issues they may not have been aware of before.

TPL: What’s your advice for any aspiring plus size models?

AZ: Never give up! Remember, everyone faces their own struggles, even if they don’t always share them. The fashion industry has a place for you; you just need to discover where you belong, consistently show up, and stay determined.

TPL: You mentioned in a recent interview you love Gabriella Karefa-Johnson’s line for Target because of its appeal to both plus size women and its gender fluid nature. Are there any other lines you’re loving right now?

AZ: I’m absolutely enamored with the work of the Brazilian London-based designer Karoline Vitto. What’s remarkable is that she starts with a size 16 and then grades her designs up to a 20 and down to an 8, making her brand exceptionally inclusive. Her commitment to diversity is evident through her choice of models, often showcasing a significant percentage of plus-size representation during Fashion Week (or highest overall during fashion month). Witnessing her receive support from Dolce & Gabbana this season, along with the recognition and funding she deserves to showcase her brand at the highest level, was genuinely emotional.

Karoline Vitto has consistently set the standard for what runway shows should be.

ALISON ZUPANCIC

personal style

AZ: My style can be defined as eclectic, colorful, and chic. I aim to incorporate at least one element of each of these aspects, plus a thrifted or vintage item, into every outfit I wear.

I have 20 years of expertise in the art of thrift shopping and reselling pre-owned clothing & furniture. What began as a necessity has since evolved into a rewarding part-time passion. Finding stylish plus-size items at thrift stores can be challenging, but whenever I come across gently used or like new pieces, I make it a point to source them to provide a sustainable fashion resource for others.

My style can be defined as eclectic, colorful, and chic. I aim to incorporate at least one element of each of these aspects, plus a thrifted or vintage item, into every outfit I wear.

ALSION ZUPANCIC

TPL: Are there any plus size clothing designers that you’d recommend for women with a similar body type?

AZ: I highly recommend two of my all-time favorite brands for women with a similar tall and curvy body type: Baacal and Pari Passu. These woman-owned brands possess deep industry expertise and a genuine commitment to crafting well-tailored pieces with high-quality fabrics.

Baacal stands out for its beautifully tailored pieces, even offering plus-size-friendly jewellery. Meanwhile, Pari Passu excels in creating classic workwear and has designed three curve mannequins for precision fitting. It’s not always about making a bold fashion statement; it’s about the exceptional tailoring and quality you adorn your body with!


alison’s measurements

  • Height: 5’9″
  • Dress size: 18/20
  • Shoe: 10.5
  • Inseam: 32.5″
  • Bra: 40D
  • Bust: 49″
  • Waist: 42″
  • Hip: 55″
  • Calf: 19″

Thanks for providing us with your measurements, Alison! I think this is something we shouldn’t be ashamed of, and it can actually be beneficial when tall, plus size women see trailblazing models like Alison who share similar measurements, not only because they can replicate looks but also see the confidence with which women like Alison rock these measurements.


where to find alison

It was a blast to speak to Alison and learn a lot from her! Maybe one day I’ll see her at a runway show, or you know, play football with her 😜

All images provided and credited to Alison.