Back in 2013, Kelvin Davis was shopping for a red blazer in his home town of Columbia, South Carolina, when he was publicly body shamed. The school teacher, who is 5ft 10in and wears 38in waist trousers, had not previously been concerned about his frame. “The tipping point was when the sales assistant told me I was too big to shop there,” he says, adding it was made worse by the fact that others overheard. “I felt very insecure and didn’t know how to deal with that.”
So he turned online, launching his blog, Notoriously Dapper. Davis felt overlooked by the fashion industry, because of his size and colour. The blog enabled him to delight in fashion, talk about his body and interact with other guys who felt vulnerable. People were initially puzzled – “They’d say: what’s a men’s body-positivity blog?” recalls Davis – but, in time, his loud shirts and sunny outlook attracted a loyal following. He now has 15,000 blog subscribers and more than 92,000 Instagram followers – and has modelled for brands including Gap.
A small handful of others have joined him. In 2016, IMG signed 6ft 6in barrel-chested Zach Miko as its first plus-sized […]