Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham sports a tiny black bikini in the new ad.Sports Illustrated

Ashley Graham has made history after becoming the first plus-size model to pose in Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue.

The 27-year-old beauty, who hails from Omaha, Nebraska, is managed by IMG Models and is best known for her work with Lane Bryant- a plus size retailer.

Wearing a tiny black bikini, Graham takes centre stage in a new campaign for swimwear company Swimsuits For All, which is the first of its kind to be selected to grace the pages of the annual publication.

The #CurvesinBikinis movement aims to help celebrate the beginnings of the 'Curvy Girl Era' and to help women feel confident and sexy in any swimsuit.

Although her predecessors include more traditional models like Benhati Prinsloo, Chrissy Teigen, Heidi Klum, and Adirana Lima, Graham is encouraging curvier woman to embrace their bodies.

"I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too. There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt. The world is ready for more curves in bikinis," the size 14-16 model said in a statement.

The last time Graham made headlines was in 2010 when she starred in a Lane Bryant commercial which was banned by ABC because it was too hot for TV.

"The first thing I thought of was Victoria's Secret commercials, and how they're just as racy, if not more racy, than Lane Bryant," she said at the time. "[ABC] can't handle bigger on TV, bigger boobs on a normal-sized woman on TV."

While you wait for the issue to hit news stands on 9 February, here's all you need to know about the model leaving her mark.

Ashley Graham Fact

  • Graham is a US size 14. Her measurements are 38D - 30 - 46.
  • She is represented by IMG Models.
  • The 27-year-old brunette beauty grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • At the age of 12 she was discovered by the I & I agency while shopping at Oak View Mall in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Graham married her videographer husband, Justin Ervin, in 2010.
    Ashley Graham
    Ashley Graham and husband Justin Ervin.Instagram
  • Having been a victim of bullying herself, Graham regularly speaks at high schools across America about the importance body image and body acceptance. In January, she penned an essay for Net-a-Porter's online magazine, The Edit, encouraging women to love their bodies.
  • In December 2012, she appeared on two billboards in New York for Lane Bryant.
  • She has graced the cover of Elle Quebec.
  • She is active on social media and has almost 18K followers on Twitter and another 177K on Instagram.

Definitely time to get out of this weather!❄️☔️⛄️ Its difficult to be cute in this weather..

A photo posted by A S H L E Y ✨ G R A H A M ™ (@theashleygraham) on