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Plus-Size Models Look To Change The Game For Fashion Week

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Fashion week kicked off Thursday, but it is not all about size 2 supermodels.

As CBS 2's Cindy Hsu reported, plus-size models have been looking to change the game.

The models who normally appear on the runway are size 0 to size 4. But Catherine Schuller, a fashion expert for full-figured women, said it is time to wake-up to the real world.

"Fifty percent of the population are size 14 and above, and that's about 150 pounds, about 5'4"," Schuller said.

Eden Miller designs clothes for women size 12 to 24. She made history with her plus-size line at last year's fashion week.

"Last September, I was the first designer to ever show plus-size at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York," Miller said.

While Miller's line made it under the tents, which are considered the prestigious big shows during the week, there are hundreds of smaller shows all over the city. CBS 2 went behind the scenes at the smaller shows to find plus-size models, who said more designers should be using women people can relate to.

Emery Childs is a proud size 12.

"It's important, because we are what everyday women look like," Childs said. "People strive to be what they see in the magazines, and unfortunately most of that time, these are really, really skinny women."

Gizelle Samson appeared on the show "America's Next Top Model" 11 years ago, when she was a size 4. But things quickly changed.

"Then I started to develop like normal women do," Samson said, "and now, people were telling me, 'No, you can't model anymore. You're too fat…' because now I'm a size 6."

Samson is now a size 8, and said thankfully, the modeling world is slowly changing.

Plus-size model Chane Valls said society needs to send a healthy message to young girls.

"Believe in what you stand for, as well as love your curves, and love who you are -- that's my message to all the children out here," Valls said.

Valls said the public needs to let designers know they want real sizes for real women.

Fashion Week runs through next week.

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