model Alva Claire on why her mere presence in fashion is radical

Cady dress, £1,622, Dolce & Gabbana. Lace bra, £95, Agent Provocateur. Leather shoes, £845, Manolo Blahnik. Gold-plated necklace, £180, and gold-plated charm necklace, £180, both Cleopatra’s Bling

She is equally vehement that her body type should be represented on the catwalk. “If the dress isn’t on the runway, it won’t trickle down into the publications. And if it is, that dress can go on another girl my size inside a high-fashion magazine, which creates another opportunity for them, forcing other brands to start thinking, ‘OK, if so and so’s doing it, then we should do it.’ And then the high street goes, ‘Well, we should do it.’ That is why the Versace show was important. It’s a domino effect.”

Having suffered from body image issues herself, she is all too aware of the prejudices that plus-sized people face. “Fatphobia is all around. It’s embedded in our society, like racism. The more you peel off the wallpaper, the more you see. Language has a huge part to do with it. What are the parents of the children making fatphobic comments to other children saying around the house? Diet culture is hugely pushed on young teens, and the idea that women will only buy if they are sold something that’s unattainable, instead of focusing on acceptance.”

She hasn’t always been as confident as she now appears. “I used to feel quite unattractive when I was younger – quite quirky, in a way,” she says. Happily, her artist parents worked to instil self-confidence where the outside world didn’t. “I was quite accepting of my body. Did I wholeheartedly love it? Maybe not. But you don’t just decide to love your body: it’s a process. I think with younger generations, there’s a need for things to be all or nothing, but it’s OK if you have a day where you don’t feel so great.”