Ashley Graham on the ‘Synergy’ of Partnering with H&M as a ‘Curvy Girl’: ‘Always Happy to Support' (Exclusive)

At an event in support of Eva Chen’s new kidswear line during NYFW, Graham spoke to PEOPLE about the brand's inclusivity and sustainability

<p>Jason Lowrie/</p> Ashley Graham and Eva Chen at launch

Jason Lowrie/

Ashley Graham and Eva Chen at launch

Ashley Graham is a lifelong H&M shopper.

On Sunday, the supermodel and mom of three attended the launch of Eva Chen’s new kidswear collaboration with H&M in New York City during New York Fashion Week. H&M, as a whole, is a brand that Graham tells PEOPLE she's always keen to work with.

Looking back at her history with the company, Graham, 35, says she's always had a positive relationship with the retailer, due in large part to its inclusivity — something that the curve model is always fighting for more of.

H&M, she says, was one of the first runway shows she ever walked in. In 2016, she modeled for H&M's Plus Size Collection — But You Can't Buy It in Stores. Graham's first Met Gala look in 2017 was also designed by H&M.

"They've always championed body diversity," she tells PEOPLE at the event. "Being a curvy girl I'm always able to go and shop. So there's always been this synergy between us. So whenever they call I'm always happy to support."

Related: Eva Chen Hopes to Inspire Self-Love in Asian American Children in New Picture Book 'I Am Golden'

Ashley Graham at Eva Chen's H&M clothing launch
Ashley Graham at Eva Chen's H&M clothing launch

As a mom, Graham also understands how important it is to instill the message of body positivity onto her kids from a young age. Clothing, she continues, is a great way to help teach her kids to be confident in their bodies. After helping dress her kids, she says, she'll put them in front of a mirror and tell them "how fly" they look.

"We really do teach a lot of affirmations within our home. Everything is about your words and how distinctly they will change the course of your life," she says.

Although there's been a push for body diversity in the fashion space, Graham believes there's more work to be done. In April, the model spoke with PEOPLE at the 12th annual Women Making History Awards gala in Washington, D.C. about the lack of diversity in model sizes on the runway.

Related: Ashley Graham Recalls ‘Crying’ After Flight Delay Left Her with Less Time to See Her Kids (Exclusive)

"I have been working as a model for over 20 years, and I still am fighting to this day for equality of size diversity on the runway on the covers of magazines, and film, and TV. And it's never felt complete," Graham told PEOPLE.

"I think there's still a lot of work to do. And that's why I tell younger women and women who are also fighting for what things that they believe is just to keep going," she added. "Keep fighting, keep striving for what it is that you want to change."

Chen's gender-neutral clothing line, which Graham was on hand in N.Y.C. to support, focuses on making kids clothing more sustainable and affordable, two things that are important to both women. Graham says her favorite piece of the collection is the Teddy Jacket — a jean jacket with the wool on the outside.

"I have three boys, all under 3 and a half, so the idea of having sustainable clothing is really important," Graham tells PEOPLE at the event. "We are a household of hand-me-downs. We have boy cousins and everybody's the same age. Everybody is under 4 years old. So we always are doing this clothing swaps and shoe swaps."

She adds: "Kids grow so fast. Within six months or so, they're a different size. You don't want to spend much money on them but you also want to make sure they feel confident in their clothes as well. I think that's what this whole collection embodies."

"I love this whole collection,” Chen shared in a press release of her '90s-inspired collection. “I’m incredibly proud and I can't wait for it to be out in the universe. It was so much fun to include my daughter in the design process and see the collection through her eyes. There’s just something so unique about how a child experiences the world, and I can’t wait to see how kids everywhere, including my own, live and play in these pieces for years to come.”

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