New York Fashion Week is making serious strides towards greater inclusivity. Though the festivities do not conclude until Sept. 13, a historic first was achieved last year, with every runway show featuring at least one model of color.
According to data from The Fashion Spot, non-white models comprised over 31 percent of the fashion week’s rosters in February 2017. Stunners including Alicia Burke and Mayowa Nicholas were some of the most casted models overall.
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Designers, too, are excited about the promise this positive shift holds for women everywhere.
“The customer wants to see what our clothes will look like on their bodies, on their skin tones,” designed Christian Siriano told The New York Post.
As greater numbers of women of color grace the catwalks, fashion houses aren’t stopping there. Kicking off shows for Spring 2018 collections on Sept. 7, Calvin Klein sent a 16-year-old transgender model down the runway and fashion lavel Chromat outfitted two plus-size models with anti-chafing thigh bands, according to reports from The New York Times and Vogue.
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Nevertheless, some industry insiders believe such castings are more complicated than others.
“We’re still seeing tokenism and we’re not yet seeing widespread acceptance of models across categories-models of various sizes, ages, races and gender identities,” Model Alliance director Sara Ziff told The Fashion Spot.
Even so, increasingly inclusive castings at New York Fashion Week represent progress in the right direction for the sartorial world as a whole.
“New York is doing so well [with diversity], and we have a lot of young brands who are super-boisterous. Europe isn’t as much on the cusp of what we’re doing,” Siriano added.
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One thing’s for certain: inclusive body positivity is always in style. With the official fashion weeks of London, Milan and Paris scheduled to begin later this month, we’ll have to wait and see if these fellow fashion capitals will champion inclusivity on the catwalks, as well.