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One Size Does Not Fit All – Fashion Month Takes Strides in Diversity

By Davyn Matte

A variety of shapes, sizes and colors of clothing is nothing new in the realm of fashion. Yet until the last two or three seasons, that variety did not seem to translate to the models who walked in fashion shows.

In the past, the majority of models we would see were Caucasian and straight-size, typically U.S. Sizes 0-4. The S/S ‘18 fashion shows have made improvements in the diversity of models.


According to The Fashion Spot, 36.5% of models were nonwhite and at least one model of color was in each show this season. This made it the most racially diverse season yet. Among those models that were cast 90 were plus-size, 31 were transgender and non-binary and 10 were women over 50.


Plus-size models such as Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine were seen in Prabal Gurung while Michael Kors hired both Graham and Sabina Karlsson. Torrid made their fashion week debut this season hiring 31 plus-size models, and 25 plus-size models walked in Addition Elle’s show.


Christian Siriano was one of the most praised designers this season for his diverse casting. Austin Kairis followed up opener Coco Rocha in a very gender-neutral look that included a mix of colorful floral. Transgender model Avie Acosta later walked in a beautiful, floor-length black gown.


Eckhaus Latta’s line featured a balanced of fitted business wear and casual knits and cotton dresses. The mix of models was also something to take note of.

One model walked down the runway in a pink dress unbuttoned around her pregnant belly. A few looks prior, an older woman walked down the runway in a dark washed denim jacket cinched at the waist, looking as chic as anyone else walking with her in the show.


These designers are joining the ranks of Chromat, who since its 2010 creation has typically had a diverse casting and made efforts to be inclusive. Chromat not only cast more transgender women, but 72% of Chromat’s casting was nonwhite this season.

The diversity we’ve seen at New York Fashion Week comes a few months after a new decree was adopted in France that requires models have a medical certificate to confirm that they are not excessively underweight.

While the change seems to be gradual, the fashion industry is taking strides to create a more accepting community. It is no longer, and honestly never was, a one size fits all industry.

Photos Courtesy of Vogue.


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