The fashion industry has a long way to go before it's truly inclusive for women of all sizes. But, this past Fashion Month might’ve been a tiny breakthrough, as more curvy models took to the runways then ever before. A Vogue headline called it, declaring: “Was Fall 2017 the Season Curves Conquered the Runways?”
Just to keep things in perspective on how attitudes still have to change: The Fashion Spot tallied up all the stats and found that plus-size models accounted for less than one precent of total castings. Only 30 plus-size models walked across the four fashion weeks.
That said, this is an improvement over last season, when 16 plus-size models walked. And the season before that, designers cast just six curvy models. So, there is definite forward momentum for change. And, we have some style stars to thank for that.
Get to know the gorgeous curvy models who are shaking up the world of high-fashion, and the designers who are making a statement for size diversity on the runway.
1. Christian Siriano
Christian Siriano is leading the charge, casting 10 plus-size models for his NYFW Fall 2017 show — twice as many as last season. It’s a move that paid off for his business too. Orders more than doubled, he told WWD, saying, “Even if the customer was just a size 10, they were more interested in seeing the clothes on different bodies. We’re just in a different world now, where a fashion show has become more consumer-based.”
2. Ashley Graham
With over 3 million Instagram followers and a Vogue cover on her resume, Ashley Graham is definitely at the supermodel point of her career. It was a savvy move for Michael Kors (who sells designer clothes up to size 16) to cast her in his NYFW show, and hard to believe that this is her biggest show to date.
3. Prabal Gurung
NYC designer Prabal Gurung’s collab with Lane Bryant hit stores in February, and fittingly, his runway show during NYFW showcased curvy models, who walked alongside straight-size models like Bella Hadid.
Prabal challenged designers in Europe to change the status quo and cast beyond just size-zero models, telling WWD, “The reason why I’m telling you that Paris is important is not for the general public—it’s also for the fashion snobs. Those people own the power and influence. For them to shift, a Céline show needs to have [plus-sized models]. A Prada show needs to have it.”
4. Candice Huffine
Candice Huffine racked up NYFW shows, walking the runway for Prabal Gurung, Tome, and Christian Siriano. “For me, this is the change that I’ve always dreamt of in my career—to get to a point where I’m doing everything a size two model can do,” she told Allure. You can also catch her in ads for Victoria Beckham's Target collab.
5. Precious Lee
Model-on-the-rise Precious Lee is a favorite at Christian Siriano shows; she's also a Lane Bryant campaign star and has appeared in Sports Illustrated. "I don’t mind the term plus-size," the model has said. "I just wish society would realize that your size doesn’t have to determine how happy you are."
6. Marquita Pring
Marquita Pring’s career highlights include an editorial in Vogue Italia, and she can add Fall 2017 runway appearances for the likes of Prabal Garung and Christian Siriano.
Edgy, architectural NYC brand Chromat makes a point of casting plus-size models in its shows—Denise Bidot and four other curvy models walked for Fall 2017. It also offers a Chromat Curve section on its site with bras up to 38DD.
Chromat makes the case that designers are the ones who can affect change in the industry. Chromat casting director Gilleon Smith told Highsnobiety: "The designers are the ones who determine what is sample size, you know? Casting models that are the size of average women can ultimately only help them to expand. Having curvy women represented is ultimately more inclusive of our actual society. It’s also really helping to redefine what’s beautiful, what’s determined as beautiful, and what is wearable."
8. Sabina Karlsson
Swedish model Sabina Karlsson’s career keeps heating up. At NYFW, she walked for Chromat and Christian Siriano. She also landed a spot in J.Crew’s presentation.
9. Alessandra Garcia-Lorido
A veteran of Christian Siriano runway shows and Lane Bryant campaigns, Alessandra Garcia-Lorido (daughter of actor Andy Garcia) walked at the Dolce & Gabbana show in Milan.
10. Katy Syme
Katy Syme made her Paris debut walking for H&M Studio, after starring in an H&M campaign. She’s also working with models Candice Huffine and Georgia Pratt to design cool, streamlined clothes for Universal Standard in sizes up to 28.
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