Though certainly not the first in history, designer Jean Paul Gaultier created a stir in 2006 when he sent plus-size model Crystal Renn down the runway during the final moments of his fashion show. Thankfully, including models that represent all body shapes and sizes has become more of the norm these days, with designers like Christian Siriano casting not one, but five fuller-figured women in his Spring 2017 runway show and fellow Project Runway alum Ashley Nell Tipton creating a fashion-forward plus-sized collection for JCPenney.
Keeping It Real
Designers and brands from Tom Ford to Banana Republic are embracing a new concept that turns the idea of fashion week as a preview for industry-insiders only on it’s head. The new format makes their shows available to everyone (via a few coveted invitations issued to customers and live social media streams), and the designs aren’t a peek at a future season—they’re available in stores, right now. But Rebecca Minkoff took this one step further, including a few women who are not professional models on her catwalk. Six bloggers and digital influencers—none of whom, refreshingly, represent the cookie cutter ideal of beauty—took to the runway to help Minkoff show off her collection.
Proving that beauty not only comes in all shapes and sizes, but also in all ages, a few designers are beginning to include older models in their fashion shows. Tome, a line with an academic bent inspired by women, wins the superlative for the most inclusive cast, including a full-figured model, a transgender model, and a model in her 60s—whose gorgeous grey locks paired perfectly with her neutral and metallic ensemble.