Whether you’re into fashion or not, you’ve probably come across one too many pictures of paper-thin model after paper-thin model. We’re all used to seeing very little variety when it comes to models; long-legs and sculpted abs tend to be the norm. And the fashion industry has always been criticised for the lack of diversity within the industry, whether its the models age, race, or body type. However, we’re starting to witness some notable changes in the fashion industry that appeared in spring 2017 fashion shows. Recently, plus sized modeling has started to make it’s way into the fashion scene, but 2017 is already seeing more inclusions than ever before. With the political scene portraying division, we are very glad that the opposite is happening in the fashion world.
In an effort to push the limits and in an attempt for change, The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) issued a guideline that included several diversity pointers that “encourage the industry to be inclusive of racial diversity when preparing casting of models for their company needs.” It seems that things are starting to change slowly but noticeably. While still white models dominated the runways in the Spring 2017 fashion month, but according to The Fashion Spot biannual diversity report 74.6 percent of models were white and 25.4 percent were of colour, which recorded a decrease from the previous years where it was 75.3 percent for the Fall 2016 shows and 77.6 percent for Spring 2016. The report which analyzed 8,832 model appearances and 299 shows in the Spring 2017 fashion month, NYFW was the most diverse when it came to women of color and body type, where three out of the ten top models were non-white. Moreover, 16 out of 3,000 models were plus-size women.
The Fall/Winter 2017 fashion month also witnessed more inclusions that can’t go un-noticed. While we know that the fashion industry needs to be more diverse than this, but we have to highlight the change that is slowly happening.
Halima Aden, a Somali-American model, who’s walked the runway at the Kanya West, Alberta Ferretti’s and Max Mara shows. Halima has signed with modeling agency IMG Models who represents Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss. Halima made headlines last November when she competed in Minnesota’s Miss USA competition while wearing a hijab and wore a burkini for the swimsuit segment of the competition.
Anniesa Hasibuan, Indonesian Muslim designer made history as the first ever designer to feature an all-hijab collection at New York Fashion Week. As well as being the first Indonesian designer to be featured in the show.
Ashley Graham is currently slaying the plus-size modeling game, she recently walked the runway at Michael Kors fall/winter fashion show during New York Fashion Week. Ashley has appeared on the covers of big magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, and Elle. She is also the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Prabal Gurung’s show was made up of straight and plus-size models, with an extra special ending that made a strong feminist stance! Parabal’s show included models wearing t-shirts with political slogans them, such as “Revolution has no borders” and “I am an immigrant.” His statement was loud and clear.
Lauren Hutton, at age 72, strutted the Bottega Veneta’s SS17 catwalk showing that fashion knows no age.
All models aside, Dolce and Gabbana had bloggers, celebrity kids, and influencers walking their fall 2017 show. It’s not new for Dolce and Gabbana to make a different runway appearances, in 2015 the high end luxurious brand paid tribute to mothers by having moms, kids and pregnant women walk their runway.