Is New York Fashion Week the place to make a statement about Inclusion and Diversity? Absolutely YES!
Models with down syndrome walking the runways; a major French house opening up its show to the public; fashion shows presented on Instagram alone. These are just a few examples of how this season's New York Fashion Week, which kicks off Thursday, is experiencing a major shift: inclusiveness. Here's to hoping the trend isn't just that.
"Fashion has always been about the 'in' but we're embracing the 'out,'" said Julie Anne Quay, founder of VFILES. The web portal's own fashion show Wednesday night was a good example of this, with a diverse array of models in all shapes, heights, ages, sizes and genders walking down the runway. This was obvious during MosesGauntlettCheng's showing, where a motley crew of model misfits strutted confidently down the catwalk as if screaming diversity. There, a woman in her 50's! A man wearing women's clothing! Drag queens galore! A hairy man in heels with one piece of fabric covering his nipples!
It was a strong statement that a one-size-fits-all model is out of date — and perhaps, out of touch — and more so, passe.
In the past few months alone, there's been a strong movement toward celebrating differences, flaws and diversity. Already, Maddy, the Australian model with Down syndrome, has been making waves with her announcement that she'll walk during the shows. Another, named Rebekah Marine, who is a model with a bionic arm, will do the same, walking for the FTL Moda show.
The genderless and gender queer movement has made waves already during the European men's shows, like that of designers such as Craig Green and Sibling in London, and will make its way over during this week with Nicola Formichetti's first showing in New York with his Nicopanda line on Sunday.
Androgynous models will also be out and about, like Rain Dove and Roan Louch. Both's gender bend seamlessly between men's and women's looks. Transgender "It girls" like the IMG signed model Hari Nef will also be walking the shows, said to have already been booked by the bigger design houses.
Those who aren't in New York City won't have to fret to see a show firsthand, either. Enthusiasts can simply take out their phones to get front row access to designers like Misha Nonoo, who will hold hers on Instagram, Yigal Azrouel, who will show select pieces from his show 24 hours in advance on the app Covet, and Zoe Jordan, who showed her presentation live online.
With so many advancements occurring in the world socially, the advent of gay marriage and transgender rights becoming a hot topic, it only makes sense that fashion would also follow through. And now, more than ever, it seems as if inclusivity isn't just accepted, it's demanded.
Here's to hoping this movement makes real ground, and diversity sticks around for good. – mashable.com
Best of luck to all the participants in NY Fashion week.
Do you think this inclusiveness campaign is a fad / trend that will last or is it a flash in the pan?
Is this the breath of fresh air and reality that will make more people pay attention to fashion week and fashion shows?
Do you think that using the practice of inclusion and using non cookie cutter models will take away from the fashion shows and the clothing or add to the entire experience for all?