NYFW SS18: Diversity Takes Center Stage
For fashion lovers in NYC and around the world, the months of September and February are like holidays that we look forward to all year long. It is that special time of year when the industry comes together and designers satisfy our deepest fashion cravings and dazzle us with the unique pieces, looks, and trends that we will all open our pocketbooks for later in the year. It’s a time of runway shows, press events, lavish parties, and front row celebs. Of supermodels and “It Girls”, muses and mysteries. This September, New York Fashion Week was no exception. In fact, it has been the gift that keeps on giving—this year, more inclusively than ever before.
One of the largest trends to hit the runways and parties, was diversity amongst the models. From the multitude of people of color, to full-figured, to the differently abled, to gender non-conforming and trans models, the NY fashion industry seemed determined to include as many groups as possible—and with the state of the world at present, what a glorious thing to see!
For the past few years, the fashion industry has been changing. It has been happening slowly, and there is still a lot of opportunity for further improvement, but we are truly starting to see—and feel—the changes. Most of these changes are ones that we, ourselves, have inspired (demanded) the industry make. Through social media, we have overwhelmingly praised curvy models like Ashley Graham, gender neutral ones like Vincent Beier Kasperson, and models with different complexions like Winnie Harlow. These models are not just changing the industry, they’re changing the way people see and feel about themselves. They are paving the way for broader acceptance of differences within fashion and across the globe. They are showing us that every body is beautiful and that fashion shouldn’t belong solely to the tall, the thin, the white, and the cisgendered. We, as the consumers, are loving it. We are seeing how gorgeous the models are in Ashley Graham’s swimsuit and lingerie lines and we are gaining the confidence to rock our own sexy styles. We watched in 2014 as Dr. Danielle Sheypuk looked fierce as Hell as she became the first model in a wheelchair to grace the NYFW runways and more and more differently-abled dreamers aspired to become models. This year, more differently-abled models will work the runways than ever before. We watch as designers embrace gender fluidity and all types of clothing become unisex and we are empowered to wear what we want because it suits who we are and not just what’s between our legs.
All of these elements are coming together to form a fashion industry that we truly want—and deserve. Fashion that doesn’t exclude us or make us hate our bodies and ourselves... but fashion that inspires us, fashion that moves us, and fashion that includes us. The change is happening... it’s up to us to ensure that it continues. xx-m