The fashion industry isn’t exactly known for its inclusionary view of beauty, but more and more designers are showing that traditional models may just be going out of style.
At Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in Moscow last week, a group of designers used physically disabled models to show off their creations.
While it may be rare to see disabled models on the runway, there has been a big push to include more sizes, races and body types in fashion shows recently.
Marc Jacobs just announced a campaign to find a model via social media, designer Rick Owens famously used a step team to showcase his collection, and followed suit this year with women of various ages, sizes and skin colors, none of whom were actually professional models.
Donna Karan also used real New Yorkers in her show this past spring, Nars Cosmetics used a 68-year-old model, American Apparel used a 62-year-old model for their last lingerie campaign and Harper’s Bazaar recently featured a beauty editorial with plus size model Ashley Graham without differentiating her size from the rest of the models.
So does that mean fashion is growing tired of defining perfection as the super-tall pin thin “genetic freaks,” as Victoria’s Secret model Lyndsey Scott once described?
Not so fast. Even as a handful of designers show more realistic representations of beauty, they are still just a few among the hundreds of designers shown at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks and campaigns around the world.
Furthermore, last month, British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman argued that fashion is about selling a fantasy and that “nobody really wants to see a real person looking like a real person on the cover of Vogue.”
Only time will tell if diversity-color, size and all- will truly increase in fashion, but it seems the steps toward diversity, though small, are definitely getting everyone’s attention.