Each year around Fashion Week, people discuss how far we have come with regarding to racial diversity, as well as how incredibly far we still need to go. Indeed, the runways certainly still lack women of color; last year, Jezebel reported that nearly 80 percent of models were white for the Fall – Winter 2012 season. But what about body diversity?
The models above walked in runways the past few days for, from left to right, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Reem Acra and Victor de Souza. All these women looked gorgeous, all wore the clothes wonderfully, all did their jobs well. Sometimes, we take for granted the general “model look” when it comes to Fashion Week because it’s just sort of assumed to be a representation of the industry as a whole, and the industry is blatantly biased against women who are non-standard sizes. But that is exactly why Fashion Week is the venue in which body diversity needs to take place most.
New York Fashion Week is what sets up the next season. It’s what people follow to find out what will be coming ahead, where fashion is going and who is going to be both the faces and names attached to it.
By no means am I saying that we need to force designers to use a certain number of plus-size models or that there has to be women of specific sizes because those are better than the standard-size ones. I simply believe that designers can design things to be worn by women who are not 5’10″ and a size 2 — if they can’t, then they’re probably not very good at their jobs. The majority of us have to bend and flex and meld to our jobs with the changing of markets; fashion designers can, as well.