Growing Diversity in Fashion

Diversity. A word rarely associated with fashion’s biggest week – until now. New York Fashion Week for Fall 2019 boasted one of the most diverse rosters in its history. From race, to size, to gender there was an obvious trend of diverse models walking the runway this season.

Several shows had racially and religiously varied models walk on the runway. Noor Tagouri, an Arabian woman who wears a hijab, walked in Rebecca Minkoff’s show. A fellow “hijabi,” Halima Aden, walked for Sherri Hill.

Noor Tagouri walks for Rebecca Minkoff in a hijab.

Though there have been several shows with a couple people of color mixed in, few have chosen a cast comprised completely of minorities, like Snow Xue Gao. The brand’s designer Claudia Li hired all Asian models for the show.

Designer Claudia Li hired all Asian models for Snow Xue Gao

Many designers also chose to have plus-size models walk in their clothing. Brands like Christian Siriano, as well as Prabal Gurung, hired Ashley Graham, a known advocate for curvy women, to walk in their couture designs.

Going a step further, there was even a plus-size luxury brand runway show. 11 Honoré makes clothing for women size 10-20+, thus there were only plus-sized women modelling the clothing. In total, there were 72 curvy women hired as models for the week.

Ashley Graham for Christian Siriano.

To round out the trend of diversity and inclusivity, several brands have ventured into androgyny among the models. Typically, NYFW shows women’s wear one week and menswear another, so female and male models have worked these shows accordingly. Now, however, men and women alike are modelling in the opposite gender’s clothing. Brands like Eckhaus Latta and Nanushka were seen with androgynous models.

A male model walks among female models for Eckhaus Latta

New York Fashion Week 2019 has been one of the most diverse fashion weeks ever. With models of all shapes, sizes, races and genders, fashion is becoming more inclusive every season. Industry professionals and fashion lovers alike should expect this trend to continue for every fashion week to come.

Hannah Bill '21

Oscar Wilde was right, you can never be overdressed or overeducated.