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  • Writer's pictureSusan Sabet


In the past plus-size models were not never  recognized and represented by the fashion industry and often faced a lot of body shaming. In an era challenging the ideal shape of a woman’s body, designers have finally addressed the issue and actively taking steps forward to a more body-diverse future. The plus-size model, Denis Bidot was the first to break the boundaries in the industry in 2014 and the first plus-size model to walk two runways during New York fashion week.

Denise Bidot walking at  Chromat SS15 during New York fashion week in 2014.

New York Fashion Week was the first and most open to show size diversity on the runway ever since. From one runway show to more than 20 shows at  all four major fashion weeks this last season. Many designers were quick on picking up on the idea to dress regular woman’s bodies so to speak  in their designs. with the trend quickly spreading onto magazine covers. It is worth recognizing when brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Kate Spade hired a range of body types for their shows, changing the definition of beauty and promoting diversity. From Michael Kors  to Marc Jacobs, we witnessed a lot of size inclusivity this season.

Ashley Graham walking Michael Kors runway fall’20

Alexis Ruby walking Marc Jacobs show fall’20

The casting agents are also becoming more attentive to more size diversity on the runway. Now the plus-size models have an abbundance of opportunities, and it doesn’t stop there. This season, Fendi hired plus-size models for the first time in history, challenging  the fact that Milan Fashion Week was always criticized for the lack of diversity on the runway. The welcomed surprises this season were Paloma Elsesser and Jilla Kortleve on Fendi’s runway. The models were not new to big runways as they also killed it during Paris Fashion Week walking at Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Valentino among others.

Jill Kortleve

Paloma Elsesser walking Alexander McQueen show fall’20

Some of the big brands like Dolce & Gabbana made their ready to wear size range up to UK22, noting that plus size start at size 12. It is said that women want to see different sizes on the runway for greater impact of the collection and as a result, we saw 32% of designers up their size offerings, with 22% now producing a size 20 or above for fall 2020 collections.

Paloma Elsesser walking Fendi runway fall’20

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