Written by: Marielena Bravo
Diversity of Race, Size, Gender, and Age Reached An All-Time High at New York Fashion Week Spring 2019
During last month’s fashion week, nearly a quarter of New York’s shows featured over 50% models of color. The Fashion Spot released in an official diversity report that models of color made up 44.8% of the runways—a number that is up from 37.3% last season. Champions of inclusivity for this season were Chromat (91.7% models of color), Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty (76% models of color), Prabal Gurung (75.6% models of color), and Christian Cowan (71.4% models of color).
Plus-Size Casting Nearly Doubled From Last Season
Size inclusivity reached a new high, with a total of 49 plus-size models that were included in 12 shows, up from 27 models in 8 shows last season.
Chromat cast 13 plus-size women in its show, and made an impactful statement by having models of all sizes wear T-shirts down the runway that read ‘Sample Size.’
Gender Inclusivity Increased
Gender representation increased on this season’s runway, with 53 transgender women and non-binary models cast in over 20 shows. A major key factor at the Spring 2019 NYFW shows was the increased casting of drag queens. Opening Ceremony formatted this year’s show to be an entire drag show hosted by Sasha Velour, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, featuring an entire LGBTQIA+ cast, 21 of whom were drag queens. Other notable shows include Gypsy Sport and The Blonds.
More Age Diverse Models Than Ever Before
This season saw the most models over the age of 50 from prior seasons. Sies Marjan, Chromat, Tome, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Zero + Maria Cornejo each had 2 models over the age of 50, making up less than 1% of the entire season’s models.
Nonetheless, this is still the most over-50 models that NYFW has ever had, opening up the possibilities to improve the sector of age inclusivity.
Areas for Improvement
Diverse casting is progressive and essential in an industry that involves people of all spectrums. While many brands are paving the way for creating more inclusive shows, there is still a dire need for improvement across all sectors mentioned above. Brands are responsible for keeping their brand authentic and inclusive, not to maintain their image, but to create an open environment where all consumers can feel included. Once this improves, the focus can remain on the most important factor of fashion week-the clothing.
Thank you for reading Monday Reads! Let us know in the comments what your favorite part of NYFW was!
The Fashion Spot | Cordelia Tai (Sep 25, 2018) Report: Racial, Size, Gender and Age Diversity Reach All-Time High at New York Fashion Week Spring 2019