Has Fashion Week become more inclusive? Designers and celebrities speak out: 'We want more'

Natalie Hage is covering all things curvy for Yahoo Lifestyle. Read her articles for an honest take on navigating the world as a plus-size woman, and follow Hage on Instagram for more. 

A few years ago, seeing diversity on the runway was not commonplace. There was definitely a lack of inclusion of different kinds of bodies, skin color, gender expressions, and more.

Differences were barely present, and much less celebrated.

Fast forward to 2017 New York Fashion Week and the progress is so exciting! Not only are you seeing more plus models on the runways (which, by the way, this year saw more plus-size models than any other year in NYFW’s history), but you saw plus-EXCLUSIVE shows like Addition Elle and Torrid and queer fashion showcases like Dapper Q that highlight gender expression.

Getting to chat with designer Michael Costello about his thoughts on including plus size bodies in his designs was so refreshing. He says it’s not necessarily about “a movement in fashion. This is where we are in today’s world.” He couldn’t be more right. Plus-size bodies make up most of society … so why aren’t we seeing more of them? “I look forward to every year seeing more plus-size models in what you would consider ‘normal size’ fashion shows,” says celeb Danielle Brooks.

Designer Christian Siriano is making a name for himself with his designs and his passion for inclusivity. (Photo: Getty Images)

Chatting with Christian Siriano brought to light that his inclusion of so many types of people was definitely purposeful. “We showed boys on the runway, we showed trans models on the runway, we showed everybody. On the runway today was just about celebrating beauty.” It was so great to hear out of a top tier designer’s mouth that anyone and everyone is beautiful and that it was important to share that with the world.

Talking to model Candice Huffine was especially awesome because she had so much to say about the progress that fashion week is making in its drive to become more inclusive. “It’s not a fad, it’s not a trend. No tokenism. This is our normal, this is our world, this is life. If you’re going to design for women, it HAS to be for ALL of them.”

Model Candice Huffine walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung show for New York Fashion Week in 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)

Now, I will say that on one hand, I was obviously ecstatic to see all of the beautiful changes New York Fashion Week is making.

Though on the other hand, I want more.

We all want more. We want more non-hourglass shaped plus bodies beyond a size 16, more inclusion of trans models, more deep-skinned models, more models who may use wheelchairs or walking assistance and we want a more diverse spectrum of all that humanity has to offer. If fashion is truly going to be FOR ALL, it needs to be celebrated as such.

At the end of the day, our differences are what makes us unique, right?

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