Transgender and plus-size models make this fashion's most diverse runway ever

Models, led by transgender model Leyna Bloom, walk the runway for the Chromat Spring/Summer 2018 show during New York Fashion Week. (Photo: Getty Images)
Models, led by transgender model Leyna Bloom, walk the runway for the Chromat Spring/Summer 2018 show during New York Fashion Week. (Photo: Getty Images)

Plus-size and transgender models on the runway has so far been limited to a model or two per show. That’s not to denigrate those models and designers who promote body positivity; rather, it only confirms that, despite the progress made, there’s still room for improvement.

At swim and activewear brand Chromat, the clothes tell a story as much as the models who wear them. Take the opening look at the New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 runway on Friday night: a blue-black cropped bathing suit top replete with trendy underboob, a Lara Croft Tomb Raider-esque harness, and G-string. It would have been show-defining on its own, but designer Becca McCharen-Tran didn’t cast a straight-size cisgender (i.e., non-transsexual) woman, as is the norm in fashion, to open her show. She cast transgender model and activist Leyna Bloom.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Plus-size models may be underrepresented relative to the plus-size market, but so too are trans models. Last season, trans models represented 0.17 percent of all model castings, with only 12 appearances, according to the Fashion Spot’s runway-diversity report, making transgender people the least-represented group in fashion.

Also making an appearance on the Chromat runway: Jordyn Woods, a Wilhelmina-signed plus-size model popping up all over New York Fashion Week, first made famous for being Kylie Jenner’s best friend (the audience burst into applause when she appeared); older models, thicker and thinner; and racially representative women with natural hair and natural bodies.

Jordyn Woods walks the runway at the 2018 Chromat show. (Photo: Getty Images)
Jordyn Woods walks the runway at the 2018 Chromat show. (Photo: Getty Images)

As for the clothes: There were metallic and denim, structural bodices (which were of no surprise, considering McCharen-Tran’s architecture and design background), and reworked corsets suspiciously similar to Instagram-beloved Orseund Iris corsets. Oh, and there were anti-chafe thigh bands, both on the runway and included in guests’ gift bags.

A model sports anti-chafe thigh bands during the Chromat show for New York Fashion Week. (Photo: Getty Images)
A model sports anti-chafe thigh bands during the Chromat show for New York Fashion Week. (Photo: Getty Images)

And so by the show’s end, Chromat inspired cheers and applause and praise from an exuberant audience; if only it could inspire that within fashion, with a capital F.

Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow @YahooStyle and @YahooBeauty.

Alexandra Mondalek is a writer for Yahoo Style + Beauty. Follow her on Twitter @amondalek.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting