Runway Diversity, The Top Trend for NYFW

Photo: Corey Tenold

Inclusive body positivity is always in style.

This was the season of the most diverse, most beautiful and most relevant castings. The catwalk at New York Fashion Week is featuring more diverse models than ever. This fashion week showed the serious strides to make more efforts to a diverse inclusivity industry. Diversity is something that always hasn’t fit on the runways of NYFW, unfortunately.

This season designers made it a mission to increase diversity not only in color, but also in size; casting models of all religious backgrounds, complexions, and figures making the statement that what makes America beautiful and “great” is our differences and the love that share for each other…and in this case Fashion.  New York is a great stepping stone with diversity, as they are very vocal and led by a lot of young brands. When it comes to representing the customers, New York labels are ahead of the trend. Knowing that customers want to see clothes and relate to bodies and skin tones like that of their own.

A number of models of color graced the catwalks, kicking off NYFW for Spring 2018 collections.

On September 7, a 16-year-old transgender model strutted down the runway for Calvin Klein. After last years historic first of every runway show featuring at least one model of color, it didn’t stop there. According to a report from The Fashion Spot, models of color comprised over 31 percent of Fashion Week rosters in February’s Fall 2017 shows. Even the reality TV show “Project Runway”, who documents the fashion design process, has made a commitment to size inclusion. This season plus-size women were among the many models that designers had to fit each week. “You have to know how to design for every body type”, said contestant Ayana Ife.

The Indonesian Diversity platform allowed for diversity among designers. Fashion isn’t always black and white, other Indonesian Designers included: Melia Wijaya, Catherine Njoo, Barli Asmara, and handbag designer Doris Dorthea. All models wore Indonesian Halal makeup brand Wardah. Indonesian Diveristy designers weren’t the only ones to come from across the seas to conquer New York Fashion Week, some designers were born and raised right here in America.

 

This positive shift is intended for a bright future. Here are 9 NYFW designers, whose love for diversity warmed our hearts.

 

Vivi Zubedi

Photo: Getty Images

Vivi Zubedi, one of 2 designers at the Indonesian Diversity runway show, showcased their collections with all Hijabi models. Several of which are immigrants or Muslim, a bold statement following our current political stance that is now America.

Photo: Getty Images

Several of the Abbaya’s (a traditional Muslim outerwear piece) were adorned with the message “All Colors Matters” to exemplify the translation from other languages to English; a test that many immigrants to the US face daily.

 

Dian Pelangi

Photo: Getty Images

Dian Pelangi, another Indonesian designer, showed at Indonesian Diversity’s runway show. Dian Pelangi challenged the traditional hijab by showcasing new shapes, and colors.

Catherine Njoo

Photo: Getty Images

Catherine Njoo NYFW 2018 collection was inspired by Legong, a refined dance form by intricate finger movements, footwork, expressive gestures and facial expressions. Her inspiration showcased in each of her headpieces (by Grace Liam). 

Cindy Montiero

Photo: Getty Images

Cindy Montiero, Cape Verdean designer, was about 90% minority models, and we are here for the melanin on this white runway. A woman of color herself, Cindy wanted to represent beauty in all races, whether you’re black, white, Asian, etc.


Vaishali S. 

Photo: Getty Images

Vaishali S. – Indian designer Vaishali cast with a mission of diversity; as India is a place of various complexions.



Runa Ray

Photo: Getty Images

 

Photo: Getty Images

 

Runa Ray showcased a sustainable collection, making a commitment to not only a beautiful show but a more beautiful earth. Gifting the audience with seed pencils and paper that could be planted after the show. 

Dan Liu

Photo: Getty Images

Dan Liu, a Japanese/Chinese/Canadian brand, is diversity personified.  This season his casting of African-American and Asian models was welcomed at Skylight Clarkson Square show. Dan Liu dreams of dressing all the beautiful women of the world. 

Galtiscopio

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

At Galtiscopio‘s show, they had 2 musical performances one from Diddy’s musical prodigy and son, Christian Combs, and another from R&B star, Ray J. Although the luxury line is based in Paris, their watch line has a huge following in the hip-hop community. Be on the lookout for a collaboration with young fashion icon and artist, Christian Combs. 

Leanne Marshall

Photo: IMAXTREE Images for Leanne Marshall

Leanne Marshall, known for winning season 5 of Project Runway, dressing celebs on the red carpet, and making brides across America beautiful; wanted to show her commitment to dressing real women of different shapes and sizes. Her diverse models stole the show: 2 plus size model, 1 real size model, and a model who was a 6ft tall model.

 

With fashion weeks of London, Milan and Paris quickly approaching, we will have to wait and see if these fashion capitals follow the inclusivity trend of diversity. Major French luxury LVMH and Kering have announced they are no longer working with models small than a US size 0 and 2. The fashion industry has many more strides to make before representing the masses.

Courtney Wilkins

Celebrity Interviewer & Fashion Blogger

I am a Multimedia Journalist. I specialize in fashion but have a background in social media, editorial styling, content curation, and video production across print, digital and social platforms. As a Curator, I bring a fresh perspective which exposes creative innovative fashion visionaries.