Fashion Week is upon us and the demand for racial inclusion on the runways is louder than ever. The CFDA even sent its members a how-to on diversifying their runways. A poorly-worded casting call from Kanye West, who consciously celebrates black beauty in his Yeezy collections, was enough to nearly break the Internet.
But what of the plus-size community? Last season, there were only six plus-size model appearances in all the shows in New York, Paris, Milan and London. That’s down from 14 plus-size model appearances on the Spring 2016 runways. Yet there was no mention of size representation in the CFDA’s carefully scripted outline.
While the jury is still out on Spring 2017, based on recent events (among them Leslie Jones’ Ghostbusters premiere drama) we doubt we’ll be seeing many curvy models on the runways. The fact that clothing samples are traditionally sized between 0 and 4 is at least partially to blame for the runways’ lack of body acceptance. Were designers obligated to make a wider range of sizes during preproduction, they’d probably be less averse to casting curvier women.
To illustrate just how anachronistic the industry’s size standards are, fashion writer Liz Black, founder of Refinery29’s plus-size vertical, modeled (or rather, attempted to model) several sample-size looks. Watch the full clip above, as you contemplate the fact that 67 percent women in the U.S. are about Liz’s size.