Is the fashion industry really inclusive?

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Over the past few years, the fashion industry seems to have undergone a transformation as consumers push for brands to better represent and cater to real people. Not only is body diversity the norm, but social media has opened the door for lesser-known creators to enter an obscure and elite industry. Buzzwords like additions have taken over the marketing language as brands try to adapt. Four months away from 2023, it’s still unclear whether the fashion industry will become more welcoming to people of different shapes, sizes and backgrounds.

While models like Paloma Elsesser and Precious Lee have dominated runways and magazine covers, plus-size figures remain more exotic than mainstream. Often times, fashion labels stop featuring models over a size 6, taking size inclusion as a function of reference. Although more than half of all women in the United States are over 16, Fashion place It reported that only 46 out of 6,879 and 34 out of 2,293 models were plus-size for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 fashion weeks.

Slender bodies will continue to be the industry norm as long as sample sizes do not contain large bodies. In the year In 2020, stylist Fran Burns posted a picture of a skinny model on Instagram wearing pants that were too small. She said, “Can we please make our sample sizes bigger? I never want anyone on my set to feel ‘less than that.'” Burns confirmed our fears that the fashion industry hasn’t changed, reposting the image in April 2022, writing, “Almost 18 months from now I share my feelings about sampling and the single vision of beauty expected in the fashion industry. Changed. Is there something? – It’s not true.” She continued, “Specimens remain elusive and body variation on the terrace is exceptional, not standard. ”

The fashion industry is also becoming a source of kinship, although social media has traditionally democratized the niche, with #modeltok picking up steam on Tik Tok, giving new models tips and resources to break into the industry, campaigns and looks. The runways are constantly filled with already famous faces. While it’s great to see our favorite actors walk the catwalk for famous brands, it’s hard not to think about the favorite models that Kardashian-Jenner regularly appears on. Seeing Emma Chamberlain pose for GANNI should be a sign of encouragement for micro-influencers and everyday content creators, but it’s worth noting that the same white, thin archetype is being perpetuated.

One designer who broke the mold is Kim Shui, who teamed up with Afterpay to feature a photographer, stylist and model for the upcoming Fall/Winter 2022 show. Initiatives like this allow lesser-known names to make their mark and offer something new. While the fashion industry has certainly come a long way in supporting different standards of beauty, as well as shedding its elite and diverse history, steps still need to be taken to make it more accepting and progressive in the future.



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