Little by little, the fashion industry has made progressive strides in featuring various body types, shapes, and models of different ethnicities on the runway and in ad campaigns. In 2016, Christian Siriano was dubbed the most inclusive of all fashion designers at Fashion Week, and models such as Charli Howard and Celementine Desseaux spearheaded a body-positive campaign called the All Woman Project. Other industry celebs who contributed to the diversity conversation include Zac Posen, Iskra Lawrence, Kanye West, and brands such as Aerie and Victoria’s Secret.
According to The Fashion Spot’s diversity report, the Fall ’16 and Spring ’17 runways were even more diverse than previous seasons. Of the 120 Fall ’16 shows at NYFW, 68.1 percent of the models cast were white and 31.9 percent were nonwhite. These numbers were better than Spring 2016, where models of color only accounted for 28.4 of castings.
Despite these strides, however, no plus-size models walked the Spring ’17 runways outside of NYFW, and of the top 13 most-booked models for Fall ’16 campaigns, 11 were white. No one ever said change was fast (or easy). Last year we wrote about why the fashion industry needed to be more accepting in 2016, so now we ask ourselves, “Was 2016 actually diverse?” Our answer? A solid “Yes. It was.” Read on to see some fashion moments that gave us a glimpse at a more inclusive industry. We can only hope 2017 will be even more diverse and positive.