By: Angella Pulido
Sample size number 2, bodies in different sizes, and people of different colors. Since the the Renaissance, society has accustomed women to believing that size 2 and below is the "right size," thereby influencing designers to only create size 2 and below.
But it's time for a change. This past fall, New York Fashion Week designers showcased collections with a statement of diversity and inclusivity.
Newer brand Selkie, founded in 2018, showcased a Cottingley Sister-inspired collection during a rooftop Spring 2024 show. Through this show, Selkie demonstrated a fierce group of diverse models including plus-size model Joseph Vicla, mid-size model Charlie Reynolds as well as model Cordelia Zanger, who changed the standard by representing women of age. All broke the barriers of American beauty standards on the runway. Because of Selike’s inclusion of diversity, they have also been applauded by fashion influencers like plus size advocate Remi Bader and fashion critic Mandy Lee.
In addition to Selkie, Annapolis-raised designer Christan Siriano showcased a #ballerinacore inspired spring 2024 collection, which included hints of leather, formulated silhouettes, and highlights of mesh shown at the Grand Hotel to celebrate Christian Siriano’s 15th anniversary.
During this show, Siriano showcased plus-size models of color, including JAG model Hayley Foster and mid-size model Jocelyn Coroña. However, this isn't the end of it. As Lauren Bill stated in the Baltimore Style, "You can tell he doesn't try to change the person he's dressing, instead celebrating her shape just how it is."
Meanwhile, Collina Strada's spring 2024 show demonstrated the "Soft is Hard" collection with a hint of hard smiles and inclusivity across the runway. The show included a diverse group of color, featuring model Rosalina Angua and multiple male models like Carlo Hott and Bratez Purnel, demonstrating the unisex line to a new demographic.
Though we have come a long way since the state of Renaissance fashion, there is still a lot of work to be done. However, with the help of Selkie, Christian Siriano, and Collina Strada the beginning of this process is being done.