Plus Size Models - Segregated At NYFW?

16 September 2010

There is change in the air at New York fashion week, where for the first time in its 46 year history there has been a fashion show showcasing clothes for plus-size women. The catwalk presentation used models between a UK size 12 and 14, and has been heralded as a landmark victory against sizeism in the fashion industry, where size zero waifs have been the norm on catwalks for over a decade.

Of course, curvier women have been filtering into some of the biggest catwalk shows for the past two seasons where models like plus-size supermodel Crystal Renn, who walked for Zac Posen's Zspoke collection earlier this week, are finally flying the flag for plus-sizers everywhere.

Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe on the FROW

But is the catwalk show the victory they would have us believe?

If the fashion industry was really embracing plus-size models, then why are models like Lara Stone and Crystal Renn still the exception to the rule? And doesn’t the fact that there has to be a separate catwalk show for a (as yet little-known) plus-size clothing brand just go to show that the fashion industry still sees them curvier women as ‘different’ to the other size-zero models, while still dragging its heels about producing styles in larger sizes - as well as showcasing them on the catwalk.

What do you think? Is it good news or does the show just reinforce negative messages about size?

Backstage at the show

- Sophie Cullinane


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