The fashion industry is so often criticized for its lack of diversity and for imposing unrealistic standards of beauty, so too for New York Fashion Week. That’s why shows like this definitely make their mark, not because the designs have been any more innovative, but because certain fashion designers have become much more innovative in their selection of models.
These models show to the world that you can still make a statement in serious couture even with a disability. Fashion should be a reflection of the individual and the society it represents, therefore, it is far from immune to the dysfunction that currently plagues the world at large, whether it’s racism or prejudice. Catwalks that include a diverse range of people from all backgrounds offer a much-needed breath of fresh air in the status-quo, infusing the fashion world with inspiration and innovation – and isn’t that what fashion is all about?
It seems that fashion designers are starting to pay more attention to all the people that they’re dressing rather than just the designs themselves. After Jamie Brewer, the first Fashion Week model with Down syndrome strutted down the runway for Carrie Hammer, FTL Moda followed in her footsteps by featuring models with disabilities in its show titled “Loving You.” The designs were created by Antonio Urzi. Antonio Urzi is well known for creating some of the offbeat costumes worn by Lady Gaga.
Among the fierce models was Jack Eyers, who became the first-ever male amputee to work the show’s catwalk. “Being the first male amputee model on a Fashion Week runway feels amazing, it feels like such a huge deal. I just want to point out that having a disability doesn’t need to hold you back.”
These models are, without question, people of great beauty, if not ones that fit into the narrow perspective considered the norm for high fashion.