Twice a year, the four seasons of fashion are presented in four of the world’s fashion capitals. Fashion week’s intricate and eye-catching street style, in addition to the venues packed with celebrities and professionals donning these styles, results in the deluge of photographers and an electric excitement among not only the attendees, but also among home viewers. The two fashion months act as the largest concentration of the fashion niche. While this is key for professionals, such as buyers, merchandisers, and editors to locate trends to feature, products to buy, and create content for media, fashion week season is also very much part of a universal pop culture. More than just interest in the runway fashion, people seek to be apart of the fashion scene for its glamour. Being constantly exposed to the shows on all sorts of platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, young viewers have a greater tendency to be swept into the thrill of fashion week. There is no doubt that fashion week is entertaining, even to those unacquainted with specific designers and lingo, causing its impact to be especially broad. Because fashion reaches such a range of followers, shouldn’t it be essential for the fashion shows to promote accepting and open values? Yet, for the majority of history, the glamour associated with fashion and its shows was largely rigid with one size, one color only.
With each controversy, such as one fashion model after another being regarded as “too fat”, the need for a more inclusive fashion scene grew. Despite this necessity for change in the mindset of fashion executives, who were perpetrating such guidelines of perfection, it seemed difficult for them to redefine the fashion industry. The industry had been successful in defining their “look” through their models, who were figures of fashion, more than they were normal people. However, this not only created a gap between fans and fashion, but more gravely created drastic effects in the minds of many young females. Although fashion is just one factor of statistics, such as 80% of U.S. women are unsatisfied with their body image, the issue with unrealistic and undiverse fashion models was greatly protested, making way for positive change.
More representation in the fashion industry has grown immensely, and with the protests of many, including those within the industry, we have seen a remarkable turnaround within the past year. February’s fashion season began with a milestone: for the first time, all of the major shows during New York Fashion Week featured at least one model of color. By the time the shows in the four cities were finished, the rate of models with color had increased a few more percentage points. These changes; however, were only the beginning of a fashion revolution. Leading up to the fall season, print ads were beginning to feature plus-sized, non-white, transgender and over-50 models. At the actual fall fashion shows, this diversity was emboldened and progressed. The September numbers doubled since February’s shows, featuring almost 40% non-white models, and transgender and nonbinary models were at an all-time high. Body diversity was also set to a higher priority, with much less unanimity in appearance. Although many fashion brands and shows have yet to represent complete diversity and exert an appreciation for the female individuality, these statistics are nevertheless a strong upward trend. While before there was a great push for girls in STEM, it is as crucial to promote within the bounds of a feminine industry the sense of belonging and equality amongst girls themselves.