From J.Crew to Christian Siriano, brands and designers are making huge statements about the importance of inclusive fashion.
J.Crew Casts Real People In a Beautifully Diverse Campaign
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J.Crew decided to switch things up on Sunday by choosing "real people" (many of whom were J.Crew employees, friends of the brand, and journalists) to showcase its collection, rather than casting professional models. The refreshingly diverse lineup included men and women of all different sizes, ages (13 to 70), and races, according to New York magazine.
Christian Siriano Featured Plus-Size Models in His Show
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Christian Siriano has long been vocal about the lack of diversity in the fashion industry, but he proved this year that it is possible to be inclusive. His show included women from several ethnic groups. He also chose five plus-size women to model his brand.
Iskra Lawrence Walks NYFW Runway For the First Time
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It's finally Iskra Lawrence's time to shine. The model has been in the industry for 13 years but just made her NYFW debut for Chromat. "I can't quite believe it's happening," she told SELF in a backstage interview. "I had a little teary-eyed moment at the fitting because for so many years I got told I'd never make it because of my size...it means a lot to be accepted for just being me."
Reshma Qureshi Slayed the Runway
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Reshma Qureshi, a 19-year-old survivor of an acid attack, made her NYFW debut, modeling for Indian designer Archana Kochhar. The Mumbai native walked the show to help raise awareness about the frequency of acid attacks in India.
"I feel really good about walking in fashion week because I feel I'm not just doing this for myself," the teen told PEOPLE in a translated interview. "I feel I'm doing this for the acid attack survivors that there are and to give them confidence. I'm very excited to have this opportunity."
Transgender Activist Delivers a Powerful Speech at NYFW Opening Ceremony
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Sarah McBride, a transgender activist and press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, took the stage during Opening Ceremony's politically focused "Pageant of the People" presentation to say a few words about what it means to her to be American. She told the crowd that when she came out as transgender four years ago she was afraid, but also has witnessed things changing today.
"We must never be a country that says there's only one way to love, only one way to look and only one way to live," she said. "We must be a country where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally."
Dascha Polanco Made an Appearance With No Pants
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The Orange Is the New Black actress wore a stunning black and white bodysuit, paired with a floor-length glittery coat, to The Blonds New York Fashion Week show on Sunday. Clearly, she's not afraid to show off her flawless curves—because let's be real, if you've got it, you better flaunt it.