Not long ago, in previous years the catwalk has been criticised for having a lack of diversity – but this year’s event has been praised for being “inclusive”, with runway shows featuring women of diverse body types, ages and races. Many catwalk shows were highly praised for ‘inclusivity’ and plurality.
The Sport Illustrated show which took place at the luxury Mondrian Hotel over the weekend included plus-sized models, handicapped womenm mums and the “oldest/shortest Sports Illustrated rookie ever”, Kathy Jacobs.
Kathy took to Instagram after the show to tell followers it is “never too late” after walking in a yellow two-piece as well as a nude bikini.
(Kathy Jacobs was a petite mannequin within the ’80s earlier than making an attempt out for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)
“This is what runway domination at 57 years old and 5’2” (157cm) tall looks like on the surface,” she wrote. “What you don’t see are the years of hundreds of rejections, discipline, heartbreak and balls to the wall perseverance behind what it took to be in this empowered position."
Women were quick to praise the show, with “body confidence” influencer Alex Light, taking to social media to share what “this type of representation means for so many”.
“Imagine if we had all grown up seeing images more like this from the catwalk?” she wrote.
“Women of different shapes and sizes, not just one type of beauty that was highly unattainable for most women …
“I hazard a guess that body image would not be as bad as it is right now. Don’t you?”
Alex Light went on to state that while the show wasn’t “perfect” it was a sign the fashion industry was “getting there – slowly but surely”.
(‘Getting there, slowly but surely.’ Picture: Instagram/alexlight Source: Instagram)
Comments on her post lit up, with many sharing the joy at seeing “cruves” at the event.
“It would have changed the GAME for body image,” one agreed.
“I love this,” another wrote.
“Makes me sad that this isn’t the ‘norm’ and it bloody well should be, they look flippin’ awesome,” someone else added.
Similar messages were shared on the Sports Illustrated Swim Instagram account, with many thanking the long-running magazine brand for “young women everywhere”.
(Women of all shapes flaunted their figures. Picture: Jason Koerner/Getty Images Source: Getty Images
(Social media lit up in support. Picture: Jason Koerner/Getty Images Source: Getty Images)
'Truly committed to inclusivity’
Other brands have followed suit, with Global e-tailer PrettyLittleThing featuring 28 models “of all shapes, sizes and walks of life” as part of the brand’s commitment to be “truly committed to inclusivity”.
The show included transgender stars, pregnant models, disability activists, plus-size models as well as influencers and socialites wearing its swimwear designs available in sizes 4-30.
Australian model Gabby Epstein walked in the show wearing a tiny orange bikini with matching strappy heels.
(Coast influencer Gabby Epstein appeared in the runway show. Picture: PrettyLittleThing Source: Supplied)
Fitness influencer Bruna Lima – who is eight months pregnant – walked in the budget brand’s runway show minus her shoes alongside 19-year-old Anna Sarol, who confidently went down the runway in her wheelchair.
In 2015, the former gymnast fell on the uneven bars in an incident that left her paralysed from the waist down.
Transgender star Tokyo Stylez, known for styling Cardi B’s hair, and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Gia Gunn also walked for the show.
(PrettyLittleThing featured a range of bodies as part of its ‘commitment to being truly inclusive’. Picture: PrettyLittleThing Source: Supplied)
(A pregnant Bruna Lima flaunted her bump in the skimpy swimmers. Picture: PrettyLittleThingSource: Supplied)
(Anna Sarol, who was paralysed in a gymnastics accident in 2015, appeared in the show. Picture: PrettyLittleThingSource: Supplied)
Aussie label Honey Birdette also had two queens from the iconic TV show appear on its runway, with Violet Chachki and Aquaria wearing the label’s provocative designs.
“I always get asked, ‘Who’s your demographic?’ but I don’t believe in demographics anymore,” brand founder Eloise Monaghan said.
(Honey Birdette had a variety of women walk in its runway show. Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Honey Birdette Source: Supplied)
Honey Birdette’s 2021 swim collection features styles in red, black, leopard and neon, with gold medallions and contoured cut-outs.
The designs have also been constructed using Italian eco fabric made from recycled materials and plastics recovered from the Mediterranean Sea.
Kylie Jenner, Cardi B and Paris Hilton are all fans of Honey Birdette, which was this month bought by Playboy’s parent company PLBY Group for $445 million.
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