HomeWorld News'A definitive backslide.' Inside fashion's worrying runway trend

‘A definitive backslide.’ Inside fashion’s worrying runway trend

CNN — Now that the Fall-Winter 2023 catwalks have been disassembled, it’s evident that there was a significant lack of plus-size models. This trend stands out considering the availability of five injectable medications in the US that can be used as appetite suppressants, with a sixth medication available in the form of an oral pill. In the UK, two weight loss medications have been approved. Injectable medications like Wegovy and Ozempic, which contain the active ingredient semaglutide, have been widely rumored to be Hollywood’s go-to weight loss secret. In recent years, there has been some progress and promise in diversifying the fashion industry, with models like Jill Kortleve and Paloma Elsesser breaking through traditional beauty standards. However, this season’s runways saw a noticeable lack of plus-size models compared to previous seasons. The number of mid and plus-size models dropped by 24% compared to Spring-Summer 2023, according to fashion search engine Tagwalk. Vogue Business found that 95.6% of all looks presented for Fall-Winter 2023 were in a size US 0-4, while industry estimates suggest that 68% of American women wear a size US 14 or above. The lack of representation has sparked criticism among fashion commentators and diversity advocates, with some describing it as a definitive backslide. However, there were still some brands that pushed for inclusivity, such as Di Petsa, Karoline Vitto, Sinead O’Dwyer, and Belgian brand Esther Manas. Despite efforts to promote diversity, the lack of larger sample sizes remains a hurdle, as brands often cite financial constraints for not creating custom-made pieces for plus-size models. Some stylists and editors argue that luxury brands need to display a genuine desire for change in order for progress to be made. While there has been an increase in inclusivity in fashion campaigns and editorial shoots, the overall representation on the runways remains limited. The hope is that the industry will continue to push for change and offer more diverse options for plus-size models beyond the usual tropes of lingerie or trench coat shoots.