It's no secret that inclusivity in the fashion world has been the topic of discussion as of late (specifically of size and race). And while the catwalk is getting, arguably, more diverse by the season, Fall/Winter 2020 proves that some brands in the industry are looking to make real strides towards ensuring there are different body types being represented on the runway. Case in point: Fendi's first plus-size models just walked the runway — and it's a moment that will have everyone reeling for weeks.
On Feb. 20, the Italian powerhouse brand kicked off Milan Fashion Week with an unforgettable show. For the first time since the brand's early beginnings in 1925, Fendi featured not one, but two, plus-sized models in its highly anticipated runway show. Well-known models Paloma Elsesser and Jill Kortleve took the runway by storm as the very first curvy models to walk for the brand. And the duo undeniably stole the show.
With an increase in demand for diversity from celebrities and editors, alike, two models out of a cast of 50 might hardly seem groundbreaking, but it's certainly a great place to start. And it gives hope that, Creative Director, Silvia Venturini Fendi (a natural successor to the legendary, Karl Lagerfeld) is setting a new precedent for other high fashion brands. Size inclusivity aside, the Fendi runway also included models of various ages like early aughts-darling, Liya Kebede.
Paloma posted to Instagram with the caption, "For once, I literally have no words! I would simply like to express my gratitude for this monumental moment. Thank you to everyone involved." The uplifting post warranted praise from the fashion elite, like fellow model Bella Hadid who supportively commented "my president".
While models Elsesser and Kortleve walking alongside runway royalty like Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber is certainly a site to behold, luxury fashion still has a journey ahead for total inclusivity (they were the only plus-size models at Milan Fashion Week).
Beyond the impressive duo, the runway continued the inspired vision of Fendi. The looks were futuristic, with each model sporting a padded headband that sat across the nape of the neck and hung over the ears. Much of the collection oscillated between a light, dove gray and a subtle pink, with pops of warm color.
Much And instead of the suiting that's been popular across many runways, dresses and coats made up the bulk of the collection. As the collection explored the dual identities of "la donna Fendi," as described in the show notes, there were both romantic and dark, edgy designs on the evening-wear heavy runway. Overall, it's a far cry from the logo-heavy styles of seasons past, instead offering up a modern, elegant take on fall dressing. The message: the future is here.