Opinion: New York Fashion Week makes history

Plus-size model Ashley Graham. Photo: Supplied
Plus-size model Ashley Graham. Photo: Supplied
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Two beautiful women in their own right defy the fashion industry and own the runway at New York Fashion Week.

Not your average models according to society. Ashley Graham is a plus-size model and Madeline Stuart is an adult Down syndrome model.

Graham was the first plus-size model to ever walk the New York runway. Teaming up with Addition Elle, Graham designed her own lingerie line. She was fortunate enough to launch it at New York Fashion week, making it the only show for curvy, plus-size people.

An avid supporter for women of all shapes and sizes, she was the first plus-size model to have an ad appear in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit addition earlier this year. Strongly supporting #IAmSizeSexy, Ashley is better known for modelling lingerie for Lane Bryant.

Madeline Stuart is an Australian 18-year-old Down syndrome model and only the second Down syndrome model to walk the runway at New York Fashion week.

It was at a fashion parade that Madeline and her mum attended where she decided she wanted to be a model. Madeline is the first professional adult model with Down syndrome in the world. She is the face of cosmetic company Glossigirl and is the first model with a disability to do this.

Madeline Stuart at New York Fashion Week
Madeline Stuart at New York Fashion Week

The Brisbane resident modeled for American label FTL Moda’s Spring 2016 Collection. Wearing two pieces and closing the show off with designers and taking a bow.

This achievement is momentous for both models and an eye opener to the fashion industry. Graham and Stuart have created awareness for society about what is beautiful and that anyone can be a model.

New York Fashion Week slowly breaks down barriers from the conventional standards of fashion.Women of all  shapes, sizes and types can be sexy.

It’s important for us to show our children that they’re beautiful regardless of how they look or the shape and size of their bodies. We need to build their self-confidence in a society where the ordinary definition of beautiful is defined as skinny.

Romana Trego
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