When it came to diversity on the catwalk, Milan lagged behind for years compared to Paris, London and New York. But Donatella Versace has changed all that on its own. For the first time in its history, the Italian fashion house let plus-size models run along.
Italian Fashion Week has been one of the most conservative for years. For a long time there was no trace of colors and larger sizes, but that seems to be changing little by little. Earlier this year, the Dutch Jill Kortleve and Paloma Elsesser were the first plus-size models to participate in the Fendi parade. The first, along with Alva Claire and Precious Lee, was one of the three heavier women who could be seen on the catwalk at Versace last weekend. A first, because the fashion house has never opted for plus-size models before.
Although creative director Donatella Versace in an interview with Time said in 2008 that “sizes don’t really mean anything” and “plus-size women shouldn’t look at themselves in those terms” it took 23 years since her appointment before they actually appeared on her catwalk. Earlier this year there was already a noticeable change when Lizzo in a dress from Versace on the cover of Vogue popped up. “I am so proud to dress such an incredibly talented woman,” Donatella responded on Instagram.
In any case, the photos of Jill Kortleve, Alva Claire and Precious Lee went around the world on social media. The Dutch model shared another message on Instagram. “This is such a historic moment and I still can’t believe what happened to me”, it sounds. “I hope that this will help open the doors to a new generation with the same dreams, but who never saw themselves represented in the magazines and commercials.”
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