Call it a sign of the times, but the hottest trend to emerge on the international runways during fashion month thus far is … DIVERSITY.
Like the latest styles, the model of the moment look is usually sparked by a particular trend. (Remember the waifs, androgyny and the Brazilian bombshells?) However, there’s no pigeonholing this direction, nor denying its power.
On practically every catwalk you’ll see models of every possible ethnicity, shape, skin colour, gender and age. Hello Amber Valletta, 43, who just walked for Versace in Milan where there was no mistaking Donatella’s strong message of inclusion.
The mantra was the same at Gucci, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors – where Valletta also appeared alongside former supers Carolyn Murphy 42, Natasha Poly 31, and fashion’s new darling, Ashley Graham – the first plus size model to appear on the cover of US Vogue. Incidentally, Graham was joined on the March cover by six IT mods who also represent the multicultural mood that has taken over planet fashion – which far from being a shock tactic is simply representative of the world in which we live. (Too bad if you don’t like it Trump.)
The mantra is also catching on beyond the catwalk. Lancôme has just released its latest foundation campaign, 40 Shades, 40 Powers, which features and champions women of 40 different nationalities and skin shades.
Then there’s the 81 fashion editors, models, designers and industry heavyweights, including Grace Coddington, Diane von Furstenberg, photographers Inez and Vinoodh, and models Anja Rubik and Adriana Lima who banded together to create the I am an Immigrant video for W Magazine that’s exploding on social media.
Who said fashion was fickle? We predict this is one trend that’s set to reach icon status. In celebration of fashions new inclusive landscape, meet the multicultural models ruling the runways this season.
MICA ARGANARAZ, 27, Argentina
Shows Prada, Versace, Versus, Fendi, J.W. Anderson, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Victoria Beckham, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Simone Rocha, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren. Arganaraz has also fronted Chanel campaigns and currently stars in the Karl Lagerfeld and Louis Vuitton SS17 ads.
IMAAN HAMMAN, 20, Netherlands (Moroccan/Egyptian decent)
Shows Versace, Fendi, Sportsmax, Moschino, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Brandon Maxwell, The Row, La Perla. Hamman stars on the March cover of US Vogue and has fronted campaigns for Shiseido and DNKY.
LINEISY MONTERO, 21, Dominican Republic
Shows Prada, Burberry, Versace, Missoni, Sportsmax, Moschino, Versus, Simone Rocha, JW Anderson, Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Coach, Altuzarra, Proenza Schouler, Tommy Hilfiger. Montero stars in the SS17 Net-A-Porter campaign.
ADWOA ABOAH, 20, British-Ghanaian
Shows Versace, Fendi, Sportsmax, Moschino, Joseph, Erdem, Versus, Simone Rocha, Marc Jacobs, Brandon Maxwell, Coach. Aboah stars on the March cover of US Vogue and fronts the SS17 campaigns for Alexander Wang and Theory.
JING WEN, 23, China
Shows Prada, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Diesel, J.W. Anderson, Topshop Unique, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Coach, Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra, Jason Wu, La Perla, Tommy Hilfiger. Wen fronts the SS17 campaigns for Net-A-Porter, Prada and Nina Ricci Nina and Luna Blossom fragrance.
Cover image: Instagram @imaanhammam (Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue China)