Diversity is a real issue on the runway. But while the number of models of color may be slowly improving, certain communities are still being left out. Take pregnant women, for example, who have been a rare sight on the runway. Now one brand has upped the ante at New York Fashion Week.
On Saturday, design duo Eckhaus Latta sent their friends and family down the catwalk, including ready-to-burst artist Maia Ruth Lee.
The pregnant model donned a pale pink cardigan dress, with her stomach bursting through the knitted design’s buttons.
“Maia’s due next month!” casting director Rachel Chandler said backstage. “She came in and tried on a look, and it fit.”
Although pregnant models have walked in major shows before, this is the first time an actual belly has been revealed on the catwalk.
“To have a bunch of one gender that’s the same race and height and size and fit, wearing similar clothes and makeup — I don’t think we were ever interested in that,” Eckhaus Latta co-founder Zoe Latta explained to Vogue.
Prominent fashion journalist Nicole Phelps praised the casting decision on Instagram, saying, “I’ve been going to fashion shows for 21 years and I’ve seen a pregnant model on the runway exactly one other time. Something to think about.”
In 2010, Miranda Kerr hit the Balenciaga runway just three months before she gave birth to son Flynn. Two years later, Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio walked during São Paulo Fashion Week while five months pregnant.
July 2014 saw Karl Lagerfeld walk hand in hand with pregnant model Ashleigh Good during the finale of his Chanel couture show. And in 2015, Dolce & Gabbana cast Bianca Balti in a figure-hugging pink dress that revealed the outline of her baby bump.
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