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Australian Fashion Week announces first ever plus-size runway show for 2022

Australian Fashion Week prepares to put on its first ever plus size runway show for 2022 – as experts confirm this would have fallen on ‘deaf ears’ five years ago

  • The organisers of Australian Fashion Week have allowed a plus-sized runway
  • The runway is the first of its kind in the Sydney festival’s 26-year-history
  • Designers, retailers and talent managers have applauded the plus-size move 

The organisers of Australian Fashion Week have allowed a plus-sized runway show to go ahead for the first time in the event’s 26-year history. 

The Curve Edit will be staged by Bella Management CEO Chelsea Bonner who has been fighting for size inclusion in the industry for twenty years.

The talent agent said the move will be a step in the right direction and claimed five years ago requests for a runway for people over a size 12 would have fallen on deaf ears.

The Curve Edit will be staged by Bella Management CEO Chelsea Bonner who has been fighting for size-inclusion in the industry for twenty years

Speaking to The Guardian Ms Bonner said we are living in a ‘whole new world’.

‘The way we think about bodies, the way we think about ourselves is so different now.’

The fashion industry in Australia has come under fire for it’s sizeist approach in recent years – with most people shocked to find out ‘the average’ woman is considered too big for the runway.

Many of the brands who have showcased their designs in the festival over the last 26 years only make their clothes to a maximum size 12 or 14 and have women much smaller show them off on the runway. 

Poll

Do you think Fashion Week should include a curve show?

  • Yes, it is great! 50 votes
  • No. 43 votes
  • No, because larger models should be in every show! 25 votes

Leina Broughton, lead designer and co-founder of Leina and Fleur, recently spoke to FEMAIL about her fury with the industry ‘she loves’.  

She took aim at her ‘sizeist’ industry, slamming body-shaming practices and events which publicly promote inclusivity while ‘cancelling anyone over a size ten behind closed doors’.

Ms Broughton said she became furious last year after learning size 12 models were invited to a major fashion event before being told they had to ‘sit in the crowd’.

‘What message does that send to Australian women, that only women up to size ten can be on display, it is segregation,’ she said.

In fact she has refused to support fashion events across Australia because of the lack of diversity in their shows. 

‘The women at these events do not represent Australian women. I love fashion but if I were to attend these events I would be going against everything I stand for,’ she said. 

'I don't think that this runway will affect a huge amount of change by itself, but I think it's a step in the right direction,' said Lacey-Jade Christie - a plus-sized model, pictured left said

‘I don’t think that this runway will affect a huge amount of change by itself, but I think it’s a step in the right direction,’ said Lacey-Jade Christie – a plus-sized model, pictured left said

‘The average Australian woman is a size 12 to 14, so why aren’t we seeing her at the shows, in the pictures or on the catwalk,’ she asked.

Ms Bonner said her recent pitch for a plus-sized catwalk was welcome with open arms which could mean the tide is turning on sizeist practices in the industry.

Pedestrian spoke to Chloe Papas, the co-organiser of A Plus Market, who claims the introduction of the curve runway is a step in the right direction.

‘It is a fantastic step that we’re going to see plus-size representation on the runway this year and that we’ll see some really great inclusive brands and plus-size babes out there,’ she said.

She hopes that the show will open the doors for further conversation around the issue.

Leina Broughton, from Leina and Fleur, has been a designer for decades but is sick of the sizeist principals employed by many in the industry

Leina Broughton, from Leina and Fleur, has been a designer for decades but is sick of the sizeist principals employed by many in the industry 

‘We need to start seeing this as a social justice issue. [That includes] the lack of representation of plus-size or fat people on our runways, but also the lack of access to inclusive fashion across the board.’ 

In a previous interview Leina and Fleur designer, Ms Broughton, revealed while many people in the industry are pushing for change many are pushing back, hard.

‘There are people out there who will admit they don’t want to have their lines go up to a size 14 or 16 because they don’t want those women wearing them,’ she said. 

There will also be an ‘Adaptive’ show at this year’s Fashion Week which will custom-make the fashion-show look to suit people with disabilities.

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