New York Fashion Week, which started on September 4th, has begun and is already making headlines! On Friday, Cabiria designer Eden Miller made history with the first plus-size line – after ONLY 60 years of catwalks! Although the average American woman now wears a size 14, attractive plus-size fashions and models who can wear them are still hard to find. And it’s hard to figure out why, because everyone blames everyone else! Some mainstream designers have claimed it’s hard to find models to cast above a size 4, while some casting agents pass the blame back to designers, saying plus-size women simply won’t fit into their always-tiny clothing samples. If that’s true, it must be a miracle that Eden Miller was able to scoop up some stunning plus-size models from agencies like MSA and Wilhelmina so easily. Stop making excuses, guys! On Friday, Eden Miller presented her plus-size Spring 2014 collection alongside five other handpicked designers as part of the Fashion Law Institute presentation at Lincoln Center. The great thing about it, Miller told Fashionista, was that she wasn’t necessarily chosen because she’s a plus-size designer.
“It just happened to be that they liked my stuff.”
Check out this interview with designer Eden Miller herself below! That’s a great step toward size acceptance! Yahoo! talked to two models from Eden Miller’s show – Victoria Lee and Frances Cordova – to find out how their NYFW runway debut went and what it’s really like to be plus-size in an industry dominated by size zeros. Here are some snippets from the interview:
You two just modeled the first plus-size line at NYFW. How did it feel entering the tents? Victoria Lee: It was an out of body experience. Knowing that you are about to make history is amazing. Frances Cordova: Right before the beginning of the show someone reminded us that we were making history. That’s when it actually hit me. The fact that we were the first plus size women at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week tent show is so exciting. I’m hoping that more plus size designers will get the same opportunity sooner than later.
How do you think the show was received? Frances: We got such great feedback afterwards that it’s absolutely overwhelming. Victoria: Everyone was rooting for us. I think this is the first of many shows to come.
Do you ever wish models could just be models at any size and didn’t need labels? Victoria: I definitely see it in the future. Perhaps one day the industry will look at a model and just think “model.” Frances: Absolutely! Why not have all different sizes, ethnicities, and ages? I think it would be a great shift and slowly but surely it seems as though the industry is exploring different options. Is there camaraderie amongst plus size models? Victoria: My closest friends in NYC are mostly plus size models. We share similar experiences with respect to our careers and there is mutual respect and understanding. Frances: Like any other job there’s always that feeling of competition. I find that the girls I’ve run into are, for the most part, extremely friendly and helpful. The way I see it, no one can be me and vice versa so competition is irrelevant. It’s about what a client needs at that particular point. Nothing personal. Some people say the supermodels of the ’90s were “better” because they had curves. What is your opinion on “The Supers” versus models today? Victoria: I love the ’90s! I love love love Naomi Campbell, Claudia, Cindy, Linda, Christy, and Tyra. They were sultry and confident. I wouldn’t say better or worse. It was different—they are iconic. The modeling industry goes through phases and the uber-thin phase isn’t necessarily over, but the curvy model is getting the much-needed attention we deserve. Frances: Honestly, I’m so over the curvy girls better than straight size girls debate or vice versa. Women are all so different that I’m happy to represent women of my size and ethnicity. I think we should all be represented–beauty is beauty. Do you stress about staying a certain size for work? Victoria: Plus size models are required to be within certain measurements just like any other model. So working out and eating well is required. I’d rather eat more of what I enjoy and workout consistently than having a strict diet. I enjoy healthy foods, swimming, and hot yoga, so staying fit and healthy isn’t stressful for me. Frances: Many people think that plus size models don’t work out. Well, I’m a personal trainer and pride myself on setting a good example for my clients. It’s all about living a balanced life. I workout, I love food…and repeat! Keeping in mind that overall health is the goal.
You can read the full interview here! New York Fashion Week has been an event that catapults new trends. You may recall when Muslim fashion made its debut last year, when Victoria Beckham banned size 0 models from her catwalk, and when NYFW had its own plus-size fashion show in 2010. It seems that very slowly, the fashion industry and its designers are becoming more comfortable with taking risks and catering to the other 98% of the human population. We hope to see more creativity and diversity in the upcoming days! By the way, if you’d like to follow New York Fashion Week, you can find a schedule of designers here!