The Torrid fashion show, which took place on Tuesday at New York Fashion Week, was a breath of fresh air. There were no Insta “it” girls in sight, and quite frankly everyone was happy about it. Torrid sent 40 beautiful, curvy models down the catwalk for its dark and edgy, yet feminine and bohemian, collection. It was a rare moment of the real, in a week otherwise dominated by the unattainable.
Although plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Candice Huffine may have paved the way for curvier women to walk during NYFW, Torrid’s inclusion and presence in the city’s official Fashion Week schedule is a major step in the right direction.
“Over 60 percent of the women in America are plus-size [or] considered plus size,” Elizabeth Munoz, head of product and design for Torrid, said in an interview with Reuters. “The fashion industry can keep passing and keep saying I‘m not going to acknowledge that, but there’s going to be a point where we can’t ignore the fact that most of the available population to sell to is a size that they don’t make.”
With 500 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, Torrid is one of the largest clothing brands to cater to women who wear sizes 10-30. This was the brand’s first time officially showing during NYFW and in partnership with IMG.
Floor-length black floral-print dresses, sheer lacy maxi gowns paired with embroidered moto jackets and bedazzled denim jackets were standout pieces from the collection. Torrid reworked the high-fashion corset trend into its own by introducing a black leather version detailed with intricate floral embroidery styled with sheer blouses and long floral gowns. Although Huffine and Graham were not at the show, the progression they made for plus-size models was felt in the gorgeous plus-size women who modeled the looks.
For the past three years, Torrid has hosted an annual model search. This year, the label used New York Fashion Week as the semifinal round of that competition. During the last leg of the show, the 10 remaining contestants picked from across the United States, walked the runway in the hopes of becoming the new face of Torrid in 2018.
In the audience, the front row was star-studded, including Adrienne C. Moore from Orange Is the New Black, Shannon Purser, better known as “Barb” on the hit Netflix show Stranger Things, as well as Miss Jay Alexander from America’s Next Top Model andProject Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton.
Tuesday’s show symbolized a major step forward for New York Fashion Week’s focus on diversity and inclusivity. Hopefully, this progression will continue at future Fashion Weeks in New York and around the world.
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