Meet the official disruptors of NYFW:
These women have taken Internet by storm after appearing in an ad by Lane Bryant, the retailer behind the #PlusIsEqual campaign. The ad was a major reveal, after the company teased this ad in Vogue's September issue with a silhouetted version of the women.
On Thursday, Lane Bryant announced the #PlusIsEqual campaign is going to shut down Times Square in New York City, from noon until 2 p.m. Monday. The brand is encouraging the public to shift their attention from the traditional NYFW shows that feature rail-thin models, to its show, which features women of varied body types.
The runway show has a message to send. It will feature models including Ashley Graham, who has taken a firm stand against the body policing of plus-size women. On her Instagram, she has said, "You are good enough. You are perfect enough. You are beautiful enough. You are curvy enough. You are skinny enough. Who cares about all of that? Plus is equal."
Lane Bryant is encouraging fans to come out to show their support — and to partake in the spectacle. The brand has also teased a runway show on social media; in Instagram videos making the rounds, the brand has shots from a glittery lingerie fashion show it's calling its #ImNoAngel mic drop.
"Everyone deserves to see themselves being represented equally," Graham told the Huffington Post, which is working with the models for its #NYFW4ALL campaign. "#PlusIsEqual is showing that curvy women are accepted, they're represented and being made a priority in the fashion industry. We definitely still have more progress to make, but campaigns like this and #IAmSizeSexy are raising awareness for body diversity and continuing these great conversations."
The message of body positivity has been cresting all year. Outspoken bloggers have showcased their #curvy style to models, and have urged brands and magazines to be more inclusive. But the runways have remained stubbornly plus-size free, for the most part. As model Robyn Lawley lamented in 2013,
"It's disappointing as I love catwalk modeling, it's more exciting than being on a shoot so it sucks not to be included. Plus-size models are being used more in magazines and in the media but not on the runway and not by high-end designers like Prada. I'd love them to use more curvy girls but it's like a taboo and I don't know why. It screams lack of diversity."
But Lane Bryant and a slew of badass models are doing their damnedest to shift the narrative at Fashion Week. Stay tuned for the continued #PlusIsEqual takeover.