NYC fashion show encourages diversity, inclusiveness

by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News


NEW YORK CITY —  Models of all sizes, shapes, and colors walking the side-shows at New York Fashion Week are making a big statement.

A standard runway model must meet certain physical requirements — at least 5’7 inches for females, 5’11 or taller for males, slim and toned figure, long-legged, and possess the so-called “X Factor.”

But not here on “Runway, The Real Way” fashion show.

“Everyone is beautiful whether they’re size double zero, which nobody’s really a double zero, or size 26,” says the fashion show host Prince Powderpouffe. “You’re all beautiful at different sizes and different images. It’s really good, just positive…

“Runway the real way” is a new type of catwalk show — where models of all shapes, sizes, ages, races, and genders are all welcome.

Sova City designers believe the fashion runway must be a reflection of real world shoppers.

“Our brand Sova City is made specifically for women who love their curves,” said designer Olya Oohraf. “It’s inclusive of everybody, and because of that this is what drew us to this show. This is about real women, real men who love to get dressed up, who love fashion who know how to rock it

A plus-size Filipina model on the runway says she had to brush off her dream of becoming Miss Universe, after realizing she wasn’t tall or skinny enough, according to industry standards, to become a beauty queen.

Growing up, I was bullied, people kept on telling me to lose weight,” said model Trina Palana-Soledad. “It’s not even for the health reasons but it’s more like, para maganda ka, para society accepts you.”

Today, Trina walks the runway with one thing in mind, that the voluptuous has replaced the traditionally thin models on the cat walk.

“I want people to see me na wow — if she can do that, if she can rock that, then i can do it,” she said.

Another unique feature at Runway, the Real Way — it’s a fashion show with food. Audiences and judges eat while watching the models work the runway.

“It’s kind of really unique, compared to the other shows I’ve been, where everyone’s starving and thirsty,” said Trina.

The show also makes a bigger statement beyond fashion: that diversity and love trumps hate and intolerance, in a divided states of America.

“We will resist, because we cannot accept that. Diversity is here to stay,” she says. “We will not be under their kung ano man ang agenda nila, iba ang ano natin. We’re all about love and acceptance, globally.”

Organizers say Runway, The Real Way will continue to be the home of the inclusive catwalk — where fashion diversity is represented in the models, designers, and especially the audience.


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