Commitment to Catwalk Diversity
March 31, 2010
On Monday March 29th, VAWK presented its Fall/Winter 2010 collection in Walker Court at the Art Gallery of Ontario for Toronto Fashion Week. Last season, the label earned rave reviews not only for its stunning collection, but also for its use of diverse models. Once again, Project Runway Canada winner Sunny Fong, designer for the emerging luxury label, and I selected models of a variety of ages, sizes, and backgrounds to present the collection. We wanted consumers to imagine how Sunny’s exquisite craftsmanship and artistry would translate onto them. The media gave VAWK top marks for presenting a masterfully executed and right on trend collection while also praising our use of diverse models. One journalist remarked: “[The models] looked stunning, oozed strength and helped us understand how the clothing would appear on women who aren’t a size 0. Thank you.”
One model in the show, 55-year-old and size 14 Kate Watson, was a complete newcomer to the catwalk. I met Kate when she responded to an ad I had placed on Craigslist. Her sister sent her the link to the ad I had posted. It did not mention my agency or the fashion label, but only said that a fashion brand was looking for an older woman with silver-gray hair in an effort to produce a diverse runway show. Kate explained: “I liked what the ad said. They were putting value on ladies like me. Real women.” Our confidence boosting and runway pro Liis coached Kate on her runway walk so that she would be as polished and poised as the models with years of experience. Kate says of her first step onto the runway, “It was like being on a plane taking off a runway. “It was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life.” No doubt, there will be many, many more. I am excited for Kate’s thrilling modeling career ahead with us as she helps to transform the face of fashion.