Role Models not Runway Models

By: Dana Zillgitt, Regular Contributor

You may have heard of the infamous New York Fashion Week that happens every February and September. A slew of models (obviously), celebrities and new trends are in attendance, further perpetrating an image of an impossible ideal to attain.  But this year was a bit different. Heard of the designer Carrie Hammer and her theme of “Role Models not Runway Models”?

Well, this year Hammer decided to use real, authentic women to show off her designs in her debut showcase instead of the usual beautiful giants you see everywhere around this time of year and on newsstands and advertisements everywhere. Her show was full of female CEOs, activists, entrepreneurs and more. Hammer showcased authenticity and actual women who’d be wearing the designs.  But the real standout? Jamie Brewer, of American Horror Story fame. Why? She’s the first woman to walk in Fashion Week with Down Syndrome—or any intellectual disability for that matter.


So why is this so important? Why should we care about Brewer walking in her first Fashion Week and “Role Models not Runway Models”? After all, it’s just fashion, right? False. It’s reaching a huge demographic of people that real beauty comes in all shapes, forms, and abilities as well. It’s really showing that beauty comes in more forms than just rail skinny or has perfect bone structure or is somehow related to the Kardashian clan. Having Brewer walk in Fashion Week represents that there is a new trend emerging in fashion and it’s brilliant.

And fashion is a huge influence, more so than we often realize. It’s everywhere, and having Brewer walk in such a confident and stunning manner can really showcase that the definition of beauty is changing for the better, finally. With putting its mind to something, fashion can wreck havoc or it can inspire change, for the better.  We so often think it’s superfluous and conceited but it’s the little things that make it obvious that fashion is changing for the better. 

Let's chat!

Who would you like to see walk the runway? What kind of woman do you think is worth looking up to? 

About Dana

Dana_Zillgitt.jpgDana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander.

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