This week, Instagram launched their #RunwayForAll campaign in order to address the lack of diversity in the fashion industry. We at FORA are all #teamdiversity and although a lot has changed, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Here are 11 diverse, unconventional, and absolutely beautiful models making waves and challenging norms in the modelling industry.
In the Spring/Summer season of this year, the percentage of casted ethnic models in the fashion industry was 22.4 per cent. But diversity isn’t just about addressing race– diversity in fashion is rooted in ensuring that every type of human being is represented on the runway.
By now, you’ve probably heard of Toronto native, Winnie Harlow, the breakthrough model afflicted with the skin condition vitiligo making a name for herself all around the world. Winnie is a prime example of what diversity in fashion should look like, but we’re not stopping with her. Check out these obscure models who embrace their oddities, proving to the world that the runway can be for everyone.
The first words Zélig Wilson‘s mother said to him when she first saw him were, “Oh God, you’re blonde!”
Signed to Le Management Stockholm, Zélig Wilson is a new high fashion model from Sweden. Wilson’s unique dark skin/blonde hair contrast gives him a high-fashion look that the online community has come to love.
SHAUN ROSS & DIANDRA FORREST
As independent, stand-alone models, Shaun Ross and Diandra Forrest are commonly associated together because of their distinguishing albino skin. People with albinism lack melanin, the pigment that assigns colour to skin, hair, and eyes.
Shaun Ross entered the modelling game at the young age of 16, and since then has been featured by Alexander McQueen, GQ, Beyoncé, Vogue, and more. Shaun uses the hashtag #MySkinIWin to promote the message of self-love.
From the Bronx, Diandra Forrest was scouted by a young photographer at a shopping mall. Now signed to Elite Models New York, Diandra strives to be known not only for her modelling, but for her activism work. Diandra works for an organization in Tanzania called Assisting Children In Need, which helps fight discrimination against albino children in the community.
ELLIOT JAY BROWN
Moffy is a model made famous by her crossed eyes–and it was all by accident. In 2013, Moffy appeared on the cover of POPmagazine after she was recommended to the editor by a friend. Moffy had no modelling experience prior to the shoot. Now, Moffy is signed to Storm Models, the same agency that discovered supermodel Kate Moss.
AAMITO STACIE LAGUM
BAE YOON YOUNG
Bae Yoon Young is a Korean model signed to the K-Plus Model agency. Though not very well known in the fashion industry yet, Bae’s photographs are very prominent on social media. We love Bae for her freckles, plump limps, and fleeky eyebrows. Needless to say, she’s bae.
Harnaam Kaur is a 25-year-old from Slough, England with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition that results in excessive hair growth. Earlier this year, Harnaam became the first bearded female model to walk in a major runway show.
Australian Maminydjama Maymuru who goes by the name, “Magnolia”, was scouted while withdrawing money from an outdoor ATM. The 19-year-old has recently made history as Miss World Australia’s first indigenous finalist.
Marquita Pring is a model who is very persistent on replacing the fashion industry term, “plus-sized,” with the term, “curvy.” Signed to IMG Models, Marquita was recently featured in Cosmopolitan magazine for a spread on body diversity.
Daphne Selfe is an 87-year-old supermodel who has been modelling since 1949. Her career started when she was unexpectedly selected to model for a magazine cover at 21. Daphne wears the title of the oldest professional fashion model proudly and is known for her confidence and lively spirit. Daphne has appeared in Vogue and on many Paris runways. No botox, still beautiful!