The Curve Edit is Afterpay Australia Fashion Week’s first-ever size-inclusive runway

Photography by Lily Cummings McCubbin for 17 Sundays
MODELLED BY Reemkara AT Gem faces

“Showcasing fashion on a range of bodies is vital to body love and acceptance.”

The first size-inclusive runway will happen at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week this year, 26 years after the fashion week’s launch. Headlined by model Robyn Lawley, the history-making show is aiming to champion the brands and designers working to create a more accessible, inclusive fashion industry and will feature six local designers – Saint Somebody, 17 Sundays, Embody Women, Vagary, Harlow and Zaliea Designs – each with a size range that extends beyond a size 20.

“We want to ensure that models, whose sizing is reflective of over 80 per cent of Australian women, have the opportunity to walk the runway and show that women of every size deserve to be considered and embraced as a forceful and financial demographic in mainstream fashion,” said Chelsea Bonner, Bella Management CEO. Bella Management is a modelling and talent agency that specialises in size representation and is the presenting partner of the show.

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While the show will create a space dedicated to celebrating all bodies, it’s not the only time we’ll see size-inclusive brands on the runway. F0r example, Sydney-based label Dyspnea extends up to a size XXL, and will have its own runway show on the Thursday night.

Of course, that’s not to say the event isn’t an important one. It’s glaringly obvious that size inclusivity has long been lacking on the runway. Even in 2022, fashion weeks across the globe are being slammed for ageist, fatphobic ideologies, creating unhealthy pressure on models slated to walk the headlining shows.

In recent years, several countries (France, for example) have made attempts at moving past these inaccessible ideals of beauty – but real change is still in its embryonic stages.

It’s a fact that Robyn knows well, after working in the modelling industry for more than a decade. “I tried to be a straight model for a while,” she told The Guardian back in 2013. “But I’d arrive at castings, aged 19, and it would be immediately obvious that I was much bigger than the other girls and wasn’t going to get the job.”

Ten years, a Vogue Italia cover and countless campaigns later, Robyn will be sharing the stage with a selection of Bella Management’s top models.
As she notes, “Showcasing fashion on a range of bodies is vital to body love and acceptance”.

To browse the entire AAFW schedule, head here.

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