Diversity & Inclusion
This year’s runway shows were closer to demonstrating inclusivity and diversity than ever before. Heck, one designer, Havilah (above), completely aced it. I’m talking all body types, all ages, all ethnicities, and all needs. Nothing about this particular runway felt forced, token, or abnormal. While others would do well to take a page from Havilah’s book next year, it was encouraging to see less tokenism and more representation of our diverse humanity. I’m not saying every show was great; far from it. But we’re getting there.
Designers who embraced diversity and inclusion:
Maggie Marilyn: Maggie Hewitt, the designer behind Maggie Marilyn, is the current sweetheart of the New Zealand fashion industry. She’s held sustainability at the core of her brand since its inception. Her models varied in age and ethnicity, and she invited everyone involved in her label to the show- even her accountant! (below left)
Miro Moda: The Miro Moda showcase is a stand out every year. Full of established and up-and-coming designers, Miro Moda exists to showcase aspiring Maori fashion designers. They do this with thoughtful inclusivity of all cultures.
Ruby & Rain: Ruby & Rain produce New Zealand made fashion in sizes 14-26. Not only did their show begin with a moving audio recording exclaiming, “I’m tired of being told by others how I should live my life,” but their models were predominantly their own customers. Such fun!
Juliette Hogan: Juliette Hogan displayed a small range of clothes, worn by women you could imagine walking the street anywhere in the world. (below right)
Starving Artists Fund: Starving Artists Fund is a socially conscious, gender-neutral clothing brand who lives and breathes inclusivity and diversity in everything they do. Their NZFW show was no exception.