Model and Activist Hunter McGrady Reflects on DSW’s First Inclusive Runway Show
The fashion industry has been given a bad rap for their unrealistic expectation of beauty, and rightfully so. From magazine covers to commercials, we’d see the same type of model with similar build, ethnicity, and age. Now, through the championing of body-positivity, the fashion industry is beginning to make room for all to have a seat at the table. Last month, DSW hosted its first inclusive "Runway Redone" fashion show at Industria in New York City for their Fall ‘19 collection.
“I love the idea of giving women a platform to show off their individuality and confidence on a stage normally reserved for the select few,” said size-inclusive and body-positive activist Hunter McGrady, who hosted the show. “I also try to use my voice to evolve the industry for the better, so when I was given this moment to take a stance on the runway, I thought it was the perfect extension of my ongoing message.”
In partnership with Create & Cultivate, this show added DSW to the growing list of brands “walking the talk” of diversity in the fashion industry. The designer shoe warehouse opened their casting call to their community of customers and received over 4,000 submissions. The ten women selected, along with five style influencers and five DSW associates, represented diverse ages, ethnicities, cultures, gender identities, abilities, and more. All 20 models will also be featured in DSW’s Fall campaign.
“After this show, I’m confident and hopeful that fashion labels will follow DSW’s lead by inviting everyday women to be an accurate representation of their brand identity,” said McGrady.
The Sports Illustrated model didn’t start her career as the curvy woman she is now. After dieting and starving herself to maintain the typical beauty standard, McGrady realized her body wasn’t built to be thin. Since then, she’s worked to inspire other women to embrace their God-given bodies reminding them that they are #AllWorthy.
“I not only want to see positive change during NYFW, but I want to see it everywhere and every day in the fashion industry so that inclusivity becomes the norm for our society,” said McGrady.
(Photos Courtesy Smith House Photo)