The fashion industry is slowly becoming more diverse, with brands like Chromat, Savage X Fenty and Moschino among those taking the lead. Now, legacy luxury brand Versace is showing that they're also coming around, and making more of an effort to become size-inclusive this fashion season at their Spring 2021 Milan Fashion Week runway.
Jill Kortleve, Alva Claire and Precious Lee made history on the catwalk as the first plus-size models to ever walk any of the brand's shows. They rocked daring and brightly neon-colored looks that fit Donatella Versace's vision of "Versacepolis," a dreamy utopian underwater paradise much like Atlantis, which is home to strong and confident men and women.
"I wanted to create something disruptive, something that could be in tune with what has changed inside all of us. To me that meant dreaming of a new world," the Italian fashion designer said in a statement. "A world made of popping colors and fantastic creatures and a world in which we can all coexist peacefully. This collection has an upbeat soul and is optimistic, dreamy, positive... These are clothes that bring you joy."
All three models shared their excitement about making fashion history on social media.
Kortleve, who's also broken barriers as Chanel's first plus-size model in over 10 years, has become a runway regular having walked for Jacquemus, Alexander McQueen and Fendi. Still, it was clear that Versace was a monumental milestone for her. She wrote on Instagram, "It's so unbelievable to work for brands I always dreamt of working for. I hope that we open the doors for a new generation with the same dreams but who never saw themselves in the magazines or the commercials."
Claire, who's appeared on Rihanna's Savage X Fenty show, posted, "I'm so emotional writing this, to walk for the iconic Versace has always been a huge dream of mine!! I am so proud of @firstname.lastname@example.org and myself we made history with this and I will never forget how I feel right now! This moment is for all of us!!! I'm full of love!!"
Lee, the face of Miu Miu's latest campaign and recently a Vogue Italia cover girl, also thanked Claire and Kortleve as "two amazing women" who shared this experience with her. She continued, "I will never forget this moment and how I felt before walking out. The power and beauty of this brand has ALWAYS inspired me & now to be the first... wow"