Photos by Edward Groover
Article by Rebeca Riofrio
In the world of fashion, where trends come and go, there is a revolution underway. It is a revolution that celebrates the beauty of everyone, embracing diversity and inclusion like never before. On Monday 12th June, at the iconic Freemason Hall in London, this fashion revolution took centre stage, leaving a profound impact on the industry and those who witnessed it.
Supported by the British Fashion Council, MOD (Models of Diversity) orchestrated a remarkable catwalk show during London Fashion Week. This event was not just another display of clothes; it was a powerful statement promoting inclusivity, empowerment, and self-love. The show was nothing short of revolutionary.
Stepping onto the stage as the hostess of the evening was none other than Vanity Milan, a finalist of RuPaul's Drag Race UK and a talented recording artist. Alongside Milan, a line-up of top models, actresses, and influencers graced the runway, including the renowned supermodel Kelly Knox, the charismatic Queen Mojo and Fatima Simbo, both influential reality TV stars, the former model Jilly Johnson, and actresses Melissa Johns and Francine Lewis. These incredible individuals showcased the designs of visionary fashion creators, such as the award-winning designer and activist Victoria Jenkins from Unhidden, who is set to launch her own TV show this month. Joining her were emerging talent Amor Emel and the beloved celebrity favourite, Liquorice.
The beauty of this fashion show was that each designer had a profound desire to showcase diversity. They brought to life clothing that catered to every body type, skin colour, ability, gender, and identity. It was a celebration of individuality, shattering the suffocating beauty standards perpetuated by society and the media.
A highlight of the evening was the ground-breaking moment when Open Bionics unveiled a new design of their 'Hero Arm' on the LFW catwalk for the first time. Open Bionics is a robotics company globally recognised for developing advanced prosthetics for amputees, including affordable options for children. Their collaboration with the fashion industry is a testament to the power of inclusivity and innovation.
As the show reached its grand finale, the audience erupted in a standing ovation. Among the attendees were prominent figures such as Jo Wood, Vanessa Feltz, Lottie Moss, and stars from Love Island, Tasha Ghouri, and Andrew Le Plage. This outpouring of support demonstrated the collective belief in the importance of embracing diversity in fashion.
At the heart of this fashion revolution stands Models of Diversity, a registered charity founded by ex-model and campaigner Angel Sinclair. Their mission is to break down barriers and transform the modelling, beauty, and media industry, ensuring that all beautiful individuals are represented on Instagram feeds, billboards, TV ads, and runways. Models of Diversity tirelessly campaign for brands to work with differently abled people, older models, plus-size models, and other underrepresented groups, championing diversity in all its forms.\
Angel Sinclair, the CEO of Models of Diversity, expressed her aspirations for the industry: "As a result of tireless campaigns to break through old stereotypes, fashion has slowly but surely opened its doors to communities that were previously excluded. However, we don't want this inclusion to be a fleeting moment. We want to empower the expression of individuality and continue challenging the unrealistic beauty standards imposed by society and the media. Our vision is to see models of all shapes, forms, colours, abilities, genders, and identities across the globe."
The designers featured in this ground-breaking show also deserve recognition for their efforts to redefine the industry. Unhidden, founded by London entrepreneur Victoria Jenkins, addresses the fashion needs of disabled individuals with adaptive wear that combines dignity and style. Amor Emel, a sustainable fashion brand, creates wearable art for every shape and size, while Liquorice strives to make fashionable occasion-wear accessible to all ages and body types. House of Flint embodies honest, slow fashion, designed to fit every season and everybody, and Beckoning Blooms celebrates the unique beauty of each person through floral-inspired designs. Hyelim Kim's work challenges conventional clothing definitions, exploring the mundane and embracing the potential for alternative design approaches.
This fashion revolution is not just about clothes; it is about transforming perceptions and embracing the inherent beauty of every individual. It calls upon the industry to recognise that beauty knows no bounds and that true inclusivity is the key to a brighter, more accepting future.
As we witness this remarkable shift in the fashion landscape, let us celebrate the beauty of everyone. Let us embrace diversity and inclusion wholeheartedly, for it is through this revolution that we find the true essence of fashion—the power to empower, inspire, and uplift every individual, regardless of their background or appearance.
For more information of MOD please visit https://modelsofdiversity.org/