runway

Plus-size models walk Versace runway at Milan Fashion Week, a first for the design house

Curves are making strides on the catwalk.

Versace debuted its Spring/Summer 2021 collection last week with models Precious Lee, Alva Claire and Jill Kortleve making history as the first plus-size models ever to walk the runway for the Italian fashion house.

Versace Spring/Summer 2021 collection. (Getty Images)

Versace Spring/Summer 2021 collection. (Getty Images)

“I’m still shaking,” Kortleve wrote in an Instagram post to her 177,000 followers following the show on Friday.

“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.”

The leading ladies took the catwalk for Versace’s “under the sea” themed runway in bright blue, yellow and green dresses, interpreting modern mermaid fashion. Nautical looks featured starfish and seashell-printed dresses, striped crop tops with oversized midiskirts, and windswept hair. The collection, Versace said, was inspired by the “beauty and vibrancy of nature.”

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Mainstream fashion has become more inclusive of all shapes and sizes in recent years, particularly in retail. Nike last year added plus-size mannequins to the women’s floor of its retail locations, starting at the London flagship store.

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And retailers like Target, Forever 21, American Eagle and Reformation introduced plus-size collections in recent years, with Reformation telling customers, “Sorry it took us so long” in response to requests for more inclusive sizing.

Next month, pop singer Lizzo is also slated to take the runway for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty launch.

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