Recently, the effort to bring diversity to the runway in high fashion has been increasing. While there is still a long ways to go, designer Eckhaus Latta made strides this week by having 8-months-pregnant model, Maia Ruth Lee, rock a high fashion “cut out” dress on the runway. While there have been a few pregnant models on the runway before, this look truly showcased Lee’s baby bump.
This fabulous dress style was not necessarily intended, which may be the best part. When Lee attended her NYFW fitting, she noticed the dress did not quite fit, so she decided to un-snap the middle section and reveal her belly to the fashion world.
According to Vogue, Casting Director Rachel Chandler was excited to invite Lee, her 35-week pregnant friend, to walk the runway. “I just gave birth six weeks ago, so I think the pregnant person was just where my brain was at,” said Chandler. This decision was met with positivity from those watching her strut her stuff, including Vogue Runway’s director Nicole Phelps, who took to Instagram with her delight: “I’ve been going to fashion shows for 21 years and I’ve seen a pregnant model on the runway exactly one other time. Something to think about.”
Eckhaus Latta truly works to embrace diversity in fashion. “It’s really beautiful just to see different stages of life,” said the company’s co-founder, Mike Eckhaus. The Eckhaus Latta show did not just embrace pregnancy, but also embraced different body types, ethnicities, and gender identities.
Ekhaus’ partner, Zoe Latta, commented on the fashion industry, saying, “to have a bunch of one gender that’s the same race and height and size and fit, wearing similar clothes and makeup — I don’t think we were ever interested in that.”
Lee’s bump was certainly the star of the show, and could encourage the rest of the fashion world to embrace the beauty of motherhood and pregnancy. Hopefully, this will also push the fashion industry to showcase people of all different shapes, sizes, and cultures!
Header Image from Eckhaus Latta Instagram, Body Images from Eckhaus Latta and Nicole Phelps Instagram
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