The OTHER Fashion Week: VICE’s Fashion Week Internationale Makes Fashion Week Interesting

by Erika W. Smith

We know, we know–if you see one more Fashion Week-related Instagram, you’re gonna puke. But it’s worth checking out this antidote to the NYFW blahs: Fashion Week Internationale, VICE’s documentary series devoted to exploring fashion weeks outside NYC.



Fashion Week Internationale takes us to Uzbekistan, South Korea, Jamaica, Israel, Brazil, and more to uncover what VICE calls “the freaky, the weird, the shocking, and the raunchy fashion scenes from all corners of the globe.”

The series goes beyond fashion, exploring issues of identity politics – for example, the trailer shows that the Seoul episode will look at the trend of Korean women getting cosmetic surgery to make them look more like “Westerners.”



The first episode goes far beyond the catwalk in exploring Rio de Janeiro’s fashion week. The episode investigates a trend of transgender models on the runway, claims of discrimination against black models, and “the magical bum dance.”

Although the show itself examines identity politics in a way that most Fashion Week web series do not, the host’s attitude towards race and gender issues leaves much to be desired. In the Rio episode, the host, VICE reporter and former model Charlet Duboc, seems entirely too fixated on transgender women’s genitalia and does not seem to understand that a transgender woman is a woman, not a man (though the transgender women she interviews are quick to correct her).



Fashion Week Internationale is best when it lets the subjects speak about the issues for themselves, which, fortunately, it often does. I certainly learned a lot, thanks to awesome interview subjects such as transgender model Carol Marra (pictured above) and activist David Santos.

A new episode will be released on every other week through December 13. You can watch all episodes here.

All images via

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