More than 200 plus-size women of all ages walked in the body positivity-themed fashion show down Times Square on December 3rd.
In response to the notion that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is an exclusive “fantasy” event for only certain types of models, Khrystyana Kazakova, America’s Next Top Model contestant and plus-size activist, created “The Real Catwalk.”
Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer of L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, told Vogue during an interview that being inclusive of transgender and plus-size models is not what gives the show its appeal. “No. No, I don’t think we should,” he said. “Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us.”
In organizing her own “flash-mob-style” inclusive lingerie show, Kazakova held no official auditions except for having contestants reach out via her Instagram, and she even invited VS to participate. She told the New York Post, “I was talking with my friends like, ‘Oh my gosh, it makes me feel horrible.’ A lot of people feel unattractive after watching.”
She wanted to be sure people understood that her show, which was also held in in London in 2017, is not an “anti-Victoria’s Secret,” effort. “It was just a way to support women who may not feel catered to. New York is ready for the change and the chance to embrace all kinds of beauty,” Kazakova said in a statement to The Independent.
The models wore designs provided by plus-size womenswear brands such as King Size, Swimsuits for All, Roaman’s, and Woman Within. Her mission with The Real Catwalk is to spread the message of self-love and acceptance for everyone to celebrate.
“Body positivity is not just about being curvy, it’s about being yourself,” said Kazakova. “It doesn’t matter if you are curvy, petite, trans, athletic, over 40, over 50, it’s just about knowing you are beautiful.”