Michael Kors championed diversity on the runway at his AW17 New York Fashion Week show on Wednesday, with models of all different shapes and sizes representing every continent in the world. Among them was Ashley Graham, the plus-size model who has been outspoken about the lack of diversity in high fashion.
Her casting was particularly notable because only a few months ago, Michael Kors told USA Today that it would be almost impossible to include plus-size models in his show. "The only reason we don't have plus size on the runway, for me to have the range of sizes I would have to have a football stadium filled with clothes before I was able to put on a fashion show. I'd have to have everything from a size 2 to a size 18," he said.
Ashley Graham modelled in Michael Kors' New York Fashion Week show
"But in real life, all of these clothes are available in this wider range of sizes. We're one of the few people who send designer clothes down the runway where we make a size 16," Michael added.
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It appears the designer decided to showcase this on the runway, much to the delight of Ashley, who later took to Instagram to thank Michael for including her. "MICHAEL MICHAEL MICHAEL!!! Thank you for the opportunity and showing that beauty comes in many different forms!!"
The model starred in the show alongside Bella Hadid
The 28-year-old also posted another photo of her excitedly standing backstage with Bella Hadid, who offered some tips on perfecting her walk. "Don't let my runway face fool you, this is really what happens backstage!" she wrote. "Thank you again #MichaelKors!.. and thanks to my boo Bella for giving me tips on my walk!"
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It has been an incredible year for Ashley, who has achieved huge success in her career with a starring role in America's Next Top Model and fronting a number of fashion campaigns. The model was also "thrilled" to have been immortalised in plastic with her very own Barbie doll which she proudly showcased at the Glamour Women of the Year summit in November.