These Plus-Size Models Set Up a Body-Positive Runway in Times Square in Response to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show aired last night, and for most of us, we don’t see “fantasy” on the runway (as the company likes to call it). We see a group of women who look absolutely nothing like us. That’s why curve model Khrystyana Kazakova organized The Real Catwalk, a body-positive fashion show that took Times Square by storm this weekend.

Kazakova, a former America’s Next Top Model contestant, wanted to give women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds a place on the runway in response to the not-so-inclusive VS Fashion Show. The company has been facing backlash after Ed Razek, chief marketing officer of Limited Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, made some seriously insensitive comments in an interview with Vogue.

Razek said: “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special… We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”

We beg to disagree, sir. As we saw at The Real Catwalk on Saturday, there’s more interest in inclusive fashion than ever.

Kazakova invited people of all ages, genders, heights, weights, and skin tones to strut their stuff at the show through social media. There was no need for a hyper-competitive casting like what the VS models go through; all were welcome to join. In the end, over 200 people came out to participate in the flash-mob-style show.

Womenswear brands King Size, Swimsuits for All, and Woman Within donated outfits for the models, who were also treated to breakfast and mimosas before their debut.

Kazakova has put on The Real Catwalk events before, in both New York City and London, but this was by far the biggest yet. In a recent Instagram post, she wrote: “This love we are expressing is contagious!!! Every one of us is on our individual path of self-love and expression, and I am happy that this platform that we collectively created serves as a safe space and home for us to just be, celebrate our being.”

We’ve rounded up seven of our favorite shots from The Real Catwalk event this weekend. Check out the fierce photos here:

All photos by Holly Grace Jamili

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