The debate around size inclusivity reached a peak this season, as journalists called out the lack of body diversity on the runway and emerging size-inclusive designers highlighted the shortcomings of luxury brands when it comes to mid-size and plus-size representation.
According to Vogue Business data collected throughout fashion month, the Fall-Winter 2023 season failed to make progress in terms of size representation on the runway. Of 9,137 looks across 219 shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, just 0.6 percent were plus-size (US 14+) and 3.8 percent were mid-size (US 6-12). This means 95.6 percent of looks presented for FW23 were in a size US 0-4.
Vogue Business analyzed every FW23 runway show and presentation reviewed by Vogue Runway from the official New York, London, Milan and Paris calendars to determine the proportion of total looks that are straight size, mid-size and plus-size. Brands were contacted to allow them to verify the data and informed that if they did not verify, the initial figures collected by Vogue Business would be used. Sizing ranges were determined based on typical sample sizes for straight sizing and established definitions of mid and plus-size.
Across the entire season, only 17 brands featured at least one plus-size look. The brands with the highest percentage of plus-size models over a US 14 were Sinéad O’Dwyer, Ester Manas, Karoline Vitto, Di Petsa and Bach Mai. These same brands also featured the highest percentage of mid-size models. Data was determined by number of looks, to account for one model potentially representing multiple looks for bigger bodies on the runway. However, most of the top-ranking shows featured a greater number of mid-size models, with very little plus-size representation. And it’s important to note that many of the bigger brands like Dior, the mid-size looks on their runways were on the cusp of the straight-size range.
“Plus-size representation has gone backwards,” says Felicity Hayward, a plus-size model who was scouted 12 years ago, when there were no plus-size models in the British fashion industry, by fashion photographer Miles Aldridge. Hayward, who has been tracking plus-size representation since 2019 through her project #IncludingTheCurve, stopped attending London Fashion Week in 2019 due to the lack of size inclusivity, but returned last season for SS23.