Paloma Elsesser excited to see more fashion brands embrace inclusivity

Paloma Elsesser is excited to see more casting directors embrace inclusivity and diversity.The curvy model made a splash during the latest Fashion Month when she was tapped to appear in the Fendi and Alexander McQueen presentations. Accordingly, Paloma…

Paloma Elsesser is excited to see more casting directors embrace inclusivity and diversity.

The curvy model made a splash during the latest Fashion Month when she was tapped to appear in the Fendi and Alexander McQueen presentations.

Accordingly, Paloma is hopeful the movement is now truly beginning to gain momentum across the industry.

“Gone are the days when you can have a show with one black model and claim diversity. I hope that we don’t go back on this progress. I don’t want this to be a flash in the pan,” she said in an interview with Vogue.com. “Whether it’s me having a successful season or a whole other range of body sizes that can be represented it would be such a disservice to go backward.”

Paloma, who was discovered on Instagram by make-up artist Pat McGrath, has also appeared in campaigns for the likes of Nike and Fenty Beauty.

And she remains adamant it’s up to company leaders to take control and hire a wide range of models and ambassadors – or risk becoming irrelevant.

“Putting me on a runway isn’t a cop-out because I’m not just slightly larger than the other models, I am a U.S. size 14 woman (U.K. size 16),” the 27-year-old insisted. “(Still) there needs to be a spectrum of diversity. I can’t represent everyone or speak for everyone but that isn’t the point. I hope to speak for someone, to allow people who have never seen themselves in this context to see a representation of who they are.”

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Rihanna collaborates with i-D magazine on special issue

Rihanna has teamed up with editors at i-D magazine to create a limited-edition issue.Bosses at the publication announced on Monday that they had collaborated with the fashion and beauty mogul to create the one-off special issue, dubbed the “Rihannazine…

Rihanna has teamed up with editors at i-D magazine to create a limited-edition issue.

Bosses at the publication announced on Monday that they had collaborated with the fashion and beauty mogul to create the one-off special issue, dubbed the “Rihannazine”, which celebrates “her ceaseless reign on the worlds of fashion, beauty and music” and their 40th anniversary.

“For me, this very special issue of i-D represents change and culture,” Rihanna said of the project in a statement. “It is dedicated to some of the people who are progressively reshaping the communities across fashion, music, art, and activism – creating a more inclusive and diverse future.”

Rihanna appears on the front and back cover of the publication, with the images showing her posing in clothing from her Fenty fashion brand. All photographs in the 144-page visually-driven magazine were shot by Mario Sorrenti.

She also helped Alastair McKimm, editor-in-chief of i-D, handpick 43 “incredible people” who have had an “inspirational and progressive impact across culture, art, fashion, and activism” to appear in the magazine. They include models Bella and Gigi Hadid, Paloma Elsesser, and Adwoa Aboah, screenwriter Lena Waithe, Euphoria actress Alexa Demie, and writers Roxane Gay and Zadie Smith, and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke. To accompany the publication, videos of Rihanna interviewing some of the stars will be posted on i-D’s Instagram page throughout the week.

“Working with Rihanna, we handpicked the people featured in this project for many different reasons; they may all represent different things but what unites them is everyone featured in these pages is incredibly inspirational,” said McKimm. “They are artists, writers, activists, musicians, and women on the front lines of the fashion industry.”

The special issue will have a limited print run of 5,000 copies, which can be purchased from 27 January.

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Paloma Elsesser pleased she waited to undergo breast reduction

Paloma Elsesser is pleased she waited a few years before finally deciding to undergo a breast reduction.The curvy model was discovered on Instagram by make-up artist Pat McGrath and has since gone on to pose for the likes of Nike, Fenty Beauty, and U.S…

Paloma Elsesser is pleased she waited a few years before finally deciding to undergo a breast reduction.

The curvy model was discovered on Instagram by make-up artist Pat McGrath and has since gone on to pose for the likes of Nike, Fenty Beauty, and U.S. Vogue.

But in an interview with Ashley Graham for her Pretty Big Deal podcast, Paloma shared how she has long felt insecure about her breasts, and is thrilled with the results following a recent reduction procedure.

“I got a very minor breast reduction but (also a breast) lift – I reduced one (breast). It was a very crazy experience. Mainly they were (saggy) and had some severe asymmetry. I kind of developed breasts really early, and not to say that I’ve been extremely thin, but I’ve fluctuated a lot in my life, as a lot of us have. I would make leaps and bounds about other parts of my body… (but) this was the one part of my body that I still felt shame around,” the 27-year-old explained. “I’m happy I didn’t do them when I had first gotten my first cheque. Because at first, I was like, ‘I’m going to do it!’ but I still felt it would have been a reaction or reflection of how men received me or how the industry received me. So, I’m happy I did it now, at 27, when I’ve (been in) a committed loving, holistic, honest relationship for almost five years. (My boyfriend) loves me unchanged.”

Paloma concluded by noting that her career has not been impacted by the surgery, but she does feel much freer.

“I wanted to be able to move in the world and not go to work with three different bras and have to tape my boobs up every day,” she smiled. “It’s never perfect, but I definitely feel grateful it’s not something that dictates how I feel every day.”

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Prabal Gurung makes political statement with spring 2020 collection

Prabal Gurung has explored the question of “Who Gets to Be American?” with his latest collection.The Nepalese-American designer unveiled his spring/summer 2020 line as part of New York Fashion Week on Monday night, with the event drawing a huge crowd. …

Prabal Gurung has explored the question of “Who Gets to Be American?” with his latest collection.

The Nepalese-American designer unveiled his spring/summer 2020 line as part of New York Fashion Week on Monday night, with the event drawing a huge crowd. In his show notes, Gurung explained that he wanted to use his designs to make a statement about the treatment of immigrants in the United States, especially in relation to some of President Donald Trump’s divisive policies.

“To me, this country has always been a beacon of hope where one’s wildest ambitions can come true, a melting pot that is colourful, multicultural, and beautiful,” he shared. “In the last few years, incited by the divisive rhetoric of our current administration, I’ve considered the many faces of America and how we should seek to redefine it. I recall sitting in a business meeting, spiritedly challenging this very notion, and being met with a pointed, ‘Well, you don’t look American, so how can you define what America is?'”

Reflecting Gurung’s viewpoint, the line included a pastiche of different references, with fabrics referencing cultural prints as well as classic American clothing.

Diversity was also championed on the runway, with Chinese model Lina Zhang opening the presentation in a white cotton dress with a floral bouquet attached to the hip, and other models including Yoon Young Bae, Paloma Elsesser, Lais Ribeiro, and Lindsey Wixson.

Highlights of the line included raw denim cargo trousers, utilitarian jumpsuits, parkas, and sustainable hand-dyed cashmere knits, while Gurung concluded the show by having the models parade the runway with beauty pageant sashes embroidered with the words, “Who Gets to Be American?”

“This is all deeply personal to me. Though my roots lay with my family in Nepal, this country is my home. America is where my heart is. I am an American,” the 40-year-old added. “As immigrants continue to birth this ‘New America’, we must remember all versions of our history and take ownership of our past while forging a new legacy. Amidst the deep wounds that are severing the unity of our country, I continue to seek the America I came here to be a part of – the America that I know is still there. And so, with the spring 2020 collection, we seek to celebrate hope, courage, and present an ode to the true American dream.”

New York Fashion Week continues on Tuesday with presentations from Vera Wang, Pamella Roland, Coach, and Oscar de la Renta.

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Ashley Graham encouraging young models to take business classes

Ashley Graham wants to encourage young models to take business classes.The curvy model is one of the hottest names in the fashion industry and has recently landed gigs for the likes of Lane Bryant, Revlon, and Rag & Bone, as well as creating a swimwear…

Ashley Graham wants to encourage young models to take business classes.

The curvy model is one of the hottest names in the fashion industry and has recently landed gigs for the likes of Lane Bryant, Revlon, and Rag & Bone, as well as creating a swimwear line in partnership with Swimsuits For All and a denim capsule collection for Marina Rinaldi.

Now Ashley has shared how important it is for rising stars to be prepared to take control of their careers.

“You have to be a brand, you have to be a business, and you have to take action for your own career. Something that I’ve learned in these last 18 years is that nobody’s going to do the work for you. You have to do it,” she said during a talk at Vogue’s Forces of Fashion Conference in New York on Thursday (11Oct18). “I think that all the aspiring models have to remember that this isn’t just about being a pretty girl anymore. This is about being business savvy. And if you have the opportunity, take a business class. I wish I would have earlier, because I spent so much money on lawyer fees.”

Ashley was joined by fellow models Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Paloma Elsesser at the Don’t Label Us: The Models Reflecting Today panel. Accordingly, part of the conversation turned to the power of social media, with the brunette beauty praised platforms like Instagram for supporting inclusivity and diversity.

“It’s impressive that because of the numbers on social media, fashion has actually begun to take into consideration what everyone actually wants,” the 30-year-old, who boasts 7.5 million followers on Instagram, commented. “Everyone who has given the commentary, saying, ‘I want to see myself,’ now fashion designers and big publications are actually listening.”

But in spite of Ashley being a top model and entrepreneur, she admitted that she still gets criticised over her U.S. size 10/12 figure, and at a shoot just four months ago, a creative director advised her to lose weight. The star rejected the advice and claimed that such behaviour makes her even more driven.

“Resistance is just a part of my career and that’s why I fight so hard and call myself a body activist,” she smiled.

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Ashley Graham fronts Vogue Arabia’s Body Revolution issue

Ashley Graham has been tapped to star in the cover image for Vogue Arabia’s Body Revolution issue.The curvy model, who continues to promote messages of self-acceptance and female empowerment, is fast becoming one of the hottest names in the business an…

Ashley Graham has been tapped to star in the cover image for Vogue Arabia’s Body Revolution issue.

The curvy model, who continues to promote messages of self-acceptance and female empowerment, is fast becoming one of the hottest names in the business and has recently landed gigs for the likes of Lane Bryant, Marina Rinaldi, Revlon and Rag & Bone.

For her latest shoot, Ashley has landed the cover of Vogue Arabia and explained in an accompanying interview with the fashion publication that she believes spreading the message of “beauty beyond size” is her “destiny”.

“My mother told me that when I walked into a room, I would greet every single person – even at three years old,” she said. “It was more of an emotion that I would give people, and it would leave them feeling good about who they are. I think that’s what I’m doing today; letting women know that they are worthy, that they are beautiful, and that they can be happy with who they are in their skin.”

For the cover imagery, Ashley was photographed by Miguel Reveriego and is seen sporting a silver sequin Balmain dress, Oscar de la Renta jacket and Tasaki jewellery.

In one photo, Ashley poses alongside fellow plus-size model Paloma Elsesser, who dazzles in a silver dress from Paco Rabanne.

Born in Canada to an African-American mother and a father of Chilean-Swiss descent, Paloma also spoke about her journey to embracing her figure.

“The feelings that I have about my body today aren’t very different from the way I felt about it in the first grade,” the 26-year-old explained. “What has changed, is the way I navigate those feelings.”

Fashion designer Dima Ayad, influencer Nadine Abdel Aziz, weightlifter Amna Al Haddad and Marc Jacobs beauty ambassador Rhea Jacobs also feature in the issue.

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Halima Aden talks boundary-breaking British Vogue cover: ‘It was time’

Halima Aden doesn’t think her landmark British Vogue cover is just “ticking boxes”.Hijab-wearing Halima was recruited by trailblazing Vogue editor Edward Enninful to grace the latest issue of his magazine, alongside a diverse line-up that also in…

Halima Aden doesn’t think her landmark British Vogue cover is just “ticking boxes”.

Hijab-wearing Halima was recruited by trailblazing Vogue editor Edward Enninful to grace the latest issue of his magazine, alongside a diverse line-up that also includes South Sudanese model Adut Akech, Indian Radhika Nair, and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser.

The cover marks a first for the fashion glossy; the first time a model wearing a hijab has been featured on the front.

“It’s taken 102 years for there to be a hijabi model on the cover. People are very proud of this moment,” Halima stated to London’s Evening Standard newspaper.

“I think the cover really was true diversity. Not a matter of ticking boxes but really people from different religions, different ethnic backgrounds, all thriving in an industry that has brought us together.”

The 20-year-old first met Edward at the British Fashion Awards in December, where the editor promised the model they would work together.

While Halima, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and moved to America at six years old, knew the shoot would break boundaries, she had no idea she would meet another model on set born in the same camp as she was.

“(Adut and I) had a moment like The Parent Trap: ‘How old are you? What do your parents look like?’ And it was our first time meeting. Just imagine — these two girls from this camp, reunited for the first time on the cover of British Vogue. I can’t make that up,” Halima grinned.

Continuing her ascent in the fashion world, Halima was tapped by Dolce & Gabbana to walk in the brand’s opulent Alta Moda show in New York on Sunday (08Apr18).

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