From Ashely Graham walking at Michael Kors to Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show that featured several plus-size models, we are slowly but surely rewriting history’s beauty standards on the runway. Case in point? This weekend’s Fashion Forward Dubai event, which saw a myriad curvy girls on the catwalk. Finally.
At Mrs Keepa, French-Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi showcased the brand’s S/S20 collection. Speaking exclusively to BAZAAR after the show, Esseibi said, “I still don’t think there are enough curvy models on the runway, but it’s better than nothing and we’re getting there step by step. I’m proud of the two designers that added curvy models on their runways.”
Ameni Esseibi walking for Mrs Keepa at Fashion Forward Dubai spring/summer 2020
“As soon as I walked out I heard everyone cheering and clapping,” she adds. “It was a crazy feeling, and made me feel like I felt like everything I’m fighting for was worth it.”
“It wasn’t actually my decision,” reveals Mariam Yeya, the creative director behind Mrs Keepa. “Ameni actually contacted me ahead of the show and asked to walk in it. My brand has always been accused of only catering to ‘skinny’ bodies, so I agreed to try Ameni out.”
On normalising the conversation around body positivity, Yeya added, “I have a bit of a complex about the term ‘plus-sized’, I feel like it highlights these women in the wrong way and makes them seem almost alien. This is why I put Ameni in the middle of the show; I didn’t want to highlight her as the opening or closing look, because she is just a woman, so I treated her the same as the other models.”
Dubai-based label Reemami also tapped body positivity activist Ghaliah Amin to walk in her spring/summer 2020 wakesurf-inspired show. The Saudi-born model, who is also a TV host, shared a snippet on Instagram from the runway and hashtagged #SaudiCurveModel in her caption.
To see more highlights from FFWD, click here.