Dima Ayad: “Why inclusivity is here to stay”

Fresh from her NYFW runway success, the fashion designer and Grazia Girl Gang ambassador for Body Positivity shares what this fashion moment means for the industry

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Dima Ayad: “Why inclusivity is here to stay”

"Showing at New York Fashion Week was a dream turned into a reality. Size-inclusive luxury e-commerce site 11 Honoré’s catwalk show marked a historical moment of inclusivity. Not a runway with some curvy models with the brands who do it as a marketing stunt, but a show that women could shop straight from the runway.

From inception, 11 Honoré’s vision is that anyone who has the desire to participate in fashion and express themselves sartorially should be seen, heard, and included. Incredible models were cast in the show including Candice Huffine, Tara Lynn, Precious Lee, Marquita Pring and Stella Duval. It was so enthralling to see all these beautiful women dressed in designer brands including Adam Lippes, Altuzarra, Brandon Maxwell, Christian Siriano, Christopher Kane, Jason Wu, Jonathan Simkhai, Prabal Gurung, Preen By Thornton Bregazzi, Reem Acra, Roland Mouret, and Zac Posen.

The fact is that the average American woman is a US size 14, and the perception was always that she only shops at Walmart. She doesn’t. She exists in the luxury space and has a strong purchasing power. It reminds me of that Julia Roberts moment in Pretty Woman when she enters the boutique and they say, 'We don’t have anything for you. You’re obviously in the wrong place. Please leave.' We are living in a world where fitting in means so much. A sense of belonging; the ability to express yourself with what you wear and have the confidence to continue. It all starts with how you feel.

Dima's outfit and all the looks on the 11 Honoré runway were available to shop straight from the catwalk

Being a part of this was more meaningful than ever as I started designing to be inclusive and here we are six years later on the runway at NYFW. Representing the Middle East is an honour, making clothes for this woman and all women is a privilege, and giving this woman her voice and a place at the fashion table – well it’s about time!

Some might say that 11 Honoré was just one show, but Christian Siriano featured plus-sized models in his mainline catwalk, and his collection is available in plus sizes too so it’s a start. It makes all the difference to feel you’re part of the fashion conversation. Change is finally here. Inclusivity is here to stay."

Photos: BFA