Autumn 2023 has marked a significant chapter in the history of inclusive fashion, with high-fashion brands embracing diversity like never before. In the runways of Chanel, Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana, eclecticism has taken center stage, showcasing models of all ages, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. In this essay, we will delve into the voices that shone as icons of inclusivity in this eclectic autumnal scenario, revealing not only fashion but also the extraordinary stories of Iris Apfel, Valentina Sampaio, Madeline Stuart, Ellie Goldstein.
Icons of Inclusive Fashion
Iris Apfel: Diversity and Centennial Style
Iris Apfel, a stylist and entrepreneur, shattered age stereotypes by gracing the Chanel runway at the age of 74. Beyond her impact on the catwalk, Apfel has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and founded her fashion line, Iris Apfel Collection. Born in New York in 1921, Apfel studied art and design at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts. After graduating, she worked as an interior designer for various companies.
In 1950, she opened her fabric store, Old World Weavers, with her husband Carl Apfel. Apfel is known for her eclectic style, blending elements from different historical periods and cultures. She is an art and design collector, often incorporating these elements into her personal style. Her style is often described as “bold,” “unapologetic,” and “outside the box.” Apfel is a pioneer of inclusive fashion, inspiring people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. She has been an inspiration for many designers and models, and her style has been celebrated worldwide.
Valentina Sampaio: Top Model and Activist
Valentina Sampaio, a Brazilian top model, illuminated the Versace runway, solidifying her status as a trailblazer. Beyond the realm of fashion, Sampaio is an LGBTQ+ rights activist and has launched her jewelry line, Valentina Sampaio Jewelry. Born in Brazil in 1996, she began her modeling career in 2016, securing the first cover of Vogue Paris. In 2017, she was named one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine. Sampaio has a sophisticated and modern sense of style, often seen wearing high-fashion garments from designers such as Versace, Dior, and Chanel. Her style is often described as “elegant” and “sensual.” Sampaio is an icon of inclusive fashion, contributing to normalizing the visibility of transgender women in the fashion world.
Madeline Stuart: Limits are Only Mental
Madeline Stuart, an Australian model with Down syndrome, brought her grace to the Dolce & Gabbana runway. Unstoppable, Stuart has also authored a book titled “I Am Madeline.” Born in Australia in 2000, she began her modeling career in 2015, becoming the first model with Down syndrome to walk for a high-fashion collection. In 2017, she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. Stuart has a fresh and youthful sense of style, often seen wearing ready-to-wear outfits from brands like Zara.
Ellie Goldstein: Activism and Inclusivity
Ellie Goldstein, a British model with Prader-Willi syndrome, captivated the Gucci runway. Beyond her commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities, Goldstein has launched her swimwear line, Ellie Goldstein Swimwear.
In a world where diversity is increasingly celebrated, Autumn 2023 has been a revolutionary chapter for inclusive fashion. Through the stories of these women, we have witnessed the multiple facets of beauty, demonstrating that fashion should be accessible to all. These voices have not only illuminated the runways but have also contributed to redefining beauty standards, leaving a lasting imprint on the history of fashion.