When designer Rick Owens decided to use members of American college step teams to model his latest collection, he set off a minor fashion storm.
Here were women that didn’t confirm to any of the standards of beauty set in high fashion stone. They were much bigger in size, and way more expressive looking (and sounding).
They were also far more diverse than typical runway models. Coming on the heels of other criticisms about the overall absence of models of color (especially black models) in the fashion world, Owen’s show was read not just as a bold and brilliant performance, but as confrontation with the fashion status quo.
Chicago designer Jamie Hayes is fomenting her own runway revolution in her newest venture, “The Uniform Project.”
The gallery/runway show is Nov.