The Real Catwalk Models on Self-Love, Identity, and Body Positivity
On December 1st 2018, I, along with over 200 others, gathered in New York to model in the 3rd consecutive “The Real Catwalk” show.
Model Khrystyana Karanova introduced “The Real Catwalk” to the world last year “to empower all to feel beautiful and confident in their bodies,” she shared with Qwear. The flash mob-style show premiered in New York in December 2017 and then had a second life in London in August 2018.
By garnering the support of sponsors such as Salty, KingSize, Roaman’s, Swimsuits for All, and Woman Within, The Real Catwalk provided us with an all-star treatment. Pre-show, models gathered to have breakfast (including mimosa’s!), helped each other pick out pieces to wear, and apply make-up and any last touches. The atmosphere was so uplifting as models creating instant bonds with one another.
The runway show consisted of three sections: au-natural (basic, underwear, and onesies), holiday themed, and sexy vava voom (lingerie, bold prints and styles). Being in Times Square, the models quickly drew a curious crowd of onlookers, many pleased to see individuals promoting body-positivity. It was amazing to witness models walk off the runway feeling much more confident than when they walked on. Once the show ended, models headed to an after party where we continued the celebration with food and music.
The day exemplified the spirit of inclusivity and diversity by featuring models of all ages, ethnicities, genders, disabilities, sexual orientations, and life experiences.
While reporting live at the event for Qwear, I got the chance to talk to models back stage and hear their thoughts on fashion, identity, and the importance of representation.
Slideshow Images by Gillian Francis
“What drew me to The Real Catwalk was the idea of celebrating inclusivity and creating space for diversity to thrive; the walk allows for representation for so many body types, gender identities and ethnicities. Thinking about what fashion means to me — it means an immediate and exciting way of expressing your inner being without having to say a word. It’s also such a fun way to play with the idea of self; who do I want to be today? What ideas can I express today? I think it’s a really beautiful thing.”
Photo Credit: Isabella Von Arx
Constance Smith is a 25-year-old, Afro-Latina, professional plus-size model based in Boston, who specializes in Runway, Commercial, and Editorial modeling. She is signed to We Speak, an agency that hires healthy models and is making a positive change in the fashion industry.