All eyes were on Slick Woods‘ nine-month baby bump at Rihanna‘s phenomenal Savage X Fenty Fall/Winter 2018 presentation. Clad in a barely-there suit styled with nipple pasties and a pair of sheer stockings, the new mother strutted down the runway as the crowd cheered for her — but the celebration of motherhood didn’t end here. Another visibly pregnant model was also cast for the immersive show, and was seen dancing with all the other women in Rih’s inclusive universe inhabited by bodies of all shapes and sizes.
Diversity has been an ongoing discussion within the fashion industry. While New York Fashion Week had been praised in the past for being significantly more racially diverse and transgender-friendly than its London, Milan and Paris counterparts, it’s still struggling with bringing size inclusivity and age representation to the catwalk.
This season, however, it seems as though a lot of progress has been made by New York-based designers on the diversity front. Sies Marjan‘s cast varied from young and old, while Eckhaus Latta continued to tap curvy models like Paloma Elsesser for its show. Other pregnant models including Lily Aldridge and former ANTM contestant Leila Goldkuhl looked radiant as they walked down the runway for Brandon Maxwell and CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC respectively. “It was so much fun being backstage will all the girls, everyone was so uplifting and rubbing my belly celebrating this beautiful journey with me,” Aldridge writes on Instagram. Goldkuhl, who debuted at NYFW exactly three years ago, also posted a heartfelt note to thank Raf Simons for letting her walk her “first ever show as a MAMA.”
NYFW Spring/Summer 2019 surely isn’t the first cycle that saw pregnant models, but it was important that they’re once again there, walking alongside other girls and boys and being part of the designers’ creative vision. The fact that Slick’s presence at the Savage X Fenty show has generated so many headlines — this one included — is the exact reason fashion should continue celebrating real people and real bodies. Until these monumental moments become the norm at runway shows, we’ll keep watching and pushing for more.