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Makin history at NYFW

For my 21st Birthday I attended my first New York Fashion Week with my best friend Lex. We walked around  Lincoln Center with our jaws dropped by all the glamour, creativity, and style. I scored tickets for us to be in the front row of the most beautiful fashion show I’ve ever seen, and guess who the designer was?…Michael Costello.

For the past 3 years I’ve attended NYFW with dreams of walking on the runway. However, I was always bothered by the fact that there was absolutely zero size-diversity on the runway. The shows were always amazing, but unrelatable for me. I longed to see what these designs would look like on a woman who had a similar body type to mine.

When I signed with Wilhelmina, I knew some of my wildest dreams were about to come true. I have incredible agents who accepted me exactly as I am. They’ve supported my goals and pushed me to believe that I can make a difference in this industry, but I need to stay committed and patient through the ups and downs. I dedicate every day to this process, and I feel empowered to be modeling full-time in the big apple. 

As Fall Fashion Week approached I was determined to make it into a show, mostly just to prove to myself that I could do it. Casting for Michael Costello was surreal for me. I had never seen a girl my size in a Costello gown, but I was determined to be the first “in-between” model to strut my stuff in his gorgeous designs. I’ll be honest, I was totally surprised by how positive his reaction was. For the first time he was using models of ALL shapes and sizes, and he applauded me for how confident I was in my own skin. When I was confirmed I instantly bursted into tears knowing that my dream of walking in NYFW was about to come true. On show day I caught myself smiling from ear to ear on multiple occasions, (I probably looked slightly crazy) but I was so excited to be there. I had an incredible team prepping me to make sure I looked my best- Mizani (hair), Inglot (makeup), and nails (Essie)-I was pampered head to toe. When I stepped into my stunning gown it flattered my shape perfectly, I felt confident and beautiful. The entire experience was a whirlwind but I’m overwhelmed and thankful to have been part of this stunning show.

This week after the show, I was published in Glamour Magazine, PopSugar, Bravo TV, and Yahoo! Style . The online publications all described how incredible it was for Michael Costello to use models of all shapes and sizes. This season of NYFW made HISTORY, and I’m so proud to be part of it. Glamour Magazine stated:

“By the end of the week, we spotted models above sample size on the runway (or at a presentation) a total of 208 times—that’s 181 more appearances that last season, people!

In case your knee-jerk reaction to those numbers isn’t to scream with excitement, you should know that this is a hugely significant development—not only for models and designers but for fashion fans who follow NYFW and the images that come out of it. The trickle down effect is real. So, when respected industry players like Michael Kors, Prabal Gurung, Chromat, and Christian Siriano continue their efforts of inclusion—and when brands like Anna Sui, Rebecca Minkoff, and The Blonds join them—it’s felt all over the world.”

HISTORY PEOPLE. I’m so honored and humbled to be one of the few, representing the MANY.

The objective of this blog is to promote self-love, and to encourage women to be confident in their own skin no matter what size they are. I’m overjoyed by the body positive movement that includes non-sample size models in shows & print, BUT that shouldn’t negate the beauty of straight size models. We all have personal goals in this crazy industry- and I would never tear another woman down because she looks different than I do.

There’s room for EVERYONE in this industry.

Every shape. Every size.

I’m inspired to see the industry changing and I can’t wait until more designers incorporate every type of woman in their runway shows. For now, I’m going to let this sink in because it feels DAMN good.

Moral of the story, if you have a dream GO FOR IT. You’ll hear hundreds of NO’s, your circle will get smaller, and you’ll feel like giving up constantly…but don’t let anything or anyone stop you. Believe in yourself, be confident in your own skin, and be persistent. Eventually hard work always pays off.

I owe a big thank you to my wonderful agents at Wilhelmina- love you guys. (Jaime, Marissa, Anthony, Steve, Terri)

XO

JWESS

One thought on “Makin history at NYFW

  1. Great, great article Jordan. As I posted on your sister’s FB page you are truly a role model for women of all ages to look at and emulate. Keep up the great work and congratulations on all your accomplishments.

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