Models of Diversity highlights the importance of fashion for all on the catwalk

Photo credit: James Prince


Models from all walks of life took to the catwalk last Saturday to promote diversity in the modelling industry.

Models of Diversity hosted a catwalk show in association with House of Fraser, Top Shop and independent designer Liquorish to celebrate diversity in the hub of Croydon’s busiest shopping centre, Centrale, as part of London Fashion Week.

Sataysia Bola opens Models of Diversity; Main picture: Angelica Fenney, Nadia Essex, Grace J Teal and India Willoughby Credit: James Prince

Professional models and members of the public took to the catwalk in the latest fashions chosen by stylist Leigh Krystal.

Models of Diversity, which was opened by seven-year-old Sataysia Bola from Loughborough Primary School in Brixton, highlighted the importance of fashion for all, with chief executive Angel Sinclair, who has campaigned for the last 10 years for fashion to be more representative.

MS Sinclair gave a speech expressing how the “runways need to represent the consumers”.

There were celebrity supporters in attendance such as Gail Porter, Sandi Bogle and Lady Grace presenting the shows.

Ms Porter said: “We want everyone in society to be represented, every size, every age, every colour and ability.”

Louis Killick takes to the catwalk Credit: James Prince

Television personality Nadia Essex and India Willoughby, the first transgender newsreader and the first transwoman in the world to be a panelist on all-female talk show when she joined BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, took to the catwalk and the runway had models representing every part of society.

Designer Elif Heffernan from Liquorish spoke to the crowds of her pride at being involved in the event and how much diversity and inclusion meant to her as a designer who wants everyone to look and feel good in her fashions.

Models of Diversity achieved this with models including Asian model Zaynabs, Warwick district councillor Mini Mangat, cancer survivor Angelica Fenney and quadriplegic Lolly Mack, a former glamour model.

Ambassador Ashley Young walked the catwalk with her newborn baby girl, Elara.

MS Bogle said: “New mums and babies need to be represented too.”

In the final show, competition winner Ryan Trimmings, who is also a deaf awareness blogger, took to the catwalk to a rousing applause, dressed by House of Fraser stylist Rachel Hyde, he combated his Aspergers to get up there for the first time.­

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