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Supermodels Take Back the Runway at Michael Kors

The designer's A-list casting included Ashley Graham 

Some people might think of him as the judge on Project Runway or the lucrative maker of handbags now carried by basic bitches everywhere. But when I think of Michael Kors, the first things that come to mind are his ad campaigns over the past ten or so years featuring Carmen Kass and later, Karmen Pedaru. They all sort of blend together, but they’d often show either of those gorgeously bronzed models climbing out of a helicopter (or something like that) in aviator sunglasses, a giant fur, and heels. 

I immediately flashed back to that golden age of Kors while watching his Fall runway show. Pedaru was there. Sadly, Kass wasn’t. A major portion of the cast consisted of supers from that era—longtime Kors favorites now in their 30s or 40s (gasp)—including Natasha Poly, Isabeli Fontana, and Malgosia Bela. They were joined by Kors’ all-American muses Carolyn Murphy and Amber Valletta. Plus, runway stars who have more recently ascended to super status: Joan Smalls, Arizona Muse, and Aymeline Valade (funny to think that Smalls and Muse are considered veterans at the ripe old age of 28).

It was a great lineup on the tail end of a NYFW that’s been a lot more diverse in casting, but lacking in supermodel appearances. These Hall-of-Famers lent a persuasive maturity to the glamorous furs and sensual clothes at Kors. Ultimately, the model booking that launched a thousand blog posts was Ashley Graham, who—believe it or not—made her debut NYFW appearance there, becoming the first plus-size model to walk for Kors. But we were hardly surprised to see her in the lineup. Size inclusivity is increasingly becoming the status quo. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal anymore, but it still is—considering the amount of attention Prabal Gurung attracted earlier this week for casting curvier models like Candice Huffine and Marquita Pring. Baby steps…    

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