Inclusive Runway Show, The Real Catwalk, Returned To New York

Photo courtesy of The Real Catwalk

We spoke to its founder about the importance of movements like this

This past weekend, The Real Catwalk returned to New York City, showcasing bodies of all shapes and sizes on a runway in Times Square. Saturday's event marked the project's third-ever show, which began in New York last year and moved to London this past summer.

The project—started by KhrystyAna Kazakova, finalist on America's Next Top Model cycle 24 and plus-size activist—has a simple mission: to spread "message of self-love and acceptance for everyone to celebrate." At a time when the industry is taking steps forward while simultaneously taking steps backward in terms of inclusivity, The Real Catwalk is one powerful event.

Photo courtesy of The Real Catwalk

Kazakova, a plus-size model herself, founded this project in response to her experiences. "It stemmed from my first experience modeling in Times Square in lingerie while I was applying for America's Next Top Model. The feedback and responses that I received on social media were so positive last year that I was inspired to continue the catwalk and include my closest friends and those of all shapes and sizes."

But The Real Catwalk is more than just a celebration of size. It celebrates models of all body types, colors, gender identities, and abilities. "An important part of this runway show is that we are not hiring traditional models," says Kazakova. "The specific requirements to be a model are that there are none. Every single person is qualified and welcome."

What makes this third iteration so exciting? For the first time, brands have jumped on board to clothe the models, making it better than ever. Swimsuits for All, Woman Within, Roaman's, and KingSize supplied swimwear, lingerie, and men's underwear for this year's casting—representing sizes 4 up to a 32.

We can only hope to see The Real Catwalk continue to thrive and inspire, and to see more brands—and more of the industry in general—hop on board with support. Inclusivity in fashion is more than just a trend—it's a necessity. It's what we, the consumers, want.

Photo courtesy of The Real Catwalk

Photo courtesy of Balenciaga / Photo via @McDonaldsSverige Instagram

I'm cackling

Last year, Balenciaga released bright red square-toed mules which bore a striking resemblance to McDonald's french fry cartons. Now, the chain has fired back at the designer, threatening to release its own version of the shoes.

McDonald's Sweden posted a photo to its Instagram of a person wearing actual McDonald's fry cartons as shoes, and honestly, if there weren't yellow M's printed onto them, I'd have a hard time distinguishing them from the Balenciagas from a distance. Though the post doesn't directly reference the Balenciaga shoes, one can only assume that's who they are trolling.

McDonald's version actually makes for some pretty fly slip-ons, if you ask me. Good thing the Swedish branch of Mickey D's seems to be considering releasing the shoes if the post receives enough attention. The caption of the Instagram post translates to, "If we get 103042 likes we release these for real," though it only has about 17,000 as of publish time. These would likely cost much less than the Balenciaga shoes, which cost $545.

Internet, do your thing. I want a pair.



Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.