Organizers of Dayton Fashion Week caught flack from some DaytonDailyNews.com readers for size and height requirements reported in a blog.
Several objected to organizers’ call for female models who are at least 5’8” without heels and wear a size 0-4.
“Really, women size 0-4? Who wears that???!!! Not real people!!!” — one reader posted on the Seen and Overheard blog this week.
The inaugural Dayton Fashion Week is scheduled for July 24 to 29. It will feature fashion shows, networking opportunities and other events. Caressa Brown, director of operations of the fashion week, said that while opportunities for larger models — those size 6 and up — have arisen since she distributed the casting call on her DaytonMosMetro blog last month, the original height and weight restrictions are standard in the fashion industry for a reason.
Designing and making clothing for smaller models is cheaper, and thinner models are perceived to be more attractive by many in the industry, she said.
“A lot of designers want their clothes to appear on the runway the way they appear on the hanger. That means models with no curves,” the 32-year-old said. “That’s just the industry standard, not that I support it.”
She said she expected the requirements, which were posted on the Seen and Overheard blog after Brown was contacted Tuesday, would upset some.
Organizers also sought male models who are at least 5’10’’ and can fit a 40-44 size suit.
Brown said plus-size designers are now involved in the fashion week and women of all sizes are welcome to the casting call from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 25 at De’Lish Cafe, 139 N. Main St., Dayton.
Founded by local Liberian-born designer Junda Morris-Kennedy, fashion week events are designed to help nurture and showcase Dayton’s fashion industry, Brown said. While international designers will be featured, most of the wares modeled during Dayton Fashion Week will be from local designers and boutiques.
“What we want to do is take advantage of the talent here and build a market,” said Brown, a Dayton native who began modeling professionally at age 12. “We shouldn’t have to leave the area to pursue our dreams.”
Brown acknowledges the original requirements excluded many. “There are some things that are going to be strict. I am not telling you to go out and starve yourself. ... The truth is that everybody is not going to be chosen.”
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