The fashion industry has made great strides to become a more inclusive environment, particularly in the past year. In the last 356 days we have seen countless initiatives and projects that honor women of all ages, races and backgrounds. From the spike in mature models in fashion ads to the increased diversity in campaigns to the inclusion of plus-size models in more magazines, we have a lot to be happy about.
In honor of International Women's Day today on March 8, we sought out the five most uplifting fashion moments for women from the past year. Here is what made us smile:
"This Dove beauty campaign was a pivotal force in encouraging young girls to not only love their curls, but reinforce the natural hair movement that has being going strong for years. As a child, there were very few images of women who looked like me on TV or in fashion magazines. Seeing a major brand like Dove promote not only self-acceptance but great hair care will have a profound impact on this generation." -- Dana Oliver, Executive Fashion & Beauty Editor
"These amazing images were created in response to a New York Times reporter who called Viola Davis "darker-skinned and less classically beautiful than" other black women in Hollywood. The cringe-worthy statement sparked plenty of outrage and thankfully journalist Abi Ishola turned something so negative into a positive with the 'Beyond Classically Beautiful' photo project. By capturing portraits of black women of all shades, shapes and personal styles, Ishola is helping show the world that black is and will always be beautiful." -- Julee Wilson, Fashion & Beauty Editor
"This year, we saw more mature models in fashion campaigns than ever before, and in an industry that usually celebrates youth, this is represents a major turning point. Though I was thrilled when I found out about Julia Roberts for Givenchy, Iris Apfel for Alexis Bittar and Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent, I was ecstatic when I saw that Joan Didion was the new face of Céline. Not only did the storied French label celebrate the beauty of an 80-year-old woman, they also recognized someone who is know for her brains, too." -- Michelle Persad, Fashion Editor
"People with disabilities, whether it be physical or cognitive, have long been excluded from the 'normal' spectrum of society, including the fashion industry. However, things are changing on the runway. This past New York Fashion Week, Jamie Brewer was the first model with a cognitive disability to walk the catwalk and just last year, there was the model, who uses a wheelchair, featured in Carrie Hammer's show. I hope these amazing moments continue to happen, and break down the stigma associated with disabilities." -- Chanel Parks, Associate Style Editor
"It's hard to pick just one exciting plus-size fashion moment from the past year, but seeing Candice Huffine become the first plus-size model to star in Pirelli's iconic annual calendar impacted me the most. The fact that a woman with curves was included in something this conventionally 'sexy' proves that standards of beauty are shifting, and that the industry is finally acknowledging what many people have known all along -- curves are here to stay. " -- Jamie Feldman, Associate Style Editor