Christian Siriano’s fierce dedication to inclusivity isn’t news, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of praise when we get a reminder.
Siriano is a pioneer of body positivity and diversity in the fashion field, even if he doesn’t feel he should be commended for it. Casting five plus-size models in his runway show and collaborating on a line for Lane Bryant in 2016 are just two testaments to that fact. Now, in a new essay for Glamour, the “Project Runway” alum hits perfectly on the point so many others miss when it comes to his choices in clients.
Recalling the now-famous move he made to quinceanera dresses Leslie Jones for the “Ghostbusters” premiere last July, he reminds everyone that he “always championed body inclusivity. Still do... Leslie couldn’t find a designer to dress her, and unfortunately I hear stories like hers a lot. But whether it’s Leslie or Gwyneth Paltrow, I don’t think about a woman’s size when I dress her. I ask myself, ‘Am I a fan?’”
It’s a refreshing, simple, sensible and rare attitude within the industry (last week it was revealed that unnamed designers “flatly refused” to provide clothes for British Vogue’s January cover featuring model Ashley Graham). Perhaps, as he explains in the essay, Siriano’s desire for inclusivity and success in breaking from the status quo has something to do with his upbringing in Annapolis, Maryland, “a preppy, traditional military community a few minutes from the Naval Academy.”
“I felt, at times, super different. I was young. Gay. Eccentric. A little guy. Those things made me feel insecure sometimes, but they also made me feel connected to other people who are different, who break conventions,” he said.
Considering the impressive roster of people he counts as clients today ― it includes Lady Gaga and oh, right, Michelle Obama ― we’d say that break from the norm is working pretty well for him thus far.
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