For the first time in the history of the fashion house, Fendi sent a plus size model down the runway for its Milan Fashion Week presentation on Thursday evening. Paloma Elsesser hit the catwalk in a pale-yellow coat, belted at the waist. She accessorized with an olive-green bag and ankle-strap square-toe pumps, and her beauty look included a pinned updo, glowing skin, and dark lipstick. Her runway appearance marks an inclusive step forward for the brand, helmed by Fendi Creative Director, Silvia Venturini, who took over for the late Karl Lagerfeld last year.
Elsesser took to Instagram to share the moment, writing, “I will save all the prophetic language, for once, as I literally have no words! I would simply like to express my gratitude for this monumental moment. Thank you to everyone involved. For making me feel protected, safe, and seen. This means the world to me, but most importantly to those who have never seen themselves on a runway in Milan. Thank you. My heart is so damn full.”
Though Elsesser's casting should be celebrated, it must also be noted that she was the only plus-size model to be included in the show — and the only one to walk the runway in Milan this season.
Elsesser was, no doubt, chosen because of her previous relationship with the fashion house, as she was featured in a Fendi ad campaign in 2018. Here’s hoping this giant step for Fendi will inspire a larger movement toward size inclusivity at Milan Fashion Week.