The Versace Spring 2021 show was a step forward for the fashion house when it comes to inclusivity. On Friday, they showed their latest collection at Milan Fashion Week featuring three plus-size models strutting down the catwalk. Precious Lee, Jill Kortleve, and Alva Claire each made an appearance on the Versace runway, wearing brightly colored crop-tops, iconic printed dresses, and platform heels.
The collection in its entirety had a seashore vibe, with prints made up of colorful shells, seahorses, and silhouettes that complement the beachy locale. Some of the prints were directly inspired by Gianni Versace’s Spring 1992 Trésor de la Mer collection, which was also included in Donatella Versace’s Spring 2018 tribute show for her late brother.
On Lee's Instagram, she shared the significance of the casting, saying: “I will never forget this moment and how I felt before walking out. The power of and beauty of this brand has ALWAYS inspired me & now to be the first…wow.” She has previously been part of runway productions for Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Siriano, and the like.
Kortleve acknowledged the historical impact, writing: “This is such a historical moment and I can’t believe it actually happened,” adding, “It’s so unbelievable to work for brands I always dreamt of working for. I hope that we open the doors for a new generation with the same dreams but who never saw themselves in the magazines or commercials.” This season alone, socially distanced or not, she has already walked for Etro and Fendi, having previously hit the catwalk for designers such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Valentino, and more.
Lasty, Claire look to social media to celebrate the iconic moment. “I am so proud of Precious Lee, Jill Kortleve, and myself we made history with this and I will never forget how I feel right now!” adding, “This moment is for all of us!!! I’m full of love!!” Claire has walked the runway for design houses such as Collina Strada, Nike, and Savage x Fenty.
Given the overwhelmingly positive response to Versace's lineup, it is likely other fashion houses will take note and diversify their model casts in runway shows to come.