A Plus-Sized Model Walked for Chanel for the First Time in 10 Years

A major step towards body-positivity

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Back in their home at the Grand Palais, Chanel just made an unexpected move. The French fashion house, which has made few strides towards body-positivity, included plus-sized model Jill Kortleve for their AW/20 show. 

The Dutch model, who made her debut at Alexander McQueen’s SS19 show, marked a historic moment for Chanel. The fashion house hasn’t made size-awareness part of its diversification mission, although it has taken steps towards casting more models of colour. 

Jill Kortleve Chanel AW/20Kortleve, who sported a look comprised of a black striped jacket adorned with pearl buttons and black trousers, is a favourable pick by the house. Aside from her high-fashion debut with Alexander McQueen, the model previously starred in Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty campaign, with body-positivity as an overarching mission for her. 

Crystal Renn was the last plus-size model to walk for Chanel, in 2011. Like Kortleve, Renn was outspoken about the fashion industry’s exclusion of plus-size models after becoming one—and even spoke out publicly about her battle with an eating disorder in a bid to raise awareness about the negative effects of their marginalisation. 

Crystal Renn Chanel Cruise 2011
But it has taken 10 years for Chanel to take that stride again. But the good news is, they’re not alone. Model Paloma Elsesser made headlines after walking for Fendi this season, followed by another strut down the runway for Lanvin and Alexander McQueen. 

Paloma Elsesser for Alexander McQueen

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