A trend seen on countless runways during New York Fashion Week wasn’t so much about the garments, but the models wearing them. Designers are often inspired to create collections with help from ethereal and waiflike model-muses, and right now what seems to be the trend of the moment is an offbeat, quirky, model persona. This isn’t to say that the clothes displayed all throughout Fashion Week weren’t polished and uniform, but rather the models wearing them often appeared unique, untraditional, and sometimes even unusual.
Just take up-and-coming model Shaun Ross, who appeared in presentations for brands Third NYC and Monsieur Belange during New York Fashion Week. On paper Ross appears to be like any average model; he’s young, stands six feet one inch tall, and is passionate about the industry. In person though, the 22-year-old, energetic and self-described as “euphoric,” doesn’t look like other models. Born with albinism, a condition that results in little to no pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes, Ross is a model of traditional imperfection, which is just what the fashion industry loves right now.
The New York Times calls this trend “the new quirk,” and explains that right now, modeling agencies, designers, and fashion publications love quirkiness in their models. To many, quirks like gapped or crooked teeth, edgy died hairstyles, fuller figures, masculine features, or albinism in Ross’s case, are completely normal, but in the discerning world of fashion, they are also incredibly marketable right now.
To briefly channel Heidi Klum: in fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out. What this means is that “the new quirk” that graced the catwalks of New York Fashion Week might be completely out of style by next season. Happily, models like Shaun Ross are taking advantage of the spotlight that is currently aimed at them, and are publicly encouraging young people to embrace their unique attributes – physical and otherwise.
“I was always an outcast, but a confident outcast,” says Ross. His fame, and more importantly his confidence, is inspirational to others who are most beautiful for their quirks.
Images: shaundross via Instagram