A Sydney Model Has Slammed Fashion Week’s Final Show For Being ‘Tokenistic’ With Its Casting

australian fashion week diversity

A model who walked in the final runway at Australian Fashion Week has also called out that particular show for being “tokenistic” and “palatable”, and having “simply no range, and no flavour” in the diversity within the ‘Future Of Fashion’ show.

Basjia Almaan took to her Instagram on Sunday with an image of herself on the last runway show at Fashion Week, calling out the show in particular for being “tokenistic” in its aim for diversity. In the post, Basjia noted that she’s considered a ‘curve model’ as a size 12-14 but is still considered “palatable” to the wider fashion industry.

“Whilst I’m incredibly proud of how hard I had to work to be on that runway stage, I’m pretty disappointed at how much of a process it was for space to be made for someone like myself,” she wrote.

“This show was not diverse it was tokenistic, and even though it was wonderful to see a range of models of different ethnicities and colour, models of different ages and curve models, it was all still so palatable.

“Yes I’m a curve model but I’m still palatable, I’m a size 12-14, where were the BIGGER bodies.”

She also slammed the final Fashion Week show for not including different ranges of hair textures represented through the people of colour that were on the runway, claiming that she, along with other Black models had to have their hair braided to be part of the show.

“Where was the range in hair textures,” she wrote.

“Every black woman I saw had braids, including myself as I had to get braids in order for me to have a chance to walk in this show.”

Basjia, who is a queer woman, also alleged the show lacked transgender representation outside of gender-non-conforming models, slamming the fashion industry as being “incredibly exclusive and outdated”.

“Where were the trans boys and girls? And not just gender-non-conforming people that may still be built like a fashion model, there was simply no range and no flavour.

“I may disappoint people with my words but that is my full blown truth, this industry doesn’t make space for all people, it’s still incredibly exclusive and outdated, it’s 2021, we want to see all different types of people on our runways now!”

Basjia also walked in Iordanes Spyridon Gogos’ runway for Jordan Gogos at Fashion Week, which she noted as being “a beautiful experience amongst an actual diverse lineup of incredible people”, and commending Gogos for making sure all the runway models felt “comfortable and cared for”.

Fashion Week’s Future Of Fashion show has also come under fire online for featuring a disabled model – Paralympian Rheed McCracken without making the runway accessible for his wheelchair.

PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out the Australian Fashion Week for comment.