This year’s New York Fashion Week will look a little different than fashionistas are accustomed to. It’s not just the absence of the traditional tents where the runway shows were held at Lincoln Center until this year. This year the fashion shows will feature an array of models, including one with Down’s Syndrome.
Madeline Smith, an 18-year-old model from Australia, will appear with FTL Moda at Vanderbilt Hall on Sunday. The teen has built an impressive social media following, often posting pictures of her latest gigs, and has more than 72,000 followers on Instagram alone.
For Madeline’s mom, her latest job came as no surprise. “She wanted this and she worked hard for it,” Rosanne Stuart told Cosmopolitan in August. “I've done everything I can on the business end to get her to this stage. Now it's just her working her charm.”
Madeline isn’t the only model to break the model mould. Rebekah Marine, who calls herself the Bionic Model, will also appear in the FTL Moda show.
“Being a model with a disability has been extremely difficult over the past couple years,” she told Mashable earlier this month. “Agencies often won't even look at my portfolio. But I've come to realize it's all about finding your niche.”
It's also been rumored that Caitlyn Jenner will attend her first fashion show. She is expected to be front and center during Givenchy's Friday show. Riccardo Tisci has been a longtime friend of stepdaughter Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye West.
This is the first year Givenchy will hold its show in New York rather than Paris, thanks to the opening of their Madison Square store. The high-end fashion house also is opening the doors to the fashion show to the public via a lottery system. Meanwhile, Caitlyn may have some family backup at fashion week as murmurs of another Kanye West x Adidas presentation grow to a rebel yell.
Kanye and Kim are already getting into the spirit and made an appearance Thursday night at a star-studded party hosted by Rihanna at the Edition hotel. Other guests included Justin Timberlake, Gigi Hadid with Joe Jonas, Jourdan Dunn and Nicola Peltz.
Kim and Kanye made an appearance at Rihanna's party celebrating the start of fashion week Photo: Getty Images
Another new face to fashion week this year will be Instagram star and comedian Josh Ostrovsky, also known as The Fat Jewish, who will launch his debut collection, no doubt generating laughs in the process.
“All the men’s collections feature shirts that are like covered in blood and feathers and tiny daggers or whatever other ridiculous accoutrement they can think of, which is great for a hunk with a coke problem going out to dinner at 11 pm in Berlin, but nobody focuses on fashion for very normal Dad situations, like buying new tires at 3 pm on a Wednesday in Phoenix,” the comedian told the Observer. “What do you wear to do that? I’d love to show you. This show is all function, and I think the fashion week crowd will come to embrace my vision, even if it’s not what they’re used to.”
Lauren Conrad said her show was 'more than I could have ever imagined.' Photo: Getty Images
On Thursday, the shows kicked off with an exciting start with The Hills star Lauren Conrad's first runway show at New York Fashion Week, debuting her new collection LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection for Kohl's. A star-studded audience was there to watch, including Hills’ co-star Lo Bosworth, Chrissy Teigen, Olivia Culpo, Ashley Tisdale and Dylan Penn. Immediately after, the collection was available online for the attendees and everyone else to buy.
“The LC Runway show may have come and gone in the blink of an eye but I am still floating on cloud nine,” the 29-year-old wrote on her blog. “Yesterday’s show was quite the experience and more than I could have ever imagined.”