VAWK Model Call Asks for ‘Diversity’ But Not in Height

Project Runway Canada winner Sunny Fong is known for using a wider range of sizes for his line, VAWK, but once again, he is ignoring the shorter woman in his casting call for his upcoming Toronto Fashion Week show. While the call does allow for non-runway height women (5’6″ and above, without heels), I cannot consider this truly diverse unless there is a real wide range in height.  And this should include women who are very tall and very short (as in below five feet).

 Screenshot of the casting call

Though I’m glad to see that they’re open to “shorter” models, I would have liked to see the call look for all shapes and sizes, which is in the philosophy of VAWK.  I know that there are many people from the fashion industry who’ll disagree with me, but I don’t think it looks that weird to see a wide range of heights on the runway.  We’ve all seen it before, with celebrities participating in shows.  I don’t think it distracts any more than that “novel” size 14 girl who walks with 20 size 0 models.

A close look at the requirements

I know that it’s up to designers to decide what’s ideal and aesthetically pleasing for their shows, but I really wish that Sunny Fong, the Ben Barry Agency (model agency that is known for its non-traditional sized models) and wouldn’t call this “diverse,” since it’s not including a very large group of women.  Just a thought.

About CynthiaC


Cynthia Cheng Mintz, founder of Shorty Stories, also runs the online-only lifestyle magazine, DelectablyChic!

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  • MG

    I think you make a really great point here. I have seen stores making an effort lately to diversify their clothes, making them wider or “curvy” or “long” or, yes, “short.” However, I don’t think they really ever take the extremely petite into consideration. In most of the denim styles I try on, even as the waist gets narrower, the length stays just as long — several inches too long for me. It would be great if casting directors started using petite models, just to remind the fashion industry that we exist! And, I could be wrong here, but wouldn’t it be a little cheaper to produce runway clothes in smaller sizes? Less fabric, fewer sequins, etc.? Either way, I hope people start hearing this message and including height in discussions about diversity.

    • Thank you for your note.  It seems that to much of the fashion world – retailers, designers, etc…, “diversity” only means ethnic and dress size while height an afterthought at best (since SOME brands make petites).  And for some reason, it’s next to impossible to open up discussion on this issue as it quickly gets pushed aside.  I think we need to get some sort of celebrity to talk about this for it to taken seriously, but so far, no one has.

      And I agree with you about pants.  What’s also interesting is that back in the day, “normal” pants had a 31″  ish inseam, which some petites could get away with some heels.  Now?  inseams are like 34″!

      • Peggy

        I totally agree with the difficulty in finding pants that fit properly if you are petite.
        I am 5ft. 3in. myself and in good shape but it is a huge pain in the you know what
        To find a great pair of jeans that are wonderful no matter what you pay. There are
        So many of us stylish petite girls out there and we are to some extent ignored.
        Time to start something to have our voices heard

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