You'll Never Guess What Inspired Zac Posen's Nearly All-Black Runway

You'll Never Guess What Inspired Zac Posen's Nearly All-Black Runway

The fashion designer's focus on diversity is a win for everyone.

Published February 18th

It can seem like an uphill battle when it comes to making fashion's runway more diverse, with only small victories to account for along the way. But fashion designer Zac Posen showed the world just how beautiful and inclusive high-fashion can be with one bold move.

| SEE PHOTOS: NYFW RUNWAY REPORT: FALL/WINTER 2016 |

For his Fall/Winter 2016 runway show during New York Fashion Week, Posen flipped the status quo on its head by casting models of color almost exclusively. Maria Borges, Cindy Bruna, Riley Montana, Aya Jones, Aamito Lagum and Grace Bol were among the Black models strutting down his runway this week, sending a powerful message to the industry in one fell swoop.

(Photos: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

As Fashionista.com writes:

"Posen was inspired by Princess Elizabeth of Toro, a Ugandan lawyer who became the first East African woman to be admitted to the English bar. She was also a successful model and covered American Vogue in 1968, and was briefly the foreign minister of Uganda in the 1970s. Black or white, she was an accomplished and beautiful woman — a perfect point of inspiration for a fashion designer. In his show notes, Posen noted her 'kind nature, stunning appearance and exceptional intellect.'"

Posen, who is white, recently posted to his official Instagram a photo of himself wearing a Black Models Matter bag designed by Ashley B. Chew along with the caption, "#BlackModelsMatter #womanofcolormatter #Diversity is what makes the world beautiful and inspiring!"

The A/W '16 collection in itself is equally worthy of attention. Inspired by 1930's couture, the collection is a sophisticated mix of structured, buttoned overcoats, ladylike dresses with architectural necklines, vintage-inspired prints. A rich color story of burgundy, sapphire, forest green and luxe black unify the collection.

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(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Written by Britt Middleton

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