Why Aren’t There More Pregnant Models On The Runway?

Since it burst on the scene a few years ago, Eckhaus Latta has made diversity its trademark —even before it was the hot topic on everyone's lives. On Saturday, designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta presented their spring 2018 collection, and through the beautifully diverse cast that varied in age, race, body type, and gender, one very pregnant model stood out. How’s that for body diversity?
The woman is artist Maia Ruth, a director at Wide Rainbox, a contemporary art after school program, who happens to be pregnant with her first child. Vogue Runway’s director Nicole Phelps noticed the baby bump and shared her thoughts on Instagram, writing: “I've been going to fashion shows for 21 years and I've seen a pregnant model on the runway exactly one other time. Something to think about.” And Phelps is right: While it is a rare to see pregnant models on the runway, Ruth is not the first.
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Jourdan Dunn walked in Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring 2010 show in a custom version of the designer’s bodycon bustier two months before she was due. Miranda Kerr walked in Nicolas Ghesquiere’s spring 2011 Balenciaga show, Karl Lagerfeld cast Ashleigh Good in Chanel's spring 2014 show, and Bianca Balti was Dolce & Gabbana’s muse while pregnant with her second child (and walked in the fall 2015 show). In fact, designer Stefano Gabbana, pointed that out in the comments under Phelps’s Instagam photo, writing: “Yes!!! I see 2 years ago in my show dedicated to the MAMMA!! @biancabalti in a pink dress.” That same season, Jacquetta Wheeler walked in the Temperly show. Oh, and Gemma Ward made a special appearance during David Jones' spring 2016 show.
Lest you think that only ready-to-wear models can manage such a feat, Irinia Shayk made her debut on the Victoria’s Secret runway in slinky lingerie just as the news broke she was expecting her first child with Bradley Cooper. Both Alessandro Ambrosio and Lily Aldridge, too, have took to the Victoria’s Secret pregnant (they walked while expecting in 2011).
As far as Eckhaus Latta goees, this isn’t the first time the label has pushed the envelope. For its spring 2017 campaign, the designers cast gay and straight couples performing sex acts for their first-ever ad campaign. Perhaps the pregnant model follows the story arc created with the racy advertorial? You know, first comes k-i-s-s-i-n-g, then comes the pregnant model. Now will there be a baby (sans carriage) on the runway next season?
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