Just before the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show prepared to take over our television screens, ‘The Real Catwalk’ held its second annual runway in the middle of New York City’s Time Square—and they didn’t hesitate to make a bold, verbal statement against the unchanging fashion industry.

The all-inclusive catwalk captivated the attention of hundreds in Time Square with a flash mob-style show opened by model, Jari Jones. Onlookers praised the models as they walked the runway, with each of the ladies strutting their stuff one infectiously confident and sexy step at a time. The best part about the annual event is that men and women of all backgrounds and sizes are invited to walk the catwalk in whatever makes them feel their sexiest – lingerie, fur, briefs, topless –  you name it, it was probably on The Real Catwalk runway. ESSENCE caught up with Jones to get a model’s view of the groundbreaking event. “To publicly proclaim self love is one the biggest forms of resistance,” Jones told ESSENCE. “We are teaching, especially to our plus size and trans community, that they are worthy of celebration, of respect, of feeling sexy, and of love.” It’s about time the entire fashion industry recognized the beauty in everyone. Fashion houses, Roaman’s, Swimsuits for All, Woman Within and KingSize co-signed The Real Catwalks initiative by outfitting the models for the event. If these brands can embrace the concept of inclusivity, every other brand should have no problem getting on board. This year’s Real Catwalk show was a true testament to the belief that sexy comes in every size. “It is a public statement that trans women and plus size women are most definitely among the women that are found attractive,” Jones added. “We are, without a doubt, part of the fantasy.”


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