They’ve still yet to cast any fuller-figured bodies, but Victoria’s Secret is at least keeping its annual runway show colorful, casting a new crop of melanated models for its 2018 event in November, which will be televised worldwide.
This year, 14 of the beauties walking the show will be black; less than last year’s 18—but notably, a higher percentage, as the cast itself has been scaled down from 56 to 34 models for this year. With that in mind, the percentage of black models has increased from approximately 32 percent of last year’s show to 41 percent this year.
The brand is also making history, casting America’s Next Top Model alum and well-known style star Winnie Harlow, making her the first model with vitiligo to walk the VS runway.
“It’s the pinnacle of my career,” she told Vogue, admitting that she “dropped to the floor and started balling” when she discovered she’d been booked. As for being the first with her skin condition to represent the brand, Harlow wisely stated:
“Why is there a stigma around being different when we’re all different?Representation is so important, and I want to [stand for] all women. Every single woman.”
Five other new brown girls will be joining Harlow and veterans Leomie Anderson, Alanna Arrington, Grace Bol, Cindy Bruna, Mayowa Nicholas, Herieth Paul, Jourdana Phillips, and Jasmine Tookes on the VS runway this season, which will also feature its first Filipino-American model, Kelsey Merritt. All took to Instagram to express their excitement and thanks—including fashion favorite Duckie Thot, who captured the moment she learned the news in real time.
For those who faithfully watch the annual VS extravaganza, here’s who you can look for, come November: