Pablo Starr is publisher of FWO and RNWY, and author of forthcoming RNWY: A Novel. Read about Pablo in The Huffington Post. (More info.)

NYFW Goes Global: Hijabs, Guys in Burkas, Geisha Makeup & Victorian Fashion

We’ve been entertaining a (possibly) strange idea for some time.

It’s the notion that “cultural appropriation” is ultimately impossible. Not because people shouldn’t respect others’ cultures — but for a rather diametrically opposed reason — because of an idea that hasn’t quite come to full fruition yet: that we are one race and culture, with lots of little parts, rather than multiple races or “types” of people. The idea that we are truly one family on this planet is still a bit underdeveloped.

The idea that we are one human family is still a bit underdeveloped.

“We” humans invented jazz, built the pyramids, created sushi, built and lost Rome … and did a lot of really bad stuff to each other, too. We are one people here.

So it’s with great joy that — in spite of the current political climate — we noted (with a little help from The Riviera Agency) that New York Fashion Week seemed to remain a melting pot of international designers and influences.

Here are some stand-outs from the NYFW runways.

Via the Middle East

Anniesa Hasibuan is an Indonesian designer, known for her all hijabi models, Anniesa brought hijabs and modest fashion to the runway in a fab way. This season many of the models were immigrants, green card holders, and 1st/2nd Generation Americans. To not only make a fashion statement, but a political statement as well.

Via Turkey

Hakan Akkaya broke gender norms and muslim conformity by bring a New Age burka to the runway one on a male model, and the other on a female. Both athleisure burkas were designed with a fitted hat and patten leather cuffs.

Via China

Chinese-Japanese designer Dan Liu brought some of his Asian influence into his runway show — along with a good bit of French — with red geisha-inspired makeup and pops of anime emojis.

Via France

Project Runway alum Leanne Marshall gave us dresses inspired by the Renaissance and Victorian fashion and hair this season.

Via Scotland

The “Dressed To Kilt Multi-Line Charity Runway Show” brought us hot guys and celebrities in traditional (and New Age) kilts and highland attire straight from Scotland.

We’ve been saying for some time that there’s no better time to be in fashion. And this season couldn’t have made us feel any better — prouder — to be a part of a world where everyone is welcome, and the only thing that matters is the state of your heart.


With love,