Is fashion still scared of people who are not traditionally ‘pretty’?

Nur Khamis explores the obstacle-filled path of unconventional models and the underrepresentation of individuals lacking Eurocentric features in the fashion industry.

It’s 2019. Fashion is slowly starting to approach diversity. We can’t be sure how genuine it is, but we must appreciate the efforts: you can now see plus-size or older models and almost all races and ethnicities. What do all these people have in common, though? They all look the same. Is the fashion industry scared to bring unconventionality to the catwalks and magazine covers?

Masculinity

I listen to the sounds of my father making his way around the house, getting ready for work. Every day his routine is identical - after a shower, he does his hair, gets dressed, prays for a couple of minutes, and puts some cologne on. He is ready to go. He is gone almost all day - never in one place. He drives around, meets people, talks business. When his day is finally over, he spends his evenings on the sofa, having tea, watching action films, and speaking loudly on the phone in Arabic.

Angeliki Ioannidi
Not just a beautiful face

Both a professional model and architecture student, Angeliki Ioannidi is a busy girl. Here, ELLE investigates how she gets the best of both worlds.

When you see someone so beautiful in real life, it’s intimidating. You always see gorgeous models on magazine covers, and the only way to handle it is thinking it’s a lie. Then you meet Angeliki, with her almost extra-terrestrial beauty: big, pillowy lips, long eyelashes, a smile that could lighten the world. But actually, it’s not her looks that make you fall in love with her, but her kindness, her intelligence, her modesty.

Paula Dunker

Paula Dunker is somewhat of a legend in the nightlife of Bucharest. Everyone knows her, admires her: she’s present at every party where the ‘good crowd’ go - always in Control Club and Apollo111 Club, the best places in the capital to drink and dance. By ‘good crowd’ I mean to say the artists, musicians, students, hipsters of Bucharest - people you wouldn’t be surprised to see featured in an i-D magazine feature - the ones that keep the Eastern European city alive and moving. 

Few of us actually know anything about Paula - that’s what makes her a legend. Only the ones close to her know. We see her as an entertainer at the queer parties of Bucharest, proudly wearing her bold make-up, colourful dresses and body hair. But I want to know more - who is Paula Dunker?

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