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The First Show of Paris Fashion Week Just Made a Major Statement About Age and Racial Diversity


March 1st isn’t just the start of a new month, it’s also the kick off to the final week of this month plus of fashion madness. The Fall/Winter 2016 shows begin to come down the Parisian runways today, and kicking off those festivities is a brand you’ve likely never heard of. Clothing line Nehera may be a new name, even to the sartorially-obsessed like ourselves, but they’re about to be on the tip of every fashion-insider’s tongue after Tuesday’s show set a new, much-needed standard throughout the industry for age and racial diversity.

Nehera Fall/Winter 2016 Paris Fashion Week
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty

Nehera is originally a brand from the thirties that was only just recently revived, relaunching in 2014, and holding their first show during the Spring/Summer 2015 collections at Paris Fashion Week. The brand describes itself on their site as a label focused on “clothing that combines experimental shapes and timeless craftsmanship.”

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Nehera Fall/Winter 2016 Paris Fashion Week
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (3)

The brand’s creative director, Samuel Drira, told People exclusively that, At NEHERA, I want to create clothes which are not reserved for celebrities, the red carpet, or a certain age group. I strive to create garments which help people express their personality through the way they dress. Age or race plays no importance here, it’s completely natural for me to bring together very diverse models. I prefer to concentrate on how to style the clothes to your own liking, to reveal your idividuality through the way you wrap a coat, button a shirt, or layer different pieces into your own look.“ Despite the fact that this brand is eighty-plus years old and only just returned to the runway two years ago, it’s interesting to see how they’re already pushing fashion’s reluctance to incorporate greater diversity forward in such a huge way. Not only is Nehera embracing models of all ethnicities and ages, they’re also doing so without touting that aspect as the sole focus of their show. The rest of the fashion industry should definitely be taking notes.

What do you think of Nehera’s runway show? Do you want to see more diversity in fashion?

–Emily Kirkpatrick