Haute couture: why is size 36 still the norm in fashion shows?


Paris fashion week for women’s ready-to-wear fall-winter 2023-2024 ends on Tuesday March 7. In Paris, London, New York or Milan, fashion weeks, unmissable industry meetings, follow one another each year and the models who parade there are always just as thin. While ethnic diversity has gradually imposed itself in this environment, morphological diversity is much more limited.

In this episode of the “L’Heure du Monde” podcast, Elvire von Bardeleben, journalist and head of the fashion section at Worldexplains how the fashion industry continues to structure itself around size 36, despite a new generation of designers who want to change the game.

An episode of Esther Michon. Production and music: Amandine Robillard. Presentation and editor-in-chief: Jean-Guillaume Santi. In this episode: excerpts from a report in a Parisian modeling school in the program “The future is yours”, broadcast on February 11, 1961; an interview with fashion designer Pierre Cardin on the program “Seize millions de jeunes”, broadcast by the ORTF on October 10, 1964.

“The Hour of the World”

“L’Heure du Monde” is the daily news podcast of the World. Listen every day, from 6 a.m., to a new episode, on Lemonde.fr or on Spotify. Find all the episodes here.

Learn more about the size 36 standard in fashion:

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