Tyler McCall

Tyler McCall

by Melissa Magsaysay

The Fashion Writer Sounds Off About The Current State of Street Style

One of the most attention-grabbing headlines to be found online during New York Fashion Week wasn’t about the Marc Jacobs show or teasing to who sat front row at Ralph Lauren. The real story was on the streets, or what wasn’t being captured on the streets, for that matter.The headline was “I’m Tired Of Not Seeing Myself Represented In Street Style Photos.”

In it the writer, Fashionista.com’s deputy editor Tyler McCall, reflects on the fact that street style photographers rarely avert their lens to focus on anyone who is not skinny or young.

"Size-inclusiveness just needs to feel like an organic part of any kind of coverage or event. The days of dedicating one page in a magazine to plus size options are numbered."

“I'm a size 14. More than any aspect of this industry — more than being in close proximity to models, more than trying to shop the same brands as my friends do, more than leafing through the pages of Vogue, more than the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show — fashion month is the thing that makes me feel the worst about my body.” Writes McCall in her piece. “There is something singularly degrading about putting thoughtful effort into an outfit every morning, then walking through crowd after crowd of street style photographers knowing that each one is looking at you — or in some cases, right through you — deciding whether you are worthy of the space on their SD card.”

This perspective is the same thing that McCall has been talking about for years now online and on her social media (her Instagram is a must-follow, btw). Here, she shares more insight on the evolution of media, her personal style (paging Blair Waldorf) and her start in the fashion industry.

Tyler McCall
Photo of Tyler McCall from her instagram
Tyler McCall
Tyler McCall with 11 Honoré co-founder Patrick Herning, Mariah Chase of Eloquii, Candice Huffine and Becca McCarren-Tran of Chromat Photo: Ashley Jahncke/Fashionista

Q & A With Tyler

How long have you been working in fashion media?

I've been working in fashion for nearly six years! I started at Fashionista as an "intern" from Alabama when I cold-emailed Fashionista's former editor-in-chief, Leah Chernikoff. Leah recognized me from the comments section and gave me my first shot at fashion writing. The rest is history!

Do you feel like a significant shift has been made since you started in terms of size-inclusiveness in the industry?

I definitely feel like things have changed so much even since I started six years ago. There weren't plus girls on the runway or in Vogue, that's for sure. Most of the plus-size fashion industry was happening online on social media or places like LiveJournal. It's been exciting to see that movement bubble up and shake up the fashion industry. There's still a long way to go, to be sure, but it definitely feels like the size-inclusiveness movement isn't going anywhere any time soon, which is great.

What do you feel like the media could be doing more or less of to move the size-inclusive conversation forward and make real change?

Size-inclusiveness just needs to feel like an organic part of any kind of coverage or event. The days of dedicating one page in a magazine to plus size options are numbered. Women of all shapes and sizes just want to feel included, which means they need to have options in market stories and see themselves reflected in fashion editorials. And as excited as I am for women like Ashley Graham or Iskra Lawrence, it shouldn't be headline news every time a plus-size model books a campaign or hits a runway! It should just be a given.

How would you describe your personal style?

It's definitely girly; for a long time, I tried to get into the whole "jeans and sneakers" thing and I just didn't feel like myself. One of my mottos when shopping or getting dressed is, "What would Blair Waldorf do?" She's definitely my queen. I also like a bit of quirk, so I'm inspired by Alexa Chung's styling choices, too.

Have you ever found it challenging to find the pieces you want?

Oh, for sure! There are brands I would practically live in if they offered clothes in my sizes. It's also frustrating because I cover the runways a lot, and I'll get excited about something I see only to not be able to get it in my size six months later. But I've been able to make it work; there are brands I really love that come in my size, so I stay really loyal to them.

How/when did you become interested in fashion?

My mom will tell you that I've always been interested in fashion. I loved playing dress up and putting together my own outfits, and I would set up a "store" with my mom's shoes and play shop. I can't remember when I discovered capital "F" Fashion, but by the end of college I was following the industry and keeping a three-ring binder of tear-outs from magazines that I use for inspiration.

How was fashion week for you this season or so far? Do you have the sense that there is a shift in the runways becoming more authentically inclusive and a sense that street style may just change as well?

There's so much changing about the industry, and it's all happening so fast. The runways are still more inclusive than they used to be, but I would say we're still a ways off from it feeling authentic; that would involve designers using more than just one popular plus-size model. Regardless, I'm just happy things are moving forward! Street style has to be next. Great style isn't limited to a size 4!


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