On Friday (February 9), Ericka Hart walked the runway at New York Fashion Week as part of the Chromat Fall 2018 show.
Hart, 31, is a sex educator and queer Black femme cancer survivor who made a name for herself by proudly showing off her mastectomy scars in photo shoots and on social media. According to Vogue, Chromat is a brand known for featuring an inclusive cast of models at its runway shows.
Inclusion has always been at the the core of Chromat’s brand identity, and designer Becca McCharen-Tran’s Fall 2018 show was no exception. From the return appearances of 54-year-old plus-size model Emme to trans activist Geena Rocero, to the show’s exciting new additions, like 20-year-old hijabi-wearing model Kadija Diawara, the diverse cast inspired a continuous roar of cheers. But the crowd’s elation reached a palpable fever pitch when breast cancer survivor Ericka Hart took the runway, eventually pulling down her neon yellow mesh slip dress to proudly reveal her double mastectomy scars.
Hart initially captured the internet’s attention after attending the 2016 Afropunk festival topless, and has parlayed that spotlight into promoting breast cancer awareness for her community.
“Being a part of the QTPOC community, and seeing how little information is geared towards us [in the media], breast cancer is literally killing us, and my hope is to inspire many people across a spectrum of gender identities,” Hart told Vogue in an article published yesterday (February 12). “But as a Black queer femme, it was about pushing back against all of those who said I don’t belong—and still don’t believe I do.”