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"On the evening of March 24th, the School of Interior Design of Ryerson University in the heart of downtown Toronto, open its doors to host Project Diversity; a student-run fashion show that challenged the traditional fashion model and showcased individuals of various ages, genders, sizes, abilities, appearances and ethnicities.

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As the capstone project of Ryerson Fashion Communication student Kirthiga Rajanayagam, the evening presentation was aimed at empowering models and allowing the fashion industry to re-imagine the dominant beauty ideals. 

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Kirthiga was well spoken, eloquent and handled the media like a pro. She spoke of her vision, her inspiration, and connected with the full house crowd as she opened the show.

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I was fortunate to be able to attend this inspiring event, and was excited to capture our very own model Ophilia Alleyne on the runway, along with other models who were there to disrupt the traditional beauty norm.

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Professionally organized and executed like a veteran, Kirthiga and her team of Ryerson staff, students and volunteers delivered a memorable and emotionally charged show. As each model walked the runway, their voice was heard on a pre-recorded sound bite, talking about their views on traditional beauty standards, on their self esteem, and how this event allowed them to see beauty, including their own, from a difference perspective.

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With media, fashion icons, students and guests from all walks of life, the event had a refreshingly honest and diverse flavour. Congratulations to Kirthiga and the entire team. Little by little, and together in this industry, we will `disrupt the norm`. Project Diversity on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1407868786136625/ Photos by Stefanie Augusteijn Photography.

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