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  • Writer's pictureClaudio Fibonacci

The Realness Chronicles: Behind the Scenes of Willy Chavarria’s Casting Board

The Category Is Realness—Take a Look at Willy Chavarria’s Casting Board

The Category Is Realness—Take a Look at Willy Chavarria’s Casting Board


Willy Chavarria’s runway shows have become a must-see event at New York Fashion Week. This season, after being crowned Menswear Designer of the Year at the 2023 CFDA Awards, Willy Chavarria took a unique approach by directing his first short film titled “Safe from Harm.” The film showcased his fall collection in a compelling narrative that highlighted love, protection, and the need to care for one another.

The Storytelling

Chavarria’s film, “Safe from Harm,” was a departure from the traditional runway show and instead created an intimate and emotionally charged experience for the audience. The film depicted various settings such as a steamy workout space, an apartment with Catholic imagery, and a dilapidated church, each reflecting different aspects of human emotion and connection.

The Casting

One of the standout aspects of Willy Chavarria’s work is his casting choices. He celebrates diversity by showcasing Latinos, queer individuals, immigrants, and those often underrepresented in the fashion industry. Chavarria’s casting reflects his commitment to highlighting beauty in all its forms, beyond traditional standards set by glossy magazines.

Community and Inclusivity

Chavarria’s models are more than just faces on a runway; they are his friends and family. He prioritizes authenticity and realness in his brand, ensuring that his shows remain grounded in the genuine experiences of his community. By featuring individuals from different walks of life, Chavarria sends a powerful message about inclusivity and representation in fashion.

Models Spotlight

  1. Jess Cuevas Age: 46 Day job: Willy Chavarria art director Willy Chavarria show count: 6

  2. Erik aka “Chachi” Age: 30 Day job: Being Willy Chavarria’s muse Willy Chavarria show count: 6

  3. Yuji & Erika Yuji – Age: 21 Erika – Age: 42 Willy Chavarria show count: Debut

  4. Amara Gisele Age: 28 Day job: Direct support elderly caretaker Willy Chavarria show count: Debut

  5. Jonathan Age: 22 Day job: Currently working on creating a media production company Willy Chavarria show count: 2

  6. Kerolyn Shaid Age: 19 Day job: Construction/General contracting Willy Chavarria show count: 3

  7. Dilone Day job: Model and actor Willy Chavarria show count: Debut

  8. Marco Age: 25 Day job: Luxury Retail Client Advisor Willy Chavarria show count: 2

  9. Valentine Age: 25 Day job: Full-time model Willy Chavarria show count: Debut


Willy Chavarria’s commitment to authenticity, storytelling, and inclusivity sets him apart as a designer. By prioritizing realness and showcasing a diverse cast of models, Chavarria’s work resonates with audiences on a deeper level. His casting board is a reflection of his values and the sense of community he has cultivated within his brand.

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