Spring 2014 Fashion Week is just around the corner. The New York Times has reported that during the last Mercedes Benz Fashion Week only six percent of the models used were black. There were 4500 models that walked the runway, when you do the math that is 270 total. That means that most shows had under five black models walking and many had none.
I grew up in the era of the supermodel. Models such as Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell were household names. So, I grew up knowing that there was a place for me in the industry. From the late 1990’s on slowly, but surely the diversity faded away.
As an avid fashion lover I had obviously noticed the change, but seeing the actual statistic makes it real and terribly sad. I am not saying that the fair models that currently dominate the runway are not beautiful, but the fact that there are not more non-white models represented in fashion sends a powerful message.
Why the change? I know the realities of the world, but in the year 2013 we should be at more than six percent black and 17 percent non-white. There was major progress made in the 1980’s and 1990’s, so why did fashion digress?
Women of color should represent a much larger percentage than 17 percent of the women walking the runway. Much larger. Every little girl should be able to look at a runway or flip through a magazine and see someone who looks like them. No little girl should grow with one of the most major industries in the world telling her that one specific kind of beauty is truly right. A runway filled with only white models with European features tells her that.
Has my love for fashion wavered? Am I not still dying to go to Fashion week? Six percent or not the answer is definitely no. Nothing has changed, but as a woman who is Afro-Cuban and Jamaican who may one day have a daughter this issue hits home. One can only hope that if the issue is addressed enough there will be changes because the changes need to happen.
P.S- I try to keep Lex Loves Couture light, but that statistics really inspired me to say something. I would love to hear my readers point of view. Feel free to leave a comment, but please be respectful 🙂
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