With London Fashion Week having come to a close yesterday I was originally supposed to write a post rounding up my favourite things from the catwalk. However, it came to my attention whilst watching the fashion shows, seeing vlogs of people at the shows and generally browsing FROW pictures that there didn’t seem to be many black/ethnic models, celebrities or designers having their equal share of the fashion week chaos. I’m pretty sure I did a blog post along the lines of this one maybe a year (or even two) ago so I’ll link that up if I can hunt it down. I wasn’t blinkered by the fashion world – I know it is far from diverse- but some statistics I read in various articles made me really rather angry and upset…. I thought I’d take to the blog and have a little rant.
Before I begin, I’m using prodominantly American statistics here. London Fashion Week is known to be the slightly more diverse showcase out of the top ones, but then again, that’s not much of a tough competition. The simple reason I’m not including lots of probably equally as shocking statistics from LFW is because much of the data hasn’t been released yet!
1. Last year (2014), out of 611 major magazine covers, only 119 featured black models – white models? They were featured on 567. The UK’s biggest offenders include Vogue UK who haven’t featured a solo black model on their cover in 12 YEARS. Teen Vogue and LOVE magazine were also amoungst the magazines who seemingly skipped over black models on covers in 2014. More info here.
2. Last year’s Spring/Summer catwalks in New York was made up of 80% white models. And the story continues this year with an estimated 8.7% of black models.
3. Out of the 260 designers showcasing their collections at this years NYFW, only 3 of them were African-American. GAAAAAH.
To be honest I really don’t know what to say. It’s dissappointing. Fashion week models should represent the world we live in today not this made up one that’s being shoved in our faces. I’m not asking for equal numbers and I certainly don’t believe in putting black models (similar to my beliefs of women in the workplace) into fashion shows ‘just because’. But I DO believe that we should represent ALL of society on the catwalks and that we should do this not because ‘we have to’ but because in the 21st century this is real.
For other insightful, interesting reads check out the links below: