May 11th, 2011
Fashion News, Fashion Show
On New York Magazine: No Black Models Walked in Chanel’s Cruise 2012 Collection
By Claire

It seems the house of Chanel is having a bit of a color problem, and we’re not the first to spot it.
Amy Odell over at New York Magazine’s the Cut noticed that no black models were cast for Chanel’s 2012 Cruise Collection, which took place recently in Cap d’Antibes:

She said, “The lineup included no black models, no plus-size models (Crystal Renn famously walked the Chanel resort show last year), and two Asian models (Fei Fei Sun and Shu Pei Qin). In fact no black models walked in the label’s resort show last year, the fall 2011 show, the spring 2011 couture show, or the pre-fall 2011 show.”
Well, the writing’s on the wall, isn’t it Karl?
Though Blake Lively looked awesome sitting front row in her Chanel sequined blazer and Louboutins…

I couldn’t bring myself to post about the show itself.
All the typical socialites and celebutants were there, the same ones who have been coming to those events for years. There were no signs of progress, inclusion, or diversity, even though Karl Lagerfeld has been called out on this many times, most notably in this interview with Noémie Lenoir (there’s a transcript at the bottom if you don’t speak French), and after his comments about ’round women’.

Karl just doesn’t care.

So why should you?

Source: NYMag

See Chanel Cruise 2012 attendees at

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43 Responses to “On New York Magazine: No Black Models Walked in Chanel’s Cruise 2012 Collection”

  1. Miss Smith says:

    It’s unfortunate, but I’m not surprised. After seeing the interview he had with Noemie Lenoir the first time you posted it, I think it’s clear that Karl couldn’t care less. I don’t think we should stress over it. It’s his loss.

  2. Myranda says:

    It’s quite obvious that deep down these designers hate themselves and they use clothes as a means of living as someone else. Karl used to be really big but he starved himself so he could fit boy’s size clothes. Lanvin is another one. He is a very large man but only makes clothes that go up to a size 8 or 10. So many people are so focused on trying to fit into this tiny square that says skinny and white is the thing to be and if your not, you better do whatever you can do to fit in it.

  3. artsylee says:

    I agree with Myranda. This guy is a walking contradiction. That being said, I think it matters but there isn’t much one can do on this issue. Being inclusive is the right thing to do but obviously it isn’t hurting business that he isn’t, so he must not feel that it’s a necessity. I think Claire did a good thing by not posting the event. We shouldn’t patronize his business if it’s obvious that he doesn’t give a damn about us.

  4. Love 90210 says:

    Karl is weird any he just goes through the motions, the last black girl I remember being at their resort/cruise event was Jourdan Dunn back in 09 I think it was.

    I think Karl should step down now anyway his last few collections have been a mess!! Some pieces I’m sure would have Coco turning in her grave.

  5. LivvyV says:

    @ Myranda I agree with you about Chanel but not about Elbaz of Lanvin. The reason why he makes clothes that only go up to a size 8 or 10 is because the clothes he designer are very expensive and you don’t want to make clothing for a clientele you don’t have why waste $2,000 to $3,000. And he does special orders if you are over 10. Elbaz always haves black models walking his runway and I love how he celebrates beauty of every race and woman too. As for Karl everyone else could have him. I’m not into Chanel and never was. Only thing that I would like from that company is a bag. Chanel is a company that has a dark past dealing with Nazi. Karl has showed that he has no intentions of incorporating more than one black girl at a time in his runway. I was surprised when he helped Janelle Monae with her MET Gala outfit. Which look boring as hell.

  6. esme says:

    it’s so annoying that some of the most oblivious people have the most power in the industry. isn’t fashion supposed to be innovative? karl, his designs, and his entire aesthetic have been stale and about maintaining the status quo. do something new! have a racially diverse cast of models, show how your designs work on people of different sizes, it makes a show more interesting! if high fashion was more diverse it wouldn’t make so many people feel alienated and shut out.

    and i like blake’s outfit but i think the skirt is a bit too short.

  7. Maria says:

    F. Karl.

  8. tasha says:

    Karl doesnt care for African Americans at all. I remember the remarks he made at about Seal. Yes, I do want to own a Chanel 2.55 bag but to support someone who does not care to support us… ill keep my coins

  9. dyshaun says:

    I agree with everything that has been said. Mr. “Black is a horrible word” is at it again.

    I dont support Chanel because of Karl and Ms. CoCo herself (her actions during WW2 in regards to “pro-Aryan” laws)….

    I will say that Kimora was once a muse of Lagefeld…yes it was eons ago, but baby steps? LOL

    And Karl your pants under skirts thingsy are ugly and the make your models look fat! And, and, annnnnddddd when you stand next to your “muses” (re: BOY TOYS) you just look old….and well, predatory…

  10. jenny says:

    I definitely love the Chanel brand but the man at the helm is so tactless and full of his own importance.

  11. Vonmiwi says:

    The last show he had was one that featured Jourdan Dunn and I think Chanel Iman. Will this stop women from buying the coveted Chanel brand? Not one bit.

  12. zy says:

    has anyone seen Karl? he looks like the damn crypt keeper. nothing he says holds one ounce of merit for me AT ALL. he can go lay down in his coffin and stay there for all I care. I don’t care for Chanel either and never really have since learning about Coco and her own tendencies toward racism. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that they don’t have black models walking in their shows. It’s to be expected of the ignorant. All we can do is pity them.

  13. bagladynyc says:

    Will WE still purchase Chanel clothing and accessories? Before we get mad at the Chanel team for not representing US, we need to take a look at ourselves and figure out why we would still purchase brands like Chanel.

  14. FashionOne says:

    Do a blackout to KL pockets…action speak louder than words!

  15. Elle Wills says:

    1. i agree with Tasha. i def have been saving for the classic quilted bag but i’ll keep my cash.

    2. kanye needs to stop kissing this man’s behind!

    3. i wish i could get into tracey reese to support a black american designer but she just doesnt speak to me.

    4. we need to do to chanel what we did to cristal and tommy h. (rumors or not)

  16. Elle Wills says:

    better thought, maybe we should take our money over to Louis Stewart whenever they are available for retail.

  17. Not surprising but at the same time I never see black women attend his shows which would translate to black women aren’t buying the clothing and the fake Chanel bags don’t count.

  18. tj says:

    Chanel gets an F. FAIL.

  19. Reminds me of Cristal.. If they don’t want us to buy their stuff, don’t buy it! Oh well!

  20. BrittANY says:

    I wouldn’t buy Chanel , regardless of who they cast in their shows. The shit costs too much and looks like shit. Plus Coco Chanel had problems back in the day with “other” people and I bet Karl does too. F. Chanel and Karl.

  21. Pattie says:

    Wow! I just saw that pic of Karl Lagerfeld when he was overweight and I all I can say is wow. Yeah, I agree someone really doesn’t like what they used to look like and its coming out in his shows. I am not mad at Lagerfeld. Honestly, I pity him because he isn’t happy and it shows. He wasn’t happy when he was overweight and he isn’t happy now being that thin. I think Lagerfeld is just jealous of the “round women” because they are ok with themselves. These women have a sense of self confidence and high self esteem that he never had. He has fallen to the pressure of being super thin. So in order to get back at them, he excludes them and demeans them. Its just funny how someone’s life looks so glamorous on the outside but insided its really no better than yours and in some cases its worse. He also does this to keep his clientel happy. We all know that most people who buy Chanel are rich, thin, elitest white women and they want to think they are above everyone else. Simply put they don’t want to buy what people of color are buying because they think they are better. Its all sad really. Fashion is supposed to be about creativity and pushing the envelope not about fat or thin or black or white. Well somethings just won’t ever change.

  22. AsiaA says:

    Wow, if we boycotted everything that didn’t plaster their adverts with African American models, well…there wouldn’t be many products we can use.

    I feel as if people can do what they want with their brand. In turn, the consumers can decide rather or not they buy a brand. I hold no animosity towards a designer who does hire black models in their show. Half of us didn’t care that Chanel was anti-black 10 years ago. We just went with it. Now all of a sudden, we want to be well -ersed on how Coco herself was supposedly an anti-semite???

    Miss me with that crap.

  23. hillary says:

    ” I work for an up and coming Designer of Color and she’s dealt with a PR Guy who told her that it was best to utilize a blonde or a brunette when first starting out if she wanted to get in awesome stores and inclusions on Editorials. He also told her that Black Models deosnt sell luxury and that’s why she used only white models for her first few seasons. She showed for the first time during New York Fashion Week and she used many Models of color. All she cares about really is selling, not anyones feelings. She will be reshooting her A/W 2011 Collection on Saturday with a beautiful Black Model, blonde and brunette being that she wants to show that she has diversity in her collection. If black people starts buying Luxury other then accessories then maybe the would start using more black models for shows. Its Business not personal!!

  24. hillary says:

    The use only White Models being that its the market who are buying the garments!! How many Black people walks into Chanel and purcahses a tweed suit? I haven’t seen any when I worked there!!

  25. esme says:

    @hillary- please, you don’t know exactly how many black people purchase high end clothing. second, isn’t asia one of the largest emerging markets for high end brands? white people are not the only ones buying chanel.

  26. accent says:

    why is this a big deal? They can do whatever they want with their line. Do they question how black designers aren’t using white model? No! We have to understand that people have preference. It doesn’t mean they have problem with black people. Even if they do, so what? SMH we dont like all of them so why should they like us all?

  27. I don’t see any Asian models, Indians either black people its not always about us, just because a man doesn’t cast black models at his show doesn’t mean he’s racist sometimes as a designer you cast the best template (model) to communicate a certain look, am just saying

  28. llehsal says:

    @hillary….ummm…really? They only use white models becasue they alone wear the garments? Bhahahahahah….Look…grow up!

  29. Sandra says:

    I personaly think that we are waisting our time on that issue. This has been a problem for years. Let’ s move on! As a woman of color, as much as I admired many of these designers, I am not waiting for them to give me an opportunity. Instead of talking, let’s make things happen for us. You can be part of the solution by doing your part.

  30. Tif says:

    I’ve said this numerous times on this site and I’ll say it again-stop supporting these designers!! You can’t cry injustice then turn around and support the same people you’re complaining about. Either accept it and stop complaining or take a stand.

  31. dyshaun says:

    ctfu at the ridiculous-ness she posted. ctfu

  32. dyshaun says:

    And did you link to said designers work? ? 0_o LMAO

  33. Claire says:

    @DyShaun, I linked to so others could see the ‘tone’ of the event. No links to Chanel, no worries.

  34. dyshaun says:

    Not your post @Claire; that was in response to a comment posted upthread. I def. like that you link back when you post.

    I think it was inappropriate for the “designer’s apprentice” to link to the designer’s work after she posted that inflammatory (IMO) comment.

  35. Sade says:

    Oh Please… this isn’t anything new… Just look in the magazines….That is their preferences.. its the “pure” look. He doesn’t care, I don’t care, he’s weird anyway. I wanted to be a model until I realize how shady the industry is, its either your mixed or tar dark, nothing in between… It is what it is

  36. This is sad, but I’m not surprised. My favorite magazine, Lucky, hasn’t at all in the past year, graced it’s cover with a woman of color. I’ve decided to no longer support the magazine by not renewing my subscription. I’ve written to them as well. I supported that magazine for the past decade and until they do better, I have to stop using my money to fund something that I don’t feel represents all women. Same thing for fashion. Sometimes we have to just stop paying for the clothes, the jewelry, the perfume and stand for something.

  37. [...] make real change. We can’t continue to believe there’s nothing wrong with there being no black models out of 60 spots for Chanel’s Resort 2012 collection. What do you [...]

  38. [...] against, yet some people want to pretend like this issue doesn’t exist (Karl Lagerfeld, I’m looking at YOU).  It’s probably really awesome to hide behind white privilege and not have to face the fact [...]

  39. [...] really only interested in looking at effortlessly fierce Joan Smalls, who is the queen. What most surprises me about this campaign is that Karl Lagerfeld (who shot it) even used a black person in the first [...]

  40. Denise Mah says:

    Maybe that’s just the look he’s going for? You know his “style” , it doesn’t mean he doesn’t like dark skin people or is racist. Fashion is art and he can do whatever he wants with his shows. I’m Asian and I couldn’t careless if he never used Asian models, he isn’t here to cater to everyone.

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