Jezebel reviewed runway lineups to see if designers were including more models of color. The result? There was definitely an uptick:


They say, “There were 116 labels that held shows at the recently ended New York fashion week; that’s 3,697 spots in runway and presentation lineups. Of those, 668 were given to models of color ” which, at just over 18%, is 6% better than one year ago. (And certainly better than in the fall of 2007, when WWD reported that one-third of the New York shows used no models of color at all.)

They went on to say, however, that 7 shows had no models of color. These included: Altuzarra, Davidelfin, Jenni Kayne, Julian Louie, Koi Suwannagate, Temperley London, and Vera Wang Lavender Label.

They also found that 19 shows had models of color, but no black models. The perpetrators? Alexandre Herchcovitz, Behnaz Sarafpour, Costello Tagliapietra, Erin Fetherston, Halston, Marchesa, Max Azria, Milly, Miss Sixty, Monique Lhuillier, Nicole Miller, Philosophy, Reem Acra, Tibi, TSE, United Bamboo, Vena Cava, VPL, and Vivienne Tam.

Do you think differently about a brand if they don’t make diversity a priority?

Say your peace and read the rest of the article here.

17 thoughts on “Jezebel Asks: Were there more Models of Color during Fashion Week?”

  1. I definately think a little differently about some of these designers who didn’t use black models. Its funny that some of these same designers are sooo supported my black actresses and celebs but yet they still choose not to represent us on their runways. Its absolutely appalling.

  2. I definitely feel differently (re: negatively) about a label that doesn’t use Black models or models of color. Sad to see a lot of big names on that list that are worn by a lot of black celebrities that support/advertise for these designers.

  3. I hate to say it but yea… it makes a difference. I look at these labels and make a strong mental note because I’m a consumer and the thing I have the biggest control over is my dollars. Duly noted.

  4. Isn’t it so funny that some of the ethnic designers such as Vera Wang hardly use ethnic girls. You would think these would be the designers scrounging to find ethnic girls

  5. The designers know their clientele. If more blacks start buying their clothes, they would include more models. It’s simple marketing as far as I’m concerned.

  6. The thing is T, that for some, especially Reem Acra, black celebs in particular wear his clothes all the time. Gabrielle Union, Halle Berry and Viola Davis at the Oscars. They do buy his clothes and Max Azria? I personally own 10 of those dresses. We do buy, they just don’t value us as customers.

  7. I’m pretty sure that the number of Asian buyers for high end pieces is probably greater than, or equal to, the number of white buyers. Asian models are also a small minority in these fashion shows. With that in mind, T, what would be your assumption as to why Asian women are not as prominent in fashion shows?

    my intentions are not to offend, I just really want to know how one would explain this. Being that you specifically said “blacks”.

  8. Why can’t designers and Hollywood types be as progressive as they claim to be. A progressive designer should see his/her clothes to be designed for all races and should want that representation in his/her shows. The same goes to Hollywood, there should be more people of color in leading roles.

  9. Certainly an improvement but still a disappointment especially when you look at the brands who didn’t. Shame. Not just for African Americans but Latinos and Asians as well.

    I’m happy that we’ve made a bit of an improvement though.
    Time is on our side!

  10. Max Azria of all should be ashmed. Everytime I log onto a blog/site there is always a black celeb in one of his pieces. Its sad. Guess we can’t have it all. Black Prez and the presence of Black models during fashion week.

    Chanel Iman did mention in Page 6 that the designers want the models to look uniformed as possible and not to have the focus on them but more so the clothes but I am very aware of the models ethnicty when the come down the runway because it is rare.

  11. I believe the Asians fetishize whites, so designers do not need to sell their clothing to Asians by including them in their shows. I can’t say this for Asian-Americans, but it’s certainly the case throughout China, Japan, and Korea. Have you noticed how huge Paris and Nikki Hilton are over there?

    Black celebrities continue to buy their clothes, so they do not need to change the formula. Brands that sell heavily to the black community at large are not the brands we tend to discuss on this site.

    I personally care more about having more politicians of color because they directly impact communities. Most people of color don’t know or care who these designers are.

  12. I do think differently about designers that do not make an effort to diversify their shows. However, I think part of the problem may be just in the sheer numbers of minorities as high fashion models. I would be interested in seeing the statistics of how many ethnic models were either actively seen for these casting calls or available at all. I mean, what percentage of the high fashion modeling community is ethnic — and how does this compare to the percentage represented at these shows?

    That being said, choosing to not include even one beautiful woman of color or of a different race seems like a very deliberate action. Some of these designers should rethink this practice, or it could eventually have a big impact on them.

  13. @PerfectLocks

    It could certainly have a positive impact for them to include models of color but I doubt that it would have a negative impact for them not to. It’s been the status quo forever, and as I said earlier, celebrities and wealthier people of color continue to purchase their clothing. Again, why fix it if it’s not broken?

  14. It’s not white society’s job to bring us into the fold. It’s our own responsibility to represent and acknowledge black designers, search them out and drop their name in our music, and wear the brands on the red carpet. But we’re so busy promoting those who’s don’t care nothing ’bout us!!!

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