UK modeling agencies have been slammed for spreading a message of “blatant” racism in the industry. Dee Doocey, a former managing director of an international fashion company and now a Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the London Assembly, has announced an emergency summit to examine the lack of ethnic diversity in the fashion world.
She told the Independent that tackling the seemingly-inherent prejudice within the industry was utterly essential. “I can’t remember being sent a model who wasn’t white,” Ms Doocey commented. “I don’t know if it’s racism, or just the fashion industry languishing in the doldrums, but it needs to change. Agencies only seem interested in leggy white blonde girls.” However other insiders have gone a step further, stressing that many industry bodies are entirely unashamed of their discriminatory policies.
Maya Schulz, managing director at Acclaim models, told the newspaper: “I always find it more difficult putting black faces out there. The racism you come across is not underlying, it’s blatant.” Ms Schultz, who runs an agency dedicated to employing ethnically diverse models, continued: “People will say things like ‘don’t send any more black models’, and one designer even said black people didn’t suit his clothes. And we’re not talking about small designers here; it’s all the big ones.”
The announcement of the summit followed claims last month from Naomi Campbell, who alleged that her skin colour was the reason for never having featured on the cover of British Vogue magazine. However, she has actually been a cover star on eight different occasions.