The fashion industry tries to evoke the sentiment that they are making great strides when it comes to accommodating diversity, but the evidence shows that they are in fact still reluctant to fully utilize models of color.
New York Fashion has been criticized by the likes of veteran models, Iman and Bethann Hardison for not showcasing a fair number of Black models on the runway.
But the issue extends far beyond the coveted tents as fashion magazines are also refusing to embrace a more cultural approach to their identity.
The Fashion Spot investigated 44 main publications and the results were far from encouraging – in fact they were downright disappointing. Out of a total of 611 covers, white models garnered 567 covers while models of color were only featured on 119 covers.
That certainly doesn’t sound like progress and it looks like the worst of the lot is Vogue U.K., which remarkably hasn’t had a model of color on their cover since Naomi Campbell had that honor nearly 12 years ago!
Other offenders in this category include, Harper’s Bazaar U.S. Vogue Netherlands, Vogue Paris, Teen Vogue, Vogue Russia, Vogue Ukraine, LOVE, Numero, and Porter – all of which didn’t feature any models of color for the entire year.
Vogue Japan surprisingly opted to use white models for most of the year and only used a model of Japanese decent once.
At least Vogue India and Vogue Taiwan showed more flexibility and chose to showcase only models of color for their covers.
This is clearly a searing reminder that the fashion industry at large still maintains its very skewered and narrow view of what is deemed globally appealing and viable -and in a world that is progressively multi-cultural, it is proof that those views are unmistakably outdated.