There's A Diversity Problem In The Fashion Industry, And It's Time To Make A Change

Time to change.

Fall 2016 fashion season has come to an end. We've enjoyed the amazing range of looks brought to us in the London, Paris, Milan and New York shows. But while we saw great diversity in the garments, it was hard to ignore the lack of diversity in the people modeling them. 

On March 16, theFashionSpot published its runway diversity report, and the results were concerning to say the least. The breakdown, which combined data from the four cities — 312 shows and 8,727 models in all — revealed that 75.25 percent of the models were White, 9.22 percent were Black, and a mere 7.48 percent were Asian. 

All together, less than a quarter of the models walking the runway this year were people of color.  


That said, this year was an improvement, albeit a small one, over the 2015 Fall season, which featured 80 percent white models, as Racked points out. And so it's worth spotlighting some of the victories that have helped improve the diversity problem in the fashion industry. For starters, we'd like to call attention to a man who is in no need of more attention — Kanye West. 

Kanye's Yeezy Season 3 show in NYFW was entirely made up of models of color.

Kanye wasn't the only one to make sure his show featured models representing a variety of ethnicities and cultures. The Huffington Post reports Zac Posen's show had a cast composed of 87 percent people of color, and Chromat's cast was 85 percent models of color. 

New York City came first in terms of featuring the most racially diverse cast, and Paris was second. 

In addition to select designers making sure their shows represent a wide-range of people, media outlets calling attention to diversity failures in the industry, and public figures such as casting director James Scully, British model Jourdan Dunn and actress Naomi Campbell coming forward in favor of more diversity, are helping to push progress a little faster. 

Racked highlights James Scully's Instagram post, where he makes an amazing point. 

"So if you're the designer the whole world is looking to right now how, great that your message is one of exclusion which is never in fashion," he writes in the caption.

To learn more about how people are working to make a change and bring more diversity to the fashion industry, visit advocacy organization the Diversity Coalition, launched by fashion activist Bethann Hardison. 


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