Fashion Week: Where's the Diversity?

Fashion Week: Where's the Diversity?


Every time I go to Fashion Week, I keep a little tally at every show, counting the women of color who appear on the runways. And at almost every show, my notepad has disappointingly few marks. Jezebel has also noticed the diversity void, noting that black women appeared on only 5% of the runways. Asian and Latina women didn't get much catwalk time, either.

I talked about the diversity issue with designer Wenlan Chia, whose Twinkle by Wenlan presentations are consistently among the most multicultural. She said that she doesn't cast models with any quotas in mind, that instead, she looks for models that reflect the world around her:

"We have an open casting, all the girls come in, and I choose the girl who I think will work the best with the clothes. Eventually I always end up using different girls from different backgrounds. I think that's what actual life is. I work with Asians, I work with black people, so this is our environment. It's very natural to me. So if I had a runway show that was all white, it's not very natural to me. It's not my real life."

It's not my real life, either, and judging by your thoughts on the issue, you'd also like to see a little more variety. Just look through this gallery of models; I know if I were casting for a fashion show or beauty campaign, I'd have plenty of gorgeous faces to work with. What do you think it would take for things to become more inclusive?

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