Recently Naomi Campbell has spoken about how the fashion industry is “still plagued by racism”. For some reason casting agents are still hesitating before casting models of colour. After examining a few of last season’s catwalks from NYFW a lack of coloured models was very apparent. Sky news states that there were 13 shows with only white models and “with only 9.1% Asian, 6% black and 2% Latina”. Which got me thinking why high fashion catwalks are not being rational about including models from all ethnicities? Is it because of the designers? Do coloured models not fit their concept?
WIDOWSANDMCGUINESS(1996)page23.-”without the designers collection the fashion circus would not exist. models would still find limited work in advertising or the beauty business, but without the fashion industry their power to sell and market might never have been discovered”.
What is it keeping casting directors from being fair?
LYNCH(1999)page86-”would argue that by bringing black beauty out of the closet and on stage to white aswell as black audiences, [it] played a significant role in initiating a movement that will culminate in wider appreciation for black beauty and arts both in Europe and the United States.”
I began to analyse other catwalks when I remembered Victoria’s Secret. Year after year they include models from all ethnicities and backgrounds; these models promote fit and healthy bodies, not the “anorexic size zeroes” that surround the fashion catwalks of today. Is it because the fashion industry focuses on the clothing and don’t care about the girls underneath? This year the VS webpage was full of “how to train like an angel” video’s to help all those girls out there who admit it or not, want to look like a VS Angel. It was even rumoured that VS could cast their first transgender model Carmen Carrera. Can we really get more open-minded than that? So how come certain companies manage to cast a range of diverse girls but Calvin Klein can’t?
THOMAS(2000)page53.-”for America I was safe because I was foreign. They don’t have a hard time dealing with black people, they have a hard time dealing with black Americans” says Iman”
“Tokenism does exist on the runway, which is why Calvin Klein will put one black girl in their show every odd season. They do it to not get in trouble; they don’t do it because they believe black women should be on that runway.”
Luckily since Bethann Hardison, Naomi Campbell and Iman wrote they’re “Shame List” including many popular names that had very little or no diversity in their shows, Calvin Klein added over 5 coloured models and others gained 3 or 4 which is pleasing for now but I’m sure the Diversity Coalition will be needing more than 3 or 4 girls before they put pen to paper again.
LYNCH,A.(1999)Dress,genderand cultural changes.New York,Berg
Sustainable Fashion- Why throw out last season?
We all know about “the fashion cycle” and how trends are always coming around again. Although this may seem sustainable; one big cycle, the fashion industry struggles with sustainability. Because even though we know about fashion’s cycle, we still feel the need to refresh our wardrobes. Even the pieces that never go out of style (the LBD) it still gets renewed every season, I know I’ve bought plenty! Why is it we are never satisfied? What’s so wrong with having one? BLACK(2011)page43.-” the best thing fashion designers can do at present is to offer a better choice to consumers- we must accept that a dark side exists and ‘there is no shape without shadow’ – but demonisation is not the way forward” BEYONDGREEN(2008)page15.-”the feeling that less is more and longevity and sustainability will be reflected in the way we buy more vintage clothing, share more wardrobes and swap garments.” Yet we