The fashion industry, namely the four big runway shows and fashion weeks that take place in New York City, London, Milan, and Paris, has been historically white. Recently, The Diversity Coalition sent letters to the governing bodies at each of these locations asking for an end to racism on the runway. The Coalition even named specific designers who were guilty of using only white models to exhibit their collections.
According to one report, the call for diversity had a minimal effect on the designers’ choice of models. Some of the big name fashion designers used only one or two models of color in their entire lineup of 30 models. New York and London saw some improvements with Calvin Klein and Rag & Bone casting six to eight models of color. Milan and Paris did not do as well, with some designers using one model of color, or none at all.
In today’s world, we are a planet of much more diversity than ever before. It only makes sense that runway models should represent this cultural diversification. If the designers are not willing to broaden their cast, they will undoubtedly see a decline in sales in years to come.