Posts Tagged ‘Runway’

No Black Models Need Apply

October 18, 2007

Amid the rococco red, freesia and metallics on the runway this fashion season, one color was noticeably absent: black. During Fashion Week in New York, Paris and Milan, which began in September and concluded the first week in October, hardly any black models graced the runways.

Only a third of the shows in New York used any black models at all, with only one or two black faces visible in a blond-haired and blue-eyed monochromatic sea.

The New York Times reported on this fashion faux paus Monday, saying the lack of black models on the runway has implications that extend beyond the fashion industry:

“It is not just a handful of genetically gifted young women who are hurt by this exclusion,” wrote Guy Trebay. “Vast numbers of consumers draw their information about fashion and identity from runways, along with cues about what, at any given moment, the culture decrees are the new contours of beauty and style.”

Black women have rarely appeared on the cover of Vogue, W and Harper’s Bazaar or modelled for high fashion houses like Givenchy, Prada or Yves St. Laurent. Though white models have typically outnumbered black models, some fashion heavyweights have become so vexed that they launched an anti-racism protest against the fashion industry, saying the industry is more racist than it has ever been. Notable names like Iman, Tyson Beckford, Liya Kebede, Tyra Banks, and Naomi Campbell are involved. Campbell  is now boycotting British Vogue.

But not every fashion show is absent of black models. Designers Heatherette used 10 black models in their show during Fashion Week. The duo appeared on the Tyra Banks Show to talk about diversity in the fashion industry.

tyra – heatherette on black models