#Fash­ionSoWhite

By Ro­haizatul Azhar

Esquire (Singapore) - - A Thousand Words On Our Culture -

It may seem like the fash­ion in­dus­try, in gen­eral, is on the brink of ma­jor change, with black mod­els fronting ad cam­paigns and Asian mod­els walk­ing in­ter­na­tional run­way shows, but de­spite th­ese re­cent mile­stones, fash­ion is still plagued by one thing: it re­mains so very white. And still not very rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

The re­cent Spring/Sum­mer 2016 women’s ready-to-wear shows were an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple. Of the 3,875 mod­els booked to walk in New York, Lon­don, Mi­lan and Paris, white mod­els still made up the ma­jor­ity—about 80 per­cent—of those ap­pear­ing on the cat­walk. The data, pre­sented by fash­ion news site, The Busi­ness of Fash­ion, fur- ther re­vealed that out of the 20 per­cent that rep­re­sented mi­nor­ity races, black mod­els made up slightly more than 10 per­cent, while Asians cov­ered about 6.5 per­cent.

This is de­spite the fact that there have been per­sis­tent calls for a more racially di­verse fash­ion in­dus­try since 2007, when Naomi Camp­bell and Tyson Beck­ford joined forces with for­mer model and black ac­tivist Berthann Hardi­son to call out the in­dus­try’s lack of di­ver­sity.

Don’t get me wrong; this is not to say that noth­ing is be­ing done, and that fash­ion has not tack­led the is­sue at all. But be­ing bet­ter than be­fore doesn’t ac­tu­ally equate to be­ing good per se.

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