By Rohaizatul Azhar
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.