Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Follow-Up: The Diversity Coalition & The Fashion Industry

The discussion about a possible link between fashion and racism is not a completely new one. Five years ago, Vogue published an article titled "Is Fashion Racist?". The magazine sold out overnight (via). Bethann Hardison, supermodel of the 1970s, activist, founder and spokeswoman of the Diversity Coalition, recently drew attention to the Fashion Week. In an open letter to e.g. the Council of Fashion Designers of America (via) she named fifty fashion houses that used "one or no model of color" (via).
"No matter the intention, the result is racism," it read. "Not accepting another based on the color of their skin is clearly beyond aesthetic when it is consistent with the designer's brand. Whether it's the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models reveals a trait that is unbecoming to modern society. It can no longer be accepted, nor confused by the use of the Asian model." (via)
According to Jezebel, 80% of the models at the New York Fashion Show were "white", the remaining 20% were "black, Asian and Latina" (via); 6% of the models appearing in February's Fashion Week were black (via).



Donyale Luna (1945-1979), the first African American model on the cover of British Vogue, via and via



In her letter, Hardison pointed out that designers were trying to get around diversity by using Asian models who were closer to "white". In an interview, she stated that the prospects for black models used to be better in the past (via). Hardison appeared on ABC with Iman and Naomi Campbell who both actively support the Diversity Coalition (via), other models such as Jessica White joined the chorus of criticism concerning a lack of diversity. Apparently, there have also been positive reactions to the letter. Good news, as fashion is about creating trends that are often not limited to clothes ...

14 comments:

  1. What a beauty!!!! Oh my Gosh!

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    1. Yes, she really was. Thanks for dropping by, Karen!

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  2. Donyale Luna, she's legend. Tragic life story.

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    1. Tragic, yes, absolutely. Thanks for commenting and a wonderful good morning!

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  3. Excellent follow-up posting!

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    1. Many(!) thanks for your lovely feedback, Abbie and Kenneth!

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  4. This is a really, really complex content matter. Thanks for the ongoing thoughtful inspirations, Laura. Big thanks - again - for making your sharp thoughts and quality findings available through this very blog. That's not to be taken for granted.

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    1. Tim, thank you so much for your extraordinary, amazing, wonderful, smashing, fantastic, ... feedback - that is so kind of you. I do appreciate the quality comments I get (which I again do not take for granted) and I always look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again.

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  5. Tim is so d#*$ right! Thanks, Laura. :-)

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  6. Indeed! Well said, Tim!

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    1. Thank you, Noah. That's really kind of you!

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