Photo: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana.
In news that will surprise no one who's seen a fashion show this season, The Fashion Spot reports that designers still have a long way to go in bringing racial diversity to the runway. TFS analyzed 151 shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, and found that overall, a whopping 82% of models cast were white. Black and Asian models made up 6.8% of the castings each, while Latinas comprised a mere 1.8%.
TFS further broke down its analysis by city, and found that New York runways were the most racially diverse — with "only" 79% of its runway models being white. For a deeply multicultural city like New York (where just under 44% of the population is white, according to a 2013 American Community Survey), these are obviously disappointing statistics.
Some designers who bucked the trend included Zac Posen and Peter Som, both of whom cast more than 50% models of color (you know, like how the actual world is), while designer Ashish Gupta made a major statement by casting only Black models at his presentation in London.
We'd like to say that it's fashion's move, but few in the industry are unaware of the problem, which has, after all, been brought to its attention before. But, despite the activism of Bethann Hardison's Diversity Coalition, and numerous high-profile reports everywhere from The New York Times to Jezebel, our runways remain overwhelmingly white, while designers and casting directors pass the blame back and forth. At some point, you have to wonder if most people in the industry care — excluding, of course, all those models of color waiting to get their big break.