Breaking! Fashion Ads Are More Diverse Than Ever

Photo: Courtesy of Calvin Klein 205W39NYC.
It's fashion month again, and as we prep for the deluge of blurry snaps of gowns short and long, in our newsfeeds, it's helpful to remember the models who wear them. Thanks to the diligent work of The Fashion Spot, we've got yet another seasonal diversity report from this season's offering of advertising campaigns. You'll be happy to know that the fall 2017 campaign lineup was the most diverse — ever.
So, let's break it down: In terms of race, progress has been made, but it's still pretty dismal — especially when compared with its counterpart, the runways. At 30.4%, this season's campaigns saw a 5.9% increase in the use of nonwhite models, up from 24.5% in spring 2017. It's the highest record since the online publication began recording the data over two years ago (and, let's be real, probably ever). A most notable campaign that exemplifies this was Gucci's pre-fall advertisements, which featured an all-black cast. And Miu Miu's fall 2017 campaign, which saw a majority non-white lineup.
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In other categories, the findings saw a .1% dip in the amount of curvy models in campaigns, which equates to just 10 models of diverse sizes out of a total 457. Despite 26 plus-size models who walked last season's runways, their presence on the advertising side makes up a whopping 2.2% overall. Models like Alessandra Garcia Lorido and Emma Breschi, who walked for Dolce & Gabbana and Vivienne Westwood respectively, also have robust followings on Instagram, a sign that the social media #influencer isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Where the visibility of trans and mature models are concerned, this season's campaigns saw improvements, though minuscule in both categories. Campaigns featuring trans models were up to six castings, versus fall 2016, which had zero. And fall 2017 saw 14 mature models across the pool of 457 appearances, which is up from last season's sole ad featuring Lauren Hutton. We can thank Proenza Schouler, Sies Marjan, and Helmut Lang, for these numbers, and their diverse casts which also featured "real people."
So, why are these reports important? Well, apart from the obvious, it's a report card of sorts, a way to hold a mirror up to the fashion industry, and hold it accountable for its progress (and steps backward) when it comes to comprehensive inclusivity. It's one thing if designers and photographers are talking the talk, but let's make sure they're walking the walk, too.
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