If we could imagine a world where the fashion industry was a leader in racial equality, this season's Fashion Month is getting us one step closer to it. For several years now, The Fashion Spot has kept the industry honest by tallying the rising and declining levels of diversity from season to season. The reports tally everything from race to size to gender, celebrating designers who champion diversity, and calling out those who, well, ignore it.
After counting 266 major shows and tallying 8,258 catwalk appearances between all four fashion capitals, it seems that SS18 was the most diverse season yet. In terms of race, 69.8% of castings were white, with 30.2% being women of colour — a 2.3% increase from last season with New York Fashion Week ranking as the most diverse with 36.9% models of colour. It should also be noted (though, not overly celebrated) that, for the first time in its 163-year history, a model of colour opened Louis Vuitton. The most racially inclusive shows, though, were Kenzo, Sophia Webster, Ashish, Chromat, and Tome.
This season also saw a record 93 appearances of plus-size/curve models, too, which was up from last season's 30 castings. (For context, SS18 featured only 16 plus-size models). 90 of the 93 appearances were made in New York, and the only headline of similar nature to come out of the Europe shows were at Alexander McQueen, where two curvy models walked the catwalk. Noteworthy models Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine, Sabina Karlsson, and newcomer Natalie Nootenboom all shared the same catwalks as models like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Kaia Gerber. According to the report, Milan was the only city to forego featuring a single plus-size model.
In terms of transgender and non-binary visibility, 45 transgender models and four non-binary models walked major and semi-major catwalks this season. That's quite the uptick from last season's 12 castings across just five shows. Also making headlines was model Teddy Quinlivan, who's spent the past few years walking hundreds of shows for top-tier designers, and who came out as transgender. Prior to this season, AW17 saw ten castings of transgender models, and SS17, just eight.
For age, 27 models over the age of 50 walked the catwalks this season. That's six more than AW17, which makes the uptick a significant organic growth, though we'd still like to see a higher number in this category. To note: The L'Oréal Paris show that didn't actually show a SS18 line but featured the largest number of mature models was left out of the report. New York, again, led the charge in this category.
We may not be there yet, but the industry is slowly but surely inching its way to total and radical inclusivity. Head over to The Fashion Spot to read more about how this season was the most diverse Fashion Month yet.