The Autumn 2019 Runways Were Only Really Inclusive Racially

Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images.
The good news is that Fashion Month continues to maintain its commitment to inclusivity when it comes to race and age. The bad news: that progress isn't expanding to different sizes and gender. On Monday, The Fashion Spot released its bi-annual diversity report, tallying up all of the the Autumn 2019 model appearances across New York, London, Milan, and Paris.
In February, of the 7,300 models who walked in 221 shows, about two of every five cast were non-white. That's 38.8%, or a 2.7 point increase from spring 2019's findings. New York was the most racially diverse of all four fashion weeks. Paris came in second, bumping London (35.7%) out of the way, with 39% models of colour cast. Milan came in last with 31.8% but it was the first time, The Fashion Spot noted, that the models of colour cast exceeded 30%.
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While the models over the age of 50 declined on the New York runways, European designers cast 36 50-and-over models, compared to 27 during the spring 2018 season, and 13 in fall 2018. New York casted 13, Paris 10 (all but one were either featured in the Tommy x Zendaya or Balenciaga show) Milan featured six, and London had five.
The number of plus-size appearances declined across all cities, though TFS maintains this season saw the second-largest number of non-straight-size castings to date at 30 (falling from 38 in spring 2018). New York showed 37 — including 25 models of colour and one transgender plus model of colour — Paris featured nine (again, thanks to the Tommy x Zendaya show), London showed one, which was better than Milan who included none.
As far as female transgender and non-binary models, after last season's all-time high with 91, during the fall 2019 shows, only 56 walked during Fashion Month. New York led the way with 30 (down from 53), Paris featured 12, London's shows included six, and Milan featured two more than the season before with eight.
The final verdict? Milan is still severely lacking in diversity, and if it were not for Tommy x Zendaya, Gypsy Sport, Chromat, Christian Siriano, Prabal Gurung, Eckhaus Latta, Burnett, Simone Rocha and Balenciaga, The Fashion Spot notes this report would be very different. But again, it begs the question: do diversity reports in fashion even work?
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