Beyond Fashion, Beyond POC
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Dear Fashion Week : There’s No Such Thing As Diversity


This week I did something I haven’t done in years : I watched Paris Fashion Week live Shows. Lanvin, Etam, H&M, Balmain, Balenciaga, etc. Fashion was great and the celebs were entertaining.  Then I got really furious. Furious about two things, well three actually :

  1. Models were freakingly skinny
  2. I could count on one hand the number of models that weren’t white.
  3. I realized that there are things that doesn’t change.

So I did another thing I haven’t done in years : I decided to read this month’s Vogue Issue.

Remember this cover ?

march swifty-karlie-vogue-13feb15-01

It’s kind of giving me a Thelma & Louise vibe, but instead of being rapist-killing bad asses running from the law, they’re two rich girls who bake cookies and whisper Sex and the City quotes into each other’s ears while cuddling on a $5,000 bedspread.That’s for the fun quote thanks to Dlisted.

So while going through the huge amount of advertising featuring Cara, Karlie, Gisèle and other famous faces in this magazine, I decided to count. You know what did I count? I counted the number of ads that used a non-white face on it.


Only 15 non-white models made a pose in this 600 pages magazine. The Fashion Bible they call it…

So here we are… pretending to address the big diversity issue. Well in fact we are not.

“The conversation in the fashion world about diversity has been amped up over the past few seasons, but unfortunately, designers haven’t really broadened their minds about what faces to cast — there hasn’t been a drastic difference on the runways.” _ Jezebel 

fashion week stats white non white

Then, what can we do ? How can we battle so that we can make things change? Who is to blame ? Who have the authority?

Shall we accuse the designers? “Hey why won’t you use more models of colors” asked Naomi Campbells on this topic, “We want to, you’re right, you’re right but it doesn’t happen!” said the designers to one of the most famous black supermodel of history.

Eyes are on an industry that season after season watches fashion design houses consistently use of one or no models of color.

No matter the intention, the result is racism._ Naomi Campbell

But still, in this matter, I cannot help but realize that the New York fashion week did well better than european fashion week (London, Milan, and Paris). Why is that? Why does American always has to do it first before European start thinking about it ?

This is why I decided to repost this post that is running out on Tumblr.


“This day was a day planned by the black community to celebrate black beauty in a society that systematically oppresses them and mainly only celebrates white beauty, pressuring them to live up to the beauty standards of a race that they are not even a part of.

Literally every other day is celebrate white beauty day considering

  • 79 percent of runway models are white

    PFW15 @balenciaga

    Pic from @milnaestevao

  • According to the okcupid quickmatch scores white women won the overall general preference of almost every race of men rating them
  • 82% of magazines feature white women on their covers while only 18% feature women of color (white people make up 63% of the population so this is a HUGE overrepresentation)
  • Magazines that do feature black women are constantly white washing them
  • Skin whitening cream/bleach/hair relaxers/extensions are forced upon black women who are constantly pressured to use harsh chemicals to change their appearance from natural and black and beautiful to imitate white beauty in their skin color and hair texture” _ ( Black Culture)


vogue shoot

I had asked Franca Sozzani,  “Why do you think that it’s so difficult to get people on board with diversity in fashion?” … Franca answered “You know it’s simple Bethann, people have to be reminded.”_ Bethann Hardison on diversity in Fashion (

So in order to challenge the industry here’s a list of the top non-white models that I strongly endorse :

models diversity 2

Read More on the subject : 

The Diversity Coalition‘s open letter to the CFDA
New York Fashion Week: Diversity Talks But White Faces Walk
Models Rally Behind the Cause of Fashion Diversity
The unofficial theme of New York Fashion Week is diversity
Naomi Campbell and Iman Demand Diversity on Runway

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: The Rise of Lupita : Because She Worth It « Beyond Celebrity

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