Racism on the Fashion Week runway is well-documented, and even though NYFW 2012 was the most diverse in ages, some shows still displayed a glaring lack of diversity. It’s a problem that everyone in and around the industry is (or should be by now) hyper-aware of. Maybe awareness is being raised, but, at the same time, the pace of change seems to be extremely slow.
Case in point: When model Jourdan Dunn found out she wasn’t cast in Dior’s couture show this year, she tweeted how excited she was...that she wasn’t left out because of her skin color:
I'm normally told I'm cancelled because I'm 'coloured' so being cancelled because off my boobs is a minor : )— Jourdan Dunn (@missjourdandunn) June 30, 2013
Three cheers for progress, you guys. After walking in Jason Wu’s show on Friday, Dunn was on hand to comment about fashion activist Bethann Hardison’s recent epistolary call-out of the fashion industry that it is “no longer be accepted” that designers “consistently use one or no models of color.” When asked by Fashionista’s Leah Chernikoff if she’s noticed any “progress” in diversity since she’s been working, Dunn said:
I mean, there was a season where ethnic models were being represented and then it went back to the same routine of just using one or none at all. It seems like [non-white models] are only cast when it’s hot for one season and everyone jumps on board. It’s a look.
At this point, Fashion Week could probably use a hall monitor or something, to stay vigilant and make sure that gains in diversity aren’t strictly seasonal.
Image via AP, Joel Ryan