Surprise surprise, the fashion industry and its various outlets are still dominated by white models!
We all know that while magazines are more than comfortable appropriating other cultures and showcasing them out of context on white models, for some reason it has a lot of difficulty embracing actual diversity. Time and time again, Jezebel has reported the lack of diversity on the runways of New York Fashion Week, and according to research by The Fashion Spot, the same goes for magazine covers.
The Fashion Spot surveyed 44 major print publications, and found that of the 611 total covers, white models (referring to anyone on the cover, not necessarily a model by profession) were featured on 567 of them, while models of color ("categorized as those who appear to be nonwhite or of mixed backgrounds") only appeared on 119 covers.
Of course there were some publications that did not feature models of color at all: Harper's Bazaar U.S. and U.K., Vogue U.K., Vogue Netherlands, Vogue Paris, Vogue Ukraine, Vogue Russia, Teen Vogue, Numéro, LOVE and Porter. And while Vogue Japan and Vogue Korea opted for white models for most of their covers (Vogue Japan used one model of Japanese descent all year), Vogue UK was an even bigger disappointment. As Jihan Forbes writes:
The biggest offender, however, goes to Vogue U.K., which hasn't featured a woman of color on a solo cover in 12 years (Naomi Campbell got that honor). One of Britain's most prominent and in-demand models, Jourdan Dunn, wasn't afforded a cover, despite her impressive body of work and overall popularity. Yet Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss were given two covers each.
On the other hand, Vogue India only used models of color and nearly all Vogue Taiwan covers featured models of color. So there is some good news? Still, the lack of diversity featured in the biggest and most mainstream voices in fashion is striking and it remains a huge problem.
Image via Vogue.