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On The Runways Of Milan, Color Just Wasn't Considered Chic

Illustration for article titled On The Runways Of Milan, Color Just Wasnt Considered Chic

We've been continuing to count models of color as the fall 2008 designer collections are shown around the globe, and although things were not good in New York and London, Milan was the worst so far. The runways were overwhelmingly white. (That's the Gucci lineup, at left.) Our own Maria-Mercedes Lara ran the numbers: Of thirty-seven runway shows, there 1,084 opportunities to send out a model. Asian models walked 28 times, Latina models walked 17 times, and black models walked 14 times. Keep in mind we're counting instances of models on a runway and not the models themselves; Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman, for example, were in more than one show. What's really interesting is how many shows by big-name Italian designers had absolutely zero diversity. (Keep that in mind the next time you consider buying a Fendi purse or anything by Jil Sander!) Some examples, and percentage breakdowns, after the jump.

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Shows featuring black models included MaxMara, Prada (?!?!) and Bottega Veneta. Of the 1,084 instances of a model on the runway, a model of color was used 59 times. That's a mere 5%.

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Illustration for article titled On The Runways Of Milan, Color Just Wasnt Considered Chic

The "diversity" was broken down thusly: A black model was used 14 times, an Asian 28 times, and a Latina 17 times. We included Bruna Tenorio because she is of indigenous Brazilian descent, but also noted when Spanish models Barbara Garcia or Sheila Marquez were used, as they offer an alternative to the pale blond Eastern European image that so dominates the runways.

Illustration for article titled On The Runways Of Milan, Color Just Wasnt Considered Chic
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As seen here, the instances of an Asian model on the Milan runways are almost double the instances of a black model. Since Milan is considered the capital of fashion, can one assume it is not fashionable to be black?

Illustration for article titled On The Runways Of Milan, Color Just Wasnt Considered Chic
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A black model was sent out fourteen times out of 1,084 looks during Milan fashion week. That is 1%.

Here are how some of the top shows panned out:

D&G
Black Models: 0
Asian Models: 2 (Hye Park, Dual Kim)
Latina Models: 0 (Although Spanish model Shelia Marquez and Brazilian bombshell Isabeli Fontana did walk)
White Models: 43
Total Models: 45

Emilio Pucci
Black Models: 0
Asian Models: 0
Latina Models: 0
White Models: 25

Etro
Black Models: 0
Asian Models: 0
Latina Models: 1 (Bruna Tenorio, of indigenous Brazilian decent. Shelia Marquez also walked)
White Models: 45
Total Models: 47

Fendi
Black Models: 0
Asian Models: 0
Latina Models: 0
White Models: 24
Total Models: 24

Gianfranco Ferre
Black Models: 1 (Kinee Diouf)
Asian Models: 1 (unidentified)
Latina Models: 1 (Bruna Tenorio)
White Models: 35
Total Models: 38

Gucci
Black Models: 0
Asian Models: 0
Latina Models: 0 (Shelia Marquez walked)
White Models: 25
Total Models: 25

Jill Sander
Black Models: 0
Asian Models: 0
Latina Models: 0
White Models: 32
Total Models: 32

Giorgio Armani
Black Models: 1 (Yordanos Teschager)
Asian Models: 3 (unidentified, Eugenia Mandzhieva, Han Jin)
Latina Models: 1 (Bruna Tenorio; though Barbara Garcia and Penelope also walked)
White Models: 37
Total Models: 43

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Earlier:
Miuccia Prada Puts End To Fashion Week Apartheid!
Fashion Week Runways Were Almost A Total Whitewash
Designer: Fashion Runways "Are Full Of White Dogs"
Modeling Matriarch Continues To Demand Diversity On The Runways
Is Prada To Blame For the Lack Of Black Models?

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DISCUSSION

dodai
Dodai Stewart

@ineffable.me: I mean ethnically she is German. There are many Germans born and living in Brazil — her last name is Bündchen. From Wikipedia:

Gisele is from Southern Brazil, a region whose population is largely composed of Brazilians of German descent. Bündchen is of distant German ancestry in both sides of her family: her great-great-grandparents immigrated to Brazil from Germany. In regards to her ethnic background, Bündchen was quoted:

"I was born in Horizontina, a town in the backcountry of (Brazilian) state Rio Grande do Sul. The town was once mainly colonized by Germans. In the school which I attended, learning German was actually obligatory from third grade on.