Runway Diversity Continues to Improve (Incrementally)

Models backstage at Chromat’s Fall 2017 show pose with designer Becca McCharen (center). Image via Getty.
Models backstage at Chromat’s Fall 2017 show pose with designer Becca McCharen (center). Image via Getty.

New York Fashion Week continues to offer the most diverse casting on its runways yet again, thanks mostly to innovative, smaller labels like Gypsy Sport and Chromat which cast not out of tokenism or fear of backlash but out of genuine inclusivity. Overall, though, every city improved the diversity on their runways for Fall 2017, to varying degrees, with London coming in second, Paris third and Milan dead last.


These stats come via The Fashion Spot’s biannual diversity report, which chronicles race, age, size, and gender identities within runway casting. In New York, models of color were up slightly from Spring 2017 to 31.5%, but London had the most improved jump, from Spring’s 23.5% models of color to Fall’s 28.4%. And models across all categories trended upward, with 21 models over 50 walking in all four cities, plus 30 plus-size models and 12 trans models; while those numbers are paltry in the overall scheme of 7035 models total, they are the best they have ever been. Um... great, I guess?! The trans models were all cast in New York.

Chromat was the most inclusive show this season, according to The Fashion Spot, taking up the mantle for previously held by Yeezy; the innovative sportswear line designed by Becca McCharen cast 77% models of color, five trans women and five plus-size models. And at the opposite end of the spectrum, Junya Watanabe continues casting all-white models, as did Undercover and Trucardi.

And so, while the numbers are increasing little by little, the casting reflects not just runway inclusion but the shortcomings of the entire fashion industry; as it becomes increasingly owned by conglomerates, the concept of its consumers remain narrow and short-sighted. The entire breakdown and all the stats are here.


hercules q. einstein

Why do they all look like they are drooling a string of saliva in the photo? Is that jewelry? WTF.