This week started off with more good news regarding the improvement of racial diversity in the fashion world. Not only did we get an unusually diverse casting at the Christian Dior Haute Couture show, we also got previews from Fall/Winter campaigns by major designers that cast several non-white models. DSquared went for an interesting concept in its Fall campaign, which was shot by photographers Mert & Marcus, that involves a cast consisting solely of black male models and female models of Asian descent. Chanel booked two Asians for the Fall campaign, Korean model Soo Joo Park and Japanese beauty Chiharu Okunugi, alongside Karl Lagerfeld’s new muse Ashleigh Good. And a preview shot for the Miu Miu campaign, shot by Inez & Vinoodh, features Brazilian newcomer Marina Nery and Moroccan stunner Hind Sahli.
TFS forum members are obviously pleased to see so many non-Caucasian models finally getting the recognition they deserve and being cast for blue chip campaigns.
About the Miu Miu campaign, member Fiercification, who was the first to post the images on the forums, said, “And the diversity trend continues! Loving Hind here!”
“Really proud of these diversity things going on in a lot of campaigns this season,” added Fashiognosis when commenting on the ad.
Fer19dog was another member who couldn't contain his excitement over seeing such a surprising and interesting model cast. “This is amazing!!! This made the rest of the year for me. Very happy for both girls, they look great and eye catching. Long live diversity!!!” he swooned.
Elfinkova applauded the art direction of the campaign itself and noted, “This looks like a Miu Miu campaign of the past – and I love it.”
Reactions to the Chanel campaign were less positive. Valliaddict commented, “This is dreadful….that's all I can say. Dreadful.”
“This is so awkward and static. Karl doesn’t have a clue what he is doing…” mused jmrmartinho.
“I’m glad that I see more Asian girls than white girls …….for once in a campaign. But I’m not impressed with the result,” shared congacon.
I couldn't help but think the same when looking at those images from the Chanel campaign. While I appreciate the diversity here, it is really about the only highlight in these images. The confused concept, the awkward styling, the mediocre photography. It all seems a little random and lackluster. The good thing is that the models are definitely not at fault here. And with luxury houses as impactful as Chanel and Prada (whose Fall campaign includes Chinese model Fei Fei Sun and multiethnic beauty Malaika Firth, the first black model to star in a Prada campaign since Naomi Campbell in 1994!) embracing racial diversity more and more we hope that this diverse casting is not just a trend, but will eventually be the norm in fashion campaigns.