According to Jezebel's seasonal count of runway diversity at New York Fashion Week, the situation continues to be pretty bleak. 82.7% of the models that walked in the February shows were white. Some designers, like Calvin Klein (pictured), didn't hire a single nonwhite model to walk in their collections.
Buzzfeed asked five of the industry's top casting directors to explain why the industry hasn't gotten it together with regards to racial diversity, despite years of pressure outside groups.
Some respondents were outraged:
James Scully (Tom Ford, Jason Wu, Derek Lam, Stella McCartney, Lanvin & Carolina Herrera) — "I feel the Dior cast is just so pointedly white that it feels deliberate. I watch that show and it bothers me — I almost can't even concentrate on the clothes because of the cast."
Others pointed to the limitations of the selection pool:
Jennifer Starr (Ralph Lauren, Ohne Titel, Gap, David Bowie & the Pirelli Calendar) — "If there are 200 new white girls, and five break out as stars, then if there are six or ten new black girls, the statistics are not in their favor. It's a loaded conversation, but can anyone be faulted for not casting someone they don't absolutely love?"
Some were totally in denial:
Barbara Nicoli and Leila Ananna (Burberry, Marchesa, Gucci, Emilio Pucci, Armani Privé & Saint Laurent)
Nicoli: "I don't like to talk in terms of white, Asian, black, etc., because a model is a model and that's it. To me, if we want to talk about diversity, it's about the model and not the color of their skin. It's more about the body, the face, and the attitude."
Ananna: "Regarding the representation of various faces [on runways], we think fashion shows have already shown it. Don't you? There are plenty of different faces in a show."
Read the full article: 5 Top Casting Directors Explain Why Their Runways Are So White – Buzzfeed
Image via IMAXtree