Yesterday, The New York Times ran a big story by Eric Wilson spotlighting the growing concern over fashion's predominantly white runways. It included something of a call to action from supermodel Iman and the legendary agent, Bethann Hardison, who both argue that the time has come for consumers to demand more diversity in fashion, by boycotting designers and rallying against them on social media. (This September, Hardison plans to spearhead a social media campaign calling out designers who have non-diverse casting at their shows.)
Iman: “It feels to me like the times need a real hard line drawn like in the 1960s, by saying if you don’t use black models, then we boycott. If you engage the social media, trust me, it will hurt them in their pockets. If you take it out there, they will feel the uproar.”
Runway shows often have more to do with generating publicity for a brand (which later pays off in, say, handbag or fragrance sales) than selling clothes, so it does seem possible that the threat of so much negative scrutiny could pressure some designers and bookers to cast (ha?) a broader net.
Fashion’s Blind Spot [The New York Times]
- Chanel and Miu Miu Release Racially Diverse Fall 2013 Campaigns (Forum Buzz)
- Could Racial Diversity in Fashion Be Improving? (Forum Buzz)
- Buzzfeed Asks Casting Directors to Explain Lack of Diversity at Fashion Week
- Casting Directors: Here are 23 (Amazing) Non-White Models You Should Hire
- Will the MBFWA Runways Be a Little Less White This Year?