We’ve seen slow but steady progress when it comes to diversity in fashion. However, the industry still has a long way to go, and in the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, more and more models of color are speaking out about their personal struggles with racism and voicing the need for further, more immediate change. On July 12, Calvin Klein model Ebonee Davis penned a powerful letter calling out the “systematic” problems facing the industry. Four days later, during an interview with Teen Vogue, OG model of color Chanel Iman gave her opinion on the issue.
Iman admits one of the highest points in her career thus far was her Teen Vogue cover with Jourdan Dunn back in 2009. The accompanying interview described the African-American and Korean beauty as “one of the only models of color to break into the major leagues in a long, long time.”
Compared to her professional experiences back in the early noughties, these days the fashion industry seems far more accepting. “I think it was a struggle when I first started, just because it was always one black girl per show, or campaign, or whatever it was. I couldn’t stand it, because I just felt like I was being judged a lot, rather than accepted for who I was,” the now 25-year-old model recalled. “I feel like fashion’s opened up a lot with having rappers in campaigns, and more color on the runway, but of course there’s room for more of it, and more diversity. It’s nice to be part of a culture change.” (more…)