In the world of fashion and advertising, we call for an industry to be more inclusive of all races, sizes, ages and genders.
We hear a lot of buzz about how fashion houses are now being a lot more diverse when it comes to booking models for run ways, ad campaigns and print media and that this Springs’ 2016 fashion week catwalks has been the most diverse the world has seen. But how diverse and how much progress has fashion achieved?
Lets take a look at the reported numbers below:
For the Spring 2016 season, we crunched the numbers for 373 shows and 9,926 model appearances from New York, London, Paris and Milan and found that 77.6 percent of the time models were white. Although this figure is far from where it needs to be, it is slightly better than the 80 percent we reported for Fall 2015 and the 83 percent from the previous spring. Season for season, Asian, Black and Middle Eastern models all saw a minor bump in castings. The only models of color* that decreased were Latinas, who went from 2.9 percent for fall to 2.6 percent for spring.
The above counts for race but what about body size? We all don’t come in a size 00.
Related Article: Diversity in the Modelling World
Body diversity is trailing far behind racial diversity. Plus-size models only accounted for .1 percent of the total. This number translates to 14 plus-size model appearances during the month — all of which came out of Addition Elle and Chromat in New York. Two models, Denise Bidot and Sabina Karlsson, walked in both shows.
Not huge leaps in the world of high fashion and modelling and progress to include all races, genders, age and size is slow. But there is progress especially from these brands with their diversity campaigns in the media.
But despite the rise in popularity of body image and body positivity as well as celebratory firsts for curvy and plus models, the actual representation of plus size women in fashion advertising has come in at a total of six castings out of 422 model appearances in this season’s campaign. If not for independent brands with their line of clothing over the size of 12, we rarely see curvy models in bigger fashion houses.
The rise of Fashion in developing countries
Fashion is no longer concentrated in cities like London, Paris, New York and Milan. Sure, these are still the biggest and busiest cities for fashion week – or anything fashion related with a lot of press coverage. But we have seen cities in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe getting more involved in Fashion week and showcasing sustainable fashion pieces in runway shows and look books as well as fashion bloggers from these regions that aren’t your typical models of the runway.
Related Article: Sustainable Fashion in Africa Brings Economic Development
Fashion in these developing countries like Indonesia are influenced by culture and religion. These multicultural nations create interesting looks by using native fabrics like abaca, pineapple fibre and silk that blend well with western and contemporary style of clothing.
Related Article: Young Eco Designers from South East Asia
The fashion industry may not be all inclusive just yet but with these small changes, social media campaigns and fashion emerging in other countries can only mean that in the future, the faces you see in magazines can be someone we can all identify with.