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Fab Flash: New York Runways Still Devoid of Color

While the clothes that appeared on the runways of New York Fashion Week represented the whole color spectrum, the same could not be said about the models wearing the clothes.

A survey conducted by New York Daily News concluded that out of 1,584 modeling slots, only 6 percent went to black models, 6 percent went to Asian models, and 1 percent went to Latina models. Although Diane von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers, urged designers to concoct multicultural shows just last month, six out of the 66 shows that took place in the Bryant Park tents had all-white lineups.

It's surprising and frustrating that after this issue was called to national attention last season, it's still such a problem — sad, really.


Join The Conversation
fathihasweer fathihasweer 9 years
i love fashion but this narrow mindedness bout white models and some specific sizes are all total crap!!!!!!!and look at those girls they look they have drug problem and malnutrition toghather...models should be beautiful and curvy.not ugly[withchy looking]and a bag of twigs like.........
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
well nyraradzom, if you knew anything about runway models you would know that most of them are not blonde. most models have light or dark brown hair.
SmallTownFab SmallTownFab 9 years
kscincotta, i agree with you. it's not a matter really of diversity. in fact, as someone else mentioned, a lot of models now are not Canadian or American. They mostly come from various countries. The problem is that designers are still picking the girls from those countries that are pale, and typically light haired. I have a Czech friend who is absolutely tall and beautiful, and although she has been looked at by agencies, she has been told that she may have an issue because she is naturally very tanned and has dark hair. It's really a matter of more overall shade variation on the runways. I think it would be great to see women who don't all look the same. It's seems silly to me that designers want it that way. They should want to express how great their clothes will look on all different shades of skin and hair colour. That would be extremely more appealing to me.
kscincotta kscincotta 9 years
Personally, I think that using these broad defining ethinic categories is minimizing the amount of diversity that is there. I'm certainly not an expert on the current status of the modeling industry, but from what I know, not very many of these girls are the stereotypical blond haired, blue eyed American girl next door. Most of them are actually foreign - Russian, French, Australian, Czech etc. I think part of the problem here is seeing everyone that's white as being the same, which they very much aren't. I agree that the overall look is fairly homogenized, but that doesn't mean the models don't come from very diverse backgrounds.
breakbrooklyn breakbrooklyn 9 years
btw why do the girls in the pic look like zombies?
breakbrooklyn breakbrooklyn 9 years
@ Nyaradzom2001 i agree to an extent. there are many skinny girls of those races/ethnicities BUT having certain proportions is also very important and like that other person said, black and latina models tend to be curvier even if they are skinny as well. i remember watching "top model" once and that girl cassie was told that she was too curvy (she was white though but this still gets my pt. across). though she was very very thin, she had a hip size of 38" and the designer thought that was a negative thing. so even if you're very skinny, curves are mostly frowned upon in that industry so if a white girl and black girl are both very skinny but the black girl is curvier, guess who gets the job. this isn't the only reason though. i think designers like it when most of the girls on the runway look the same. i'm not condoning this though, i think it's messed up but they don't seem to want to change and like someone else said, how do they find these %'s? i find it hard to believe that there are less latinas than blacks and asians on the runway especially since latinas come in different races. since there are white latinas, i would think that they would get more work
shabondama shabondama 9 years
I agree with Nyaradzom2001!
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
fleur hate to burst your bubble but there are lots of skinny black, asian, and latina models, period. This isn't the reason why there is no colour on the runway, it's just that most people prefer to see a gaunt inspid blonde as compared to a woman with ebony skin, or almond eyes or a glistening tan.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
Well if you use common sense, you know that most girls that have the "model" body-- tall and skinny-- are Russian and Eastern European (and some British, Canadian, and American thrown in). So that's why most models are caucasian. Speaking in general terms, African Americans and Hispanic women are curvier and that just is not acceptable on the runway for most designers. Sad, but true.
angelinemarie angelinemarie 9 years
ever disappointing!
RoyalBlueMoss RoyalBlueMoss 9 years
I agree with other, I think if there was a percentage given to aim towards... things would get better. btw, I don't think the women in the photo above look horrible at all.
canadianchica canadianchica 9 years
i also question how they come up with their percentages. would an eurasian girl be asian or white? depends on hair colour? why are there only these white, black, latina categories? i'd love to see more mixes-they are really beautiful!!!
emalove emalove 9 years
Black is classic, but I personally prefer color. I hardly own any black.
ii love BLACK and its the shit right now
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
Black is fabulous. I think the models look great. However, I really do wish that there was diversity in the modeling industry.
SmallTownFab SmallTownFab 9 years
AKirstin, I completely agree with you. I am half Portuguese, and with that half comes a complete hourglass figure with a bigger bust and full, child-bearing hips!! I can't wear most higher end designer duds cuz they are not built for my body. And while we're talking percentages, what percentage of the world honestly looks like those models. No offense, but most of them look like they they haven't been let out doors for the majority of their life. I love fashion and I love modeling, but I would never, ever want to look like that. I think that's what turns me off of runway shows. I find them boring to watch because I have a hard time picturing myself in the clothes. Differences in skin tones and body shapes is what makes us all different and unique. Honestly, with the exception of a few of the greats, I likely wouldn't be able to tell one model from the next! :P
ooashybabeoo ooashybabeoo 9 years
It's great to have diversity but when competing for modeling and whatnot, some just don't cut it like others. Maybe that's the case here, who knows! If someone really wants it, they'll get it!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Those girls look a tad horrible.
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
It's frustrating, to say the least. But the modeling industry has never been exactly top-notch when it comes to diversity, so I don't expect things to change now. I adore fashion but will continue to hope that the narrow minded ideas about who can be included change. I would like to see not only a variety of colours, but sizes as well. I usually hear the argument that designers prefer extraordinarily thin girls because they are like human hangers, but I think it's bullshit. How about stepping up and seeing if you have the chops to design for other shapes then, eh?
syako syako 9 years
I have a question - and please don't take this the wrong way - but what would be the ideal percentage of minorities on the runway? I'm really asking this honestly. I know that 13% of the U.S. population is black, so is that what we're shooting for? And some estimates say 15% of the u.s. is Hispanic? Just wondering...
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