Diversity on runway, eco fashion, ethical consumerism, ethical fashion, Fashion Catwalks, Fashion representation, models for fashion, Models selection in fashion, Racism in the Fashion Industry, Role models in fashion, Runway Models, Social consumerism, social impact
“We’ve already got a black girl,” “It’s not our creative vision,” “Our customer isn’t ready yet.” These are the excuses we hear time and time again to explain the lack of models of color in the fashion industry. In fact, the more you talk to people in our profession about this, the more you realize that these statements are tired, unimaginative and backwards; things this industry supposedly detests…
… In the 1990’s we saw a rise in multiracial adverts, with adverts by CK One and United Colors of Benetton going down in history as some of the most iconic adverts of all time. Why have we gone backwards when we know how well the embrace of diversity can work? While it’s unlikely that any fashion company would be brave enough to hold their hands up and admit their oversight on this issue, it’s important that we recognize that none of us are exempt from preconceptions, stereotypes and discrimination. And in a creative industry, that’s meant to be pushing boundaries, these stereotypes only stifle us.
Concluding The Fashion Debates, Furlong was asked “Is the fashion industry racist?” to which he answered, “Yes, but no more than the rest of society.”