Hot Topic: Diversity on the Runway, Will It Ever Be?

racism runway

Racism on the runway is one of, if not the controversy on everyone’s lips this fashion month. Between the outspoken models in the minority, and Jezebel crunching the startling numbers of New York Fashion Week’s catwalks, it’s become clear that while much hasn’t changed on the white-washed runway front, the number of those unwilling to tolerate is fervently rising.

Just yesterday, Iman along with Diversity Coalition activist Bethann Hardison sat down with the Evening Standard and admitted that they refuse to buy Céline clothes for ethical reasons.

Hardison stated:

“Phoebe Philo [London-born former creative director at Chloë, now at Céline] — she’s a cool girl,” Hardison stated. “But Céline has never had a coloured person showing in their collection. Ever, And yet they have the best accessories; every black woman who has money buys her accessories.”

At that point, Iman shot back:

“Not me. I walk the walk. I can get another It bag. I have my wallet. I make a conscious decision not to buy that stuff.”

What we love about this point is that Céline, one of the most coveted, and subsequently seemingly untouchable brand, is being called out hard. When it comes to matters like this, the name and shame method is the way to go.

At the end of the article Hardison asserted that, “This conversation will continue.” And while we have no doubt that it will, we wonder if there will ever truly be a day where runways are as cosmopolitan as reality. And sadly, after sorting through Jezebel’s findings, we’re pretty confident that monochrome catwalks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, even with so many admired industry people speaking out.

See Jezebel’s infographic below, as well as their completely study here. Be sure to also sound off on the matter in comments. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping a close watch on the runway (particularly Philo’s) during the second half of fashion month,

model infographic

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