The discussion about racism on the catwalk has reared its ugly head again. Supermodels Iman, Naomi Campbell and Bethann Hardison have spoken out and challenged the issue and as The Diversity Coalition, they are out to raise awareness about designers who use all white models.
In the UK, another group who are creating waves in the industry are Models of Diversity. Their London Fashion Week warm up show Catwalk4Change featured models of all ages sizes and abilities, setting the precedent for a new wave of fashion thinking.
I hope this season LFW shows its support for diversity.
The aim of the show was to promote diversity on the catwalk – black, white, Asian, petite, plus-sized and mature models all made a presence on the runway accompanied by paralympian Stefanie Reid and the striking transgender model Nicole Gibson. The show was a huge success and has been applauded by those within the industry as well as the fashionista celebrities who attended the show.
In order to make voices heard and to pave the way for changing ideas, the belief that catwalk shows can only be aesthetically pleasing if you conform to one type of look needs to change. They are outdated, damaging and prove that the art of creating a show and forming ideas has been lost on lazy designers. The beauty of fashion has turned ugly – all style and no substance.
But the call for change doesn’t just lie at the door of designers, until the fashion press start hailing this much needed change then, and only then, can the ripples of our discontent start to seep through to those who create the shows, thus proving you don’t have to be 6′ foot, size 0 and white.
Models of Diversity is a hugely respected organisation who have even bigger and better plans for the future. If you have the talent, you can model – regardless of your size or colour. Challenging someone’s perception of fashion isn’t an easy one, so Kudos to those supporting the need for change and those designers who do represent us all.