Fashion Week Whiteout
Sep 15, 2008 - by Kirby Marzec
Last week's Fashion Week was no different than any other Fashion Week. Designers still scrambled to show off their edgy silhouetted designs. Celebrities still claimed coveted front row seats to Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga. And, once again, the runway lacked diversity. This time, however, the white domination of the catwalk has some fashion icons on edge.
It seems like this past Fashion Week tried to mask its lack of black runway models.In the past,The Council of Fashion Designers of America left ethnic diversity up to the designers. This year's president, Diane von Furstenberg, urged all designers to keep their models racially varied. Sure, black models walked in DKNY and Tracy Reese, but what about the hundreds of other designers who used few, or even no black models? It takes more than a few designers to launch ethnic diversity in the fashion industry, and with the runways creeping back to white, the "black issue" is again on the rise.
But is the tendency for white models a racist ploy by designers or merely in consciousness of their designs? Some designers claim to use mostly white models in order to keep the "ethnicity" of the model from influencing the interpretation of his or her design. Others claim that the black model is unavailable by the agencies. Some even claim that selection is natural, and ethnicity is never in consideration.
Indeed, it is the designers right to cast models regardless of race, but if designers are truly conscious of women, shouldn't they consider "women" as a general term? Black. White. Asian. Hispanic. Middle Eastern. We're all women, right? Show us you design for women. All of us.