The Fashion Industry Is Still Failing Black Models

Before the Oscars were being criticized for the rows of fair skinned nominees, Fashion Week was notorious for its lack of diversity on the runway. The fashion industry has made efforts to change this with recent shows by Puma x Fenty by Rihanna, Gypsy Sport, and Rosie Assoulin hiring more than a handful of minorities. Zac Posen posted a photo on his instagram holding a bag that read “Black models matter” and diversified his show by choosing 25 black models, out of the 33, for his show. Despite these efforts, there is still a long way to go and model Leomie Anderson recently tweeted her concerns.

Anderson is not the only model to share these frustrations. Iman, Jordan Dunn, and Nykhor Paul have all called out the industry for it’s lack of diversity and how unprepared makeup artist and hairdressers are for models of colors. Anderson goes on to question “Why can a white model confidentially sit in anyone’s chair and feel confident they’ll look okay but black models have to worry?” And later states, “This is probs the first season that a white hairdresser hasn’t said to me ‘oh I’ve done Naomi Campbell’s weave, I know what I’m doing’.” No model should have to be concerned that their look won’t turn out as well as others in the show just because they have a darker skin tone or curlier hair, instead industry leaders should take note and have well equipped professionals to manage these situations before they arise. 

Why is it that the black makeup artists are busy with blonde white girls and slaying their makeup and I have to supply my own foundation 😒

— Leomie Anderson (@LeLeValentine) February 17, 2016

The inclusion of more models of color on the runway should also lead to an inclusion of prepared makeup artist and hairdressers who can work on a range of complexions and hair types. Designers are taking a step forward and trying to solve these problems on the runway which will hopefully lead to more efforts to fix the concerns Anderson has addressed.'

Brittany Taylor

Social Media Editor

Los Angeles native with a passion for Oreos, traveling, devouring books and maintaining a devout love for television.