NYFW 2013 Showcases More Models of Color Than Ever Before: Fad or Future?
7 months ago
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New York Fashion Week ended earlier this month boasting the most racially-diverse runways the semi-annual event has seen in past years. A little more than 20 percent of the models who worked the catwalk were of color, allowing the Spring-Summer 2013 shows to serve as a platform for new (nonwhite) faces to, quite literally, shine in the spotlight.
Of the 4,708 women's looks presented, 79.4 percent were showcased by white models; eight brands used them exclusively. However, a smaller, core group of the 143 designers employed a majority of, well, minorities, leading to the historic gain in representation. (In 2007, one-third of the New York shows used no models of color at all. The following year, models of color made up 12 percent of those walking the runway. And in 2009, the ratio rose to 18 percent for models of color.)
Tracy Reese—whose star is still shining brightly since dressing first lady Michelle Obama in an applauded pink-and-copper custom-made frock for the Democratic National Convention—had more than half of her 45 looks walked by African American, Asian and Latina models.
And increased diversity on the catwalk may be a continuing trend. Designer Philip Treacy made an even greater statement about diversity last week during London Fashion Week when he decided to use black models exclusively—including legend Alek Wek and rising star Jourdan Dunn—for his Spring-Summer collection inspired by Michael Jackson's most iconic outfits.