Diversity is a word that will never be clearly defined. If a room full of Latino-Americans has one white male in it, than the white guy is diversity. When discussing diversity in the US, the word typically means ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. When looking at industries, however, diversity takes on a new meaning.
Take the fashion industry as an example. In fashion the archetype runway model is a skinny blonde model with slightly exotic features. Because of this fact, diversity is anything that is not white, blonde, and skinny. At this season’s New York Fashion Week (according to The Fashion Spot), “69.9% of the 2,973 model castings were white this season, with 30.1% being nonwhite. That’s a slight but significant dip compared to February, when models of color accounted for 31.9% of castings.” Amazingly, this is the first time in 3 years that ethnic diversity has decreased.
NYFW did increase diversity in other areas. The “Spring 2017 NYFW was the most body positive fashion week ever, with 16 plus-size models walking in shows. Christian Siriano, for example, cast five plus-size models, and Chromat cast seven.” In addition, “of the ten most-booked models at NYFW this season, four were models of color: Mica Arganaraz, Lineisy Montero, Selena Forrest and Yasmin Wijnaldum.”
As you can see, the news is great in some areas, but lacking in others. Progress is a funny thing, especially when it seemingly stalls in key areas. Despite this season’s drop, I do believe the diversity train is still moving in the right direction. Fall 2017, should see a bump as usual in regards to diversity.
If it does not…well…tune in to Global Diversity News for an epic rant on fashion