World famous French fashion designer CoCo Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Chanel is dead on with her statement.  Fashion is supposed to be a mirror reflecting the world around us.  Unfortunately when it comes to diversity, the industry is less of a world mirror and more of a vain promotion of ideals.

Last year, The Fashion Spot released a report indicating that 80 percent of models featured at Fashion Weeks around the globe (including New York, London, Milan, and Paris) were white.  “To break it down even further, there were only 7.4 percent black, 7.4 percent Asian, 2.9 percent Latina and 2.1 percent other. The remaining .2 percent was represented by Middle Eastern models.”

With such low numbers, let’s take a moment to celebrate the individuals who are keeping with Coco Chanel’s ideals of fashion:

  1. Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 4 showcased an array of diverse models during NYC fashion week
  2. Zac Posen Fall ’16 runway boasted 75% of models being women of color. He emphasized the importance of diverse models by toting a bag that read, “Black Models Matter.”
  3. Christian Siriano featured plus size models on his runway for the first time.
  4. Anniesa Hasibaun became the first designer to present a New York Fashion Week collection with hijabs

-Ray Hayes