The 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 as fashion is a representation of our environment.  Unfortunately in today’s world, fashion is having a hard time keeping up with the times.  The Fashion Spot released a report last year indicating that 80 percent of models featured at Fashion Weeks  (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.”

For this article, I want to recognize those individuals within the industry that are pushing towards Coco Chanel’s ideals

Marina Liao from PopSugar highlighted the five biggest steps the fashion industry has taken towards diversity in 2016:

  1. Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 4 showcased an array of multicultural and diverse models during NYC fashion week
  2. Zac Posen’s Fall ’16 runway saw 25 of its 33 models be women of color. Posen emphasized the importance of diversity by toting a bag that read, “Black Models Matter.”
  3. Plus-size models were featured throughout New York Fashion Week. 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