Last year (season), the fashion industry seemed to have taken a huge step in the direction of diversity and inclusivity, both on the runway at New York Fashion Week and in global prints/stills. This year, for some strange but becoming reason, the industry’s so-called (r)evolution seemed to stall. The increase in racial diversity only slightly by a staggering improvement of 0.4 percent at NYFW for fall 2018. According to online figures from the Fashion Spot, which analysed casting for 82 shows and found that models of colour accounted for merely 37.3 percent of models. While 0.4 percent is hardly progress, it is a leap from the first year the Fashion Spot began tracking diversity, in 2015, when it was just 20.9 non-white.
The representation of transgender models this past New York Fashion week saw a comparable increase. There were only two more transgender and non-binary models for fall 2018 than for spring 2018. A total of 33 transgender and non-binary models walked in this past season’s shows. While that number is shockingly low compared to the 2,289 model appearances the Fashion Spot analyzed, the publication did note transgender representation at this past NYFW was monumental in another way.
However, on a more positive note, black grown breaking young designers like LaQuan Smith did shut down New York fashion week 2018 by continuing to break themould and glass ceiling with his percentage of stunning black models use in his show and ads.
Kamahl Sami- Miller