One Small Step Toward Diversity
I have spent no small amount of time writing on this blog and in the newspaper about the lack of diversity on the runway. I've written about the efforts by industry veteran Bethann Hardison to impress upon the fashion industry the importance of thinking broadly when casting their runway shows. I've also mentioned that designer Diane von Furstenberg, the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, sent letters to designers reminding them that they are part of a global industry. I'm happy to report there has been progress.
One of the design houses that was held up as a major offender - for having a homogenous crew of white models - was Calvin Klein. I don't know how many times photos of last season's finale have been reproduced as evidence of what's wrong with the industry when it comes to diversity.
But at the show Thursday evening, lo and behold, the black model Liya Kebede was on the runway. Good for you Liya and bravo to designer Francisco Costa. Sure, it would be nice to have a veritable United Nations on the runway. But this is fashion and it's all about personal vision, not we-shall-overcome. I'm happy to see that Costa's vision has gotten a little broader. Doesn't that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy?
Many other runways also had a black model or two. In fact, the black model Jourdan Dunn was practically one of the stars of the runway this time around. It didn't look like any designer had to compromise his or her creative vision to do the right thing, either. They were able to convey boho chic, rich socialite, and even creepy cypher without freezing out an entire group of women. Yes, indeed, we can all manage to get along.
By the way, the New York fashion shows end today. I'll be going to Sean John and then Marc "I don't have a clock that works" Jacobs. Marc's show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Here's hoping that it starts by 8. Cheers!
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