Diversity on the Runway (2 min read)

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Nichola Price

Founder & Owner of: LBC Fashion Blog

Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor and Fashion & Style Writer

Hello Readers,

How would you describe the fashion world? Depending on your point of view on the fashion world, everyone will describe it differently.

Me, personally. I would describe it as a place where you can be creative, you can express yourself in the way that you want. There are no rules in how a top should look or what pattern you should use when designing a pair of trousers. This is what I love about fashion.

With this is mind, not all parts of the fashion industry are like this. Imagine you’re watching a Dior fashion show and the models start coming down the runway. Majority of them are skinny, tall and white with no physical abnormalities that you can see.

The real world is not like this. Not even the people who actually end up buying their clothes are like this. Any celebrities that you see wearing their clothes are on loan from the designer to help promote the brand.

Diversity in models is slowly growing but is it enough and will it stay?  Hari Neff, a transgender model has been taking the runways of the world by storm and has bagged a campaign with Gucci.

Christian Siriano showed everyone how to properly diverse your catwalk models in his fall ready-to-wear 2017 show. With all different diversities and sizes.

In 2015 IMG signed Jillian Mercado a model with muscular dystrophy, she has since won a campaign with Diesel.

Actress Jamie Brewer who became famous from American horror story walked in a Carrie Hammer runway show.

It is great that these models and designers are coming through the cracks and making a name for themselves within this industry and I do not want to take away the hard work they have done to get into the position they are in, however the industry really just sees these models as ‘token models’.

A token model is someone who walks in a runway show who represents a type of person (whether that be an ethnicity or a disability) and is a minority compared to the other models that are classed as standard within the show.

In the UK alone latest government statistics state that there are 11 million people living with limiting long-term illness, impairment or disability and they are only being represented by a handful of models worldwide.

Chelsey Jay who is the director of a non-profit organisation Models of diversity gave a quote to The Guardian in which she stated ‘You can’t say that models are just mannequins. Things have moved on. Models have an identity and a fan base through social media. One modelling agent told me that they are not trying to represent everybody, they are only trying to represent an elite group who buy that clothing. But disability is the one thing that can affect absolutely anyone.

This quote isn’t just true of men and women with disability but ethnicity or waist size. I went to London fashion week festival in which they had plenty high-end brands on sale for people to buy. This include brands like Jigsaw, Mother of pearl, Vivienne Westwood and many more. The many people who were at this event weren’t thin, tall and white but of all different shapes, sizes, ethnicity, age and disability.

It is common sense that the more popular a model is, the better the attention they are going to bring to a designer’s runway collection than just the popularity of the designer. For example, when a designer such as Chanel shows a new collection at New York fashion week the prestige of Chanel will attract attention. However, when they book a big named model like Gigi Hadid, Kendell Jenner or Cara Delevingne you don’t just bring the fashion fans you bring all the fans and the press that comes from the social media pages as well.

A high social media following is now essential for an up and coming ‘top model’ A model is no longer just a clothes hanger.

This is why there needs to be more diversity on the runway because more attention is being brought to the models. So, they need to represent the diversity of the world.

I would love to know what your opinion is on this; do you think that it matters what the models look like or do you think we need a diverse range of models within a show.

Nicky P xxxx

Article Credits: Nichola Price


Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor


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