As much as the debate about how-skinny-is-too-skinny rages on every fashion week, there's another equally-important conversation that's been happening for years. That discussion revolves around the diversity of models walking down the hallowed catwalks, in relation to race.
For years, the catwalks of fashion week have been predominately covered by white models, and the Council of Fashion Designers America (CFDA) and the Diversity Coalition, think it's high-time that changed. It's not surprising, given that a report looking into the A/W16 catwalks discovered that there was less than 25 per cent diversity and that 78.2 per cent of the models used in Spring campaigns were white.
The CFDA and Diversity Initiative send out guidelines for the health and wellbeing requirements of models used in the shows every season ahead of beginning of NYFW, and for the first time this year, they added another set of guidelines specifically addressing the issue of diversity. Harper's Bazaar Australia reports that the members of the Council - which includes Georgina Chapman of Marchesa, Tory Burch, Tom Ford, Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim and Vera Wang, among 502 others - were sent an email advising designers "to encourage the industry to be inclusive of racial diversity when preparing casting of models for their company needs. Our objective is to make a shift on how the model of colour is viewed so it becomes natural to see them participating each season in a greater number than seasons past."
Now that's what we call a fashionable cause.