Shimmering lingerie and dazzling faux-wings marked the official broadcast of the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Tuesday night – and while some of the show’s famous stars returned to the catwalk, several women of color made their debut. Supermodels Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Doutzen Kroes were only a few of the veterans who strutted down the aisle again. But it seems as though this year’s show included more diversity than ever before.
Joining Joan Smalls and Jasmine Tookes on the runway (who also participated in last year’s presentation) were at least four other women of different ethnicities who were dressed in some of the lingerie brand’s finest pieces. There is Malika Firth, a Kenyan-born biracial 19-year-old who was cast as the first black model to be the face of Prada’s since 1994 – a large feat, especially considering that supermodel Naomi Campbell was the last black woman at the helm of the designer brand.
Cindy Bruna, who is from the South of France but was born to a Congolese mother and an Italian father, joined the beauties on the runway. Then there was Maria Borges, a 5’11 Angolan model who won the 2011 Ford Supermodel Angola title. Brazilian model Lais Roberio and Ming Xi, one of the most-sought after Asian models, also joined the sizzling-hot lineup.
The diversity on the Victoria’s Secret runway is significant to note, particularly this year after activist and former supermodel Bethann Hardison fought to increase diversity on fashion runways.
Hardison has actively pursued this mission since the early ’90s but it was not until earlier this year that she decided to send personal letters to several fashion governing bodies calling them out by name for not including more models of color in their campaigns and on their runways.
“Did I hear personally from designers? No,” Hardison previously told theGrio. “Did we hear back from the councils of fashion? Yes. They don’t dictate to the designers, but yes, you hear back. But what’s been so nice is that it’s penetrated, because then certain people start improving. What we have to do is keep making sure that it maintains itself.”
article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com