Tag: Bethann Hardison

Black Beauties: 10 Black Models And Celebs Featured In Spring Fashion Campaigns


New York Fashion Week is once again underway as runway photos and street style shoots flood the Internet. It has only been a few months since September’s NYFW, when veteran supermodels and magazine bigwigs like Bethann HardisonIman, and Andre Leon Talley called the industry on the carpet for failing to showcase diversity. And it seems like things have changed, as fashion houses worldwide are seeing the beauty in brown skin.

Models of color like Cindy Bruna, Malaika Firth, and Liya Kebede have infiltrated even the most exclusive fashion houses. But considering that there are literally continents full of people of color, one face per spread might not be enough. Still, it’s a start. Flip through to see which Black beauties are striking a pose in the spring/summer 2014 campaigns.

To see more of this article, go to uptownmagazine.com or click here.

Former Model Bethann Hardison Continues Push For Racial Diversity On Runway, Sends New Letter

Bethann Hardison

When New York Fashion Week kicks off on Thursday, many commentators will be watching the runways closely — not just to see which collections will be most coveted come fall, but also to see whether designers have heeded the call to showcase more black models.

That call for action was sent out in September, at the start of the previous NYFW, by Bethann Hardison, a prominent fashion activist and former model. On behalf of the Diversity Coalition, a group of like-minded advocates and industry members, Hardison wrote a letter to the governing bodies of Fashion Weeks in New York, Paris, London and Milan, asking why “fashion design houses consistently use … one or no models of color,” and accusing specific designers of racism on the runway.

“Whether it’s the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models reveals a trait that is unbecoming to modern society,” the letter read in part. “No matter the intention, the result is racism.”

Hardison and the Diversity Coalition sent out another email to the governing bodies of the world’s Fashion Weeks Tuesday, detailing the progress — and lack thereof — seen on the runway this past season.

The letter reads:

Last season we addressed the international fashion industry for their lack of conduct in being racially diverse. There was a marked improvement on the runways and a positive response to the letters received by the major fashion councils and the designer brands they count as members. First we will share the results.It is important to say that there are design houses serviced by casting directors and stylists who are latent, as they seem comfortable with stereotypical images.

Although progress was made last season within certain houses, the objective is to continue this improvement across the entire industry. We look for consistency and not because of advocacy or a season lending to darker skin.

So we will continue to watch and reveal season to season.

Diversifying is not difficult. The resistance to do so is intriguing.

Hardison and the Coalition provide a tally of models of color employed during the September 2013 shows by several designers, all of which had previously cast one or no non-Caucasian models during the February 2013 shows. Overall, as Jezebel noted at the time, there was an uptick, with some design houses adding as many as four or five models of color.

Here is a breakdown of New York Fashion Week’s numbers in the letter:
diversity coalition

The Coalition also provided numbers for Paris, Milan and London.

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