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The goals of representation are hard to define for some, but it’s simple. A more realistic view of the world represented is the goal. This year, the runway model diversity at New York Fashion Week spring 2018 has been much more inclusive than in previous years, continuing the trend that the fashion industry is improving a bit at a time.
The truth is that the model diversity report by The Fashion Spot considers all shows and runway models, which messes with the stats a bit. Newer brands that are catering to specific, less represented crowds and thus hire models that represent that aesthetic are counted in.
Racially Inclusive Model Castings
In an unprecedented move, every runway presentation for the spring 2018 season has included no less than two models of color. While it is true that in some cases, the choice was a ‘racially ambiguous’ model, it was a slight trip in the right direction.
Though considered by many, it is a begrudging baby step in the right direction. The top 11 models of the season were led by Charlee Fraser, an indigenous Australian model who walked in 20 of New York Fashion Week’s major fashion shows for spring 2018.
Transgender and Non-Binary Model Castings
There were 28 transgender models and 3 non-binary models that walked in 29 different fashion shows during the spring 2018 New York Fashion Week. The fall 2017 shows featured only 12 castings in 5 shows, so this is also a notable improvement.
Plus-Size Model Castings
There were 90 plus-size models that walked during New York Fashion Week spring 2018. This was a minor victory as model diversity reports include the plus-size shows as well. Plus-size brands cast 56 of the 90 total plus-size castings, so we can credit over half the number to them, but 34 plus-size model castings can still be record-breaking alone.
There was some discussion over comments made prior to the Torrid runway presentation. There was a failure to acknowledge the inclusion that other fashion designers were pushing.
Christian Siriano is a great example, as he has included plus-size models in his shows for a very long time. Chromat and Prabal Gurung have also been making strides towards a more diverse fashion atmosphere.
Mature Model Castings
There were 10 models over the age of 50 cast during the spring 2018 fashion shows during New York Fashion Week. Two of the ten models were featured in the Helmut Lang show, and two for Eckhaus Latta. Tome is always age inclusive and they cast Coco Mitchell, Jo-Ani Johnson and Jacky O’Shaughnessy.
Intersectional Model Castings
Nearly one third of the transgender and non-binary models casted are people of color.
Of the 10 mature model castings, one was Sophia Lamar, a transgender woman of color. She was joined by three other models of color, and one plus-size model.
The bottom line is still the same though – what we saw during New York Fashion Week spring 2018 was a lot different than what has been shown in the past. Thanks to the work of more open-minded casting directors and fashion designers the fashion world is quickly becoming more diverse.
A Détacher, Son Jung Wan had only 2 models of color. Victoria Beckham disappointingly only cast 5 models of color out of her 31 models cast for her show.
The best and most inclusive runways included Tome and Chromat, which had the most diverse runway shows that hired models that ranged in race, age, body type and gender identity. Chromat cast a very racially diverse show with 72% of their cast models being models of color. Tome cast 70% of their models as models of color.
Brandon Maxwell came in with 62 percent of their models cast being models of color. Tom Ford featured 65% models of color in their first New York Fashion Week show in a year, tying with the Blonds.
Photos via Vogue