Colorless Runways this Reason!?

By Stephfon Guidry

glambethannMercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York takes the city by storm with its tantalizing style, opulent couture and runways as far as the eye can see. But on the runway beneath the decadent new duds of next season are the bodies all colorless? Is the fashion industry leaning further away from using models of color on these couture catwalks? Jourdan Dunn (@missjourdandunn) tweeted earlier in the year about not being cast in a Dior show, “I’m normally told I’m cancelled because I’m ‘coloured’ so being cancelled because of my boobs is a minor : )” The mere fact that a top model such as Dunn needs to talk about color should sound the bells.

Former model turned model agency owner, Bethann Hardison authored an open letter  to the fashion world (London, New York, Milan, Paris) talking about this racist global discrimination. Hardison presents a list of the designers with one or no models of color in their shows. Bethan Hardison blasts designers saying “Not accepting another based on the color of their skin is clearly beyond “aesthetic” when it is consistent with the designer’s brand.” She expounds further, “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.”

Supermodel IMAN, now cosmetics mogul, recently voiced her views to Good Morning America, “I’m not calling any designers racist but the act [of exclusion] itself is racist…There were more models of color on the runway in the 70’s than there are now in 2013.” Iman was joined in the interview by none other than reigning runway diva and supermodel, Naomi Campbell as well as Bethann Hardison. The Council of Fashion Desingers of America (CFDA) sent an email to all designers saying that “The most powerful message is one of diversity.” However sadly it seems designers use and abuse the excuse of “artistic vision” or the “aesthetic of the line”. It is clear that the Diversity Coalition has its work cut out for it and these strong women of color are not going to sit in silence.