• While the overwhelming majority of models booked for New York fashion week continue to be white, this season there was a small uptick in the number of black models used and an even more significant increase in the number of Asian models used. In only one season, the percentage of looks presented on Asian models has gone from 6.8% to 8.8%. Two percentage points may be nothing to write home about but when it translates to a total of 402 looks being shown on a woman of Asian descent, it adds up to increased exposure for those designers and models, and a shift in the perception that high fashion is reserved for only one demographic. Despite being based in one of the most diverse cities in the world, “the fashion industry continues to have a vexed relationship with race. Some magazines and designers treat skin color as a kind of a fashion trend in itself,” our own Jenna Sauers reports at Jezebel. Although there were still a handful of New York-based designers whose casts lacked diversity, at least seven of them chose to open their show with an Asian model. The opening slot of a runway show is often the most coveted exit, trumped only by the mariée, or bride, who traditionally closes a couture show. The opening and closing looks signal to the press, editors and consumers the brand’s desired focus and image. Considering the growing power of Asia’s emerging market, progressive designers are becoming more and more aware of their presence in countries like China, Japan and South Korea. [Jezebel, Asian Models Blog]
  • And what of models from that other bustling and expanding market, India? Asked why she thought there are so few supermodels of Indian descent, Lakshmi Menon replied, “There have been Indian girls who have made their mark in fashion like Ujjwala Raut, and I think our success is a lot about luck and being in the right place at the right time. Overall, though, it’s an industry that’s dominated by blond-haired, blue-eyed women. Other ethnicities come after.” [NYT]

One Response to Casting for NYFW Slowly Becoming More Diverse; Lakshmi Menon on Indian Models

  1. Constance Britt says:

    How can I get my teenage, junior/high school daughter to model for NYFW week @ no cost without going through an agency? Please reply at crb@vnf.com

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