New York Fashion Week (February 13th to 20th 2009), one of the top fashion weeks in the industry, has just ended. Of the appearances by models on the catwalk, 18% were made by models of colour. While that is well short of the 26% of America as a whole, it is much better than the 12% of last year.
Two years ago a third of the designers used white models only. This year only 9% did.
For years Bethann Hardison and Diane von Furstenberg have been saying that more models of colour were needed. Maybe their message is getting through at last. Or maybe it is the Obama effect – or the effect of the all-black Italian Vogue which sold out last summer.
Here is how the New York catwalk looked in 2009:
- 82% white
- 7.4% black (outnumbered last year by Asians)
- 6.5% Asian
- 4.0% Latina
- 1.8% other
Compare that to how America looked in 2006:
- 74% white (66% if you do not count white Latinos)
- 14.8% Latino (some also counted as white or black)
- 13.4% black
- 4.4% Asian
- 7.3% other
Here is the degree of over- or under-representation:
- 148 Asian
- 111 white
- 55 black
- 27 Latina
- 25 other
Whites and Asians were over-represented.
The counting was done by Tatiana the Anonymous Model of Jezebel.com. For some models it was a matter of her judgement where they fell: while most Latin Americans were counted as Latina, some got counted as black, like Sessilee Lopez, while others were counted as white, like Pilar Solchaga. Them’s the breaks, as she says.
These shows had no models of colour:
- Jenni Kayne
- Julian Louie
- Koi Suwannagate
- Temperley London
- Vera Wang Lavender Label
These shows had models of colour, but no black models:
- Alexandre Herchcovitz
- Behnaz Sarafpour
- Costello Tagliapietra
- Erin Fetherston
- Max Azria
- Miss Sixty
- Monique Lhuillier
- Nicole Miller
- Reem Acra
- United Bamboo
- Vena Cavahad
- Vivienne Tam
These had the most models of colour (30% or more):
- Tracey Reese
- Sophie Theallet
- Rachel Roy
- Victoria Beckham
- Ports 1961
- Oscar de la Renta
- Badgley Mishka
- Diane von Furstenberg
- Tory Burch
- Yigal Azrouël
Here are the black models who appeared, ranked by the number of shows they appeared in (the first three account for more than half of the appearances made by black models):
15: Jourdan Dunn: Alexander Wong, Anna Sui, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Isaac Mizrahi, Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, Ralph Lauren, Rodarte, Thakoon, Tommy Hilfiger, Zac Posen.
9: Sessilee Lopez: Badgley Mishka, Diane von Furstenberg, Isaac Mizrahi, Jason Wu, Malandrino, Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Oscar de la Renta, Tommy Hilfiger.
8: Arlenis Sosa: Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Isaac Mizrahi, Jason Wu, Michael Kors, Narciso Rodriguez, Oscar de la Renta, Tommy Hilfiger.
6: Georgie Badiel: 3.1 Philip Lim, Diane von Furstenberg, Isaac Mizrahi, Malandrino, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta.
5: Gracie Carvalho: 3.1 Philip Lim, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang.
5: Chanel Iman: Diane von Furstenberg, Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Zac Posen.
2: Ubah Hassan: Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren.
4: Aminata Niaria: Isaac Mizrahi, Malandrino, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang.
1: Lyndsey Scott: Calvin Klein.
1: Rahma Mohamed: Malandrino.
1: Kinee Diouf: Yigal Azrouel.