The Fashion Industry Is Getting More Racist
If you've looked at any recent fashion magazine or show, you may have noticed that the industry has about as much ethnic diversity as Dave Matthews Band concert. This is part of a long tradition of believing that only white people can be hot, and that white people will only buy clothes if they're being worn by other, hotter white people.
Statistics clearly show that the fashion industry has been bleached like a supermodel's butthole. In 2012, Vogue was criticized for having only 14 covers in its entire history which featured minorities of any kind, out of over 1,400 total. Overall, only 14 percent of all fashion magazines featured people of any nonwhite ethnicity. Much to the fashionistas' surprise, calling something else "the new black" every season doesn't mean they get counted toward your diversity hires.
The same issue that featured an editor's note about their commitment to diversity featured a tanned Swede on the cover.
Hey, wait a minute. Weren't there a bunch of black supermodels in previous decades? Sure, '80s and '90s fashion was never going to win any diversity awards, but at least it had met its specific "intimidating black women" quota with the likes of Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Iman, and Grace Jones. So what the hell happened? According to Bethann Hardison, one of the first black models in Europe, the rise of brands like Gucci and Prada are to blame. These brands are fond of "aspirational marketing" (directed toward people who can't actually afford the product) to white people, which led to an increase in ads featuring white models. At the same time, the responsibility for casting models for shoots went from the designers to casting agents, who were a bit more preoccupied with marketing than supporting art and diversity.
But even the black supermodels we mentioned still get passed over for the same skinny white girls they've been fighting all of their careers. In 2012, Claudia Schiffer and Karl Lagerfeld worked on an ad campaign for Dom Perignon which featured Schiffer wearing clothes from different cultures around the world. Which isn't necessarily a problem in itself, but then they decided to take it a step further and go full minstrel show: