Fashion Month has come to a close and we can finally look back to see just how diverse this season was. Last year, Bethann Hardison‘s Diversity Coalition called out a number of designers who failed to use more than one (if any) black models in their shows. Four letters were sent out to the governing bodies of fashion in New York, London, Milan and Paris. The goal was to alert designers to this kind of unconscious prejudice that allows them to cast shows void of any diversity.
We’ve come to expect the runways to be overwhelmingly whitewashed because, well, they usually are. And this season once again proved we still have a long way to go in terms of diversity. We analyzed 151 major shows in New York (48), Paris (42), London (31) and Milan (30) to see exactly how committed top designers are to representing a diverse group of models on the runway. The result was unsurprisingly “not very.” We counted black, white, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latina and female models of ambiguous ethnicity and found that the odds of women of color showing up on the runway are still extremely slim.
For the most part, the runways in each city were, on average, 83 percent white. New York seemed to have the most diverse week, with models of color showing up 20.9 percent of the time. Here’s a city-by-city breakdown:
It doesn’t come as a surprise that New York would lead the pack in diversity, although it’s only barely ahead of other cities. New York is quite a mixed pot itself, so perhaps the designers are only slightly more aware of diversity, considering they have no choice but to see it in the streets every day. London was the second most diverse city as 83.8 percent of the models who walked were white.