Stay Woke: The New York Runways' Statistics Show Diversity Improvement

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15:  A model walks the runway at the Michael Kors Autumn Winter 2017 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 15, 2017 in New York, United States.  (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images)

Stay Woke: The New York Runways' Statistics Show Diversity Improvement

A change is gonna come.

Published February 23, 2017

If fashion can be seen as a reflection of society as a whole, a platform for political, aesthetic, and topical statements, then we can say that it's truly a lens that can allude to the condition of the world at any given time. However as we know, more often than not it skews more fantastical than realistic. 

Specifically in regard to representation and diversity, the fashion world has a long way to go before it reaches a state of equality. 

The Fashion Spot has revealed statistics related to New York Fashion Week (NYFW), which occurred just earlier this month, and the results might surprise you. 

Fall 2017 collections featured 31.5 percent models of color, an increase from the September shows' 30.3 percent. The highest instance of equality on the books came from the Fall 2016 collections, in which 31.9 percent of models of color were cast. It's great to see an increase since September, and promising that this season's statistics rivaled the highest-ever diversity rate, but the stagnation suggests that plenty more can be done to level the playing field. 

An optimistic item in the report noted that this was the first NYFW that featured at least one model of color on every single runway. Gypsy Sport (87 percent), Chromat (77 percent), Kimora Lee Simmons (75 percent), Yeezy Season 5 (74 percent) and Marc Jacobs (66 percent) were among the most diverse castings. 

It's notable that Marc Jacobs landed a top spot after last season's blunder, in which he sent white models down the runway with dreadlocks and claimed, "I don't see color or race," in response to backlash. In light of the fact that his most recent season was inspired by the documentary Hip-Hop Evolution, he sensibly cast this show accordingly.

We will look forward to seeing even more diversity in upcoming seasons. 

Written by Lainey Sidell

(Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images)

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