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by on Sep 09, 2013

3 Legends Speak About The Fashion Industry’s Race Problem

The fashion industry has a wide spread, yet little talked about problem: its lack of diversity. This comes as no surprise to most of us. But it was equal parts surprising and sad to hear a supermodel and makeup mogul like Iman admit that the problem is worse now than it was in the 70′s.

For years activist Bethann Hardison has been taking a stand against the lack of diversity in high-fashion. She founded The Diversity Coalition which works tirelessly to fight the non-chalant attitudes of the fashion elite who contribute to the problem. Earlier this month Hardison sent a powerful letter to the governing bodies of Fashion Week in all four of the major markets (New York, London, Paris and Milan.) The letter reads:

“Eyes are on an industry that season after season watches design houses consistently use one or no models of color. No matter the intention, the result is racism. Not accepting another based on the color of their skin is clearly beyond ‘aesthetic’ when it is consistent with the designer’s brand. Whether it’s the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models, reveals a trait that is unbecoming to modern society. It can no longer be accepted, nor confused by the use of the Asian model.”

Now Bethann Hardison, Iman and Naomi Campbell are taking their fight for diversity to the next level by attracting media attention. The ladies appeared on “Good Morning America” for a segment dedicated to discussing the hot topic.

“There is a time where silence is not acceptable at all,” Iman told GMA. “And if the conversation cannot be had publicly in our industry, then inherently there is something wrong with the industry.” Watch a clip from the segment below:

What do you think about designers refusing to use black models? Is it a “racist act” as Iman said or is it their right as artist to choose who they want to represent their brand? 



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