We’ve seen the industry become more diverse within the past few years; models of different racial backgrounds, genders, disabilities, and body types are becoming more popular. Despite this inspiring trend, designers are known to take a little longer to include more diverse models on the runways. But 2019 spring runways show there is progress.
While Paris fashion week and other European fashion weeks begin, we hope that the industry follows suit. NYFW is a leader of inclusion on the runways, and the stats prove it for this next season.
According to The Fashion Spot’s semi-annual runway diversity report, 44.8 percent of models were of different color and backgrounds. Last season was at a 37.8 percent, creating a larger climb. However, we still have a long way to go and we also have a long way to go when it comes to bringing inclusion to the runway, not just diversity.
Among the highest percentages of shows with the most diverse models were Pyer Moss (100 percent), Claudia Li (100 percent), Chromat (91.7 percent). Also topping the list was LaQuan Smith (76.5 percent), Gypsy Sport (76 percent), Prabal Gurung (75.6 percent) and Savage x Fenty (71.7 percent). South Korean model Yoon Young Bae tied for most-cast model with Dutch Kiki Willems.
Race was not only a factor when determining diversity this Fashion Week season. The representation of plus size models was visible. A record breaking 49 plus-size models hit 12 runways vs last season’s 27. Chromat, Savage X Fenty and Christian Siriano had the most diverse sizes.
When it came to age, only 12 models were over the age of 50. When it came to gender, 53 trans women and non-binary models made an appearance on 20 shows. There were 25 drag performers which included Opening Ceremony, The Blonds, and Gypsy Sport.
While there is improvement, we hope the runways can take part in our #ReflectMeLike campaign, where every human out there can see a reflection of themselves on the runway. 2019 spring runways were a stepping stone, but let’s take a leap.
By Staci Wuokko