Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Black Skin Is Not A Trend

with 3 comments

During New York Fashion Week, famous black male super model, Tyson Beckford, said, “What happened to all the black people on the runway, there are no blacks on the cats.” Looking at the feedback and pictures from fashion shows, there were only a couple of black girls on the runway. According to fashion show coordinator Vendetti, with white girls there are so many looks to choose from, with black girls you get the same thing. Many people say that dark skin takes away from the garment. Many designers don’t like to have darker models because they believe that people notice the model more, that they notice the garment. So in Vogue Magazine and many other fashion magazines, you mostly see very pale European girls, because that is the trend. This article that I read from New York Times was very interesting to me because this is a very popular form of discrimination, that you don’t hear many people discuss. It’s illegal for people to not receive jobs  because of their skin color in any other place, so why not in the Fashion Industry.  Many people believe that racism is hidden very well, but it’s all around us, especially in fashion. Ultimately in fashion, I guess it’s up to the designers to take the initiative, and hire more black models.


Written by medusmango

February 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm

3 Responses

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  1. It may be illegal for employers to discriminate hiring because of race but in terms on modeling agencies, I’m sure it’s also illegal to not hire someone because of their big nose or their short legs….it’s modeling, it’s not corporate America. I’m not saying it’s right that there aren’t many black models, but I’m saying you also don’t see short models walking down the runway, or many girls over the weight limit of 90 lbs… There’s a lot more than just racial discrimination going on in that world


    February 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm

  2. The comment above seems to imply that black women are innately unnatractive and almost ineligible of being considered for modeling jobs; much the way a short person would be. ???

    The job of a model is to represent clothing in an appealing way that flatters the clothing without distracting the viewer from the actual clothing itself. I think that the only legitimate claim that could explain the lack of black models would be that they could possibly distract from the clothing. That being said, there have been numerous succesful black models: Iman, Naiome Cambell, Tyra Banks. As we discussed in class, white is seen as the norm. It is simple, plain, and generic, while anything other than white is seen as “different,” unusual or exotic. The world of high fashion looks for “clothes hangers,” while more mainstream venues, Victoria’s Secret for instance, employ curvier and more exotic looking models. Their catalogs almost always have black girls featured.


    February 4, 2010 at 1:58 am

  3. I think that the fashion industry is one place you won’t win a battle about racism, regardless of how wrong or ignorant it may be. First of all, fashion is to many designers art. No one is going around criticizing artists for not painting enough portraits of blacks and other minority groups. Designers hire who they see in their artistic vision. Maybe they are racist, but in any case, you can’t really argue. How are you going to tell someone what their art should look like? I personally think the fashion industry is messed up altogether.. It ignores anything and everything it wants. Right or wrong, I don’t know if there’s anyway to change it without changing society as a whole.


    February 6, 2010 at 3:53 am

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