Since the 1970’s, fashion models of color, especially black men and women, have experienced an increase in discrimination in the fashion industry. In the years from 1970 to 1990, black designers and models were very successful, but as the 1990’s came to an end, the fashion aesthetic changed and it did not include black models or designers. In today’s fashion, black models, influencers, and designers account for one of the smallest percentages of the industry. There are many theories about this lack of diversity, that it can be attributed to the economic differences usually associated with race and class, or it can reflect the differences in arts schooling given to mostly black populated schools, and also blatant racism.
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A report from New York Fashion (Spring 2015) week found that while 79.69% of models on the runway were white, only 9.75% of models were black, 7.67% were Asian, and 2.12% were Latina. The lack of diversity also accounts for not only designers but models too, out of four hundred and seventy members of The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) only twelve of the members are black. From the same study on New York Fashion Week, it was shown that only 2.7% of the 260 designers presented were black men, and an even smaller percentage were black female designers. Even the relationship between independent designers and retailers can show the racial gap, only 1% of designers stocked at department stores being people of color. It was also found that in editorial spreads, over eighty percent of models pictured were white and only nine percent were black models. These numbers have stayed stagnant over the past few years.
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^ Noricks, C. (2006). From style to strategy: An exploratory investigation of public relations practice in the fashion industry. Unpublished master's thesis, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. in Cassidy, L. & Fitch, K. (2013) Beyond the Catwalk: Fashion Public Relations and Social Media in Australia, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 14, No. 1 & 2, Murdoch University.
Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an especially strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people.
Even though they are often used together, the term fashion differs from clothes and costume, where the first describes the material and technical garment, whereas the second has been relegated to special senses like fancy-dress or masquerade wear. Fashion instead describes the social and temporal system that "activates" dress as a social signifier in a certain time and context. Philosopher Georgio Agamben connects fashion to the current intensity of the qualitative moment, to the temporal aspect the Greek called kairos, whereas clothes belong to the quantitative, to what the Greek called chronos.
With increasing environmental awareness, the economic imperative to "Spend now, think later" is getting increasingly scrutinized. Today's consumer tends to be more mindful about consumption, looking for just enough and better, more durable options. People have also become more conscious of the impact their everyday consumption has on the environment and society, and these initiatives are often described as a move towards sustainable fashion, yet critics argue a circular economy based on growth is an oxymoron, or an increasing spiral of consumption, rather than a utopian cradle-to-cradle circular solution.
In fact, Thomas’s connection with fashion stems, in part, from her personal biography. — Anne Showalter, Smithsonian, "The Fierce Pride and Passion of Rhinestone Fashion," 9 Aug. 2019 Since Palmer started hosting the show last year, she’s spoken to leaders and influencers, in industries that run the gamut from culinary arts and fashion to Hollywood and politics. — Renee Morad, NBC News, "The podcast that's inspiring women to pursue positions in leadership," 8 Aug. 2019 For older students, animal prints can be used to make a bold fashion statement such as in a leopard print dress or cheetah print pants. — Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "Back to school in style: Here’s what’s trending this fall," 7 Aug. 2019 Anything But Classic Chanel is a fashion house known for many things, but its quilted purses are its most sought-after pieces. — Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kylie Jenner’s Chanel Bag Is Anything But Classic," 5 Aug. 2019 More head-turning pieces are piled on top, including dramatic chandeliers collected through the years, porcelain vases from China, 1920s privacy screens, and even textiles from the Louis Vuitton fashion house. — Chadner Navarro, Condé Nast Traveler, "A New Hotel Is Embracing the Laid-Back Eastern Side of the Algarve," 26 July 2019 Designer Giorgio Armani, the sole shareholder of his eponymous, 41-year-old Italian fashion house, is streamlining the far-reaching company, in reaction to sales falling for a third year. — Robert Williams, Fortune, "Giorgio Armani’s Restructuring his Fashion Empire," 26 July 2019 Givenchy is the nephew of the fashion house's founder, Hubert de Givenchy. — Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Scarlett Johansson's Engagement Ring Is One of The Chicest We've Ever Seen," 24 July 2019 Shortly after, the fashion house and Dapper Dan began working together on a line, and a collaborative collection between the two debuted in 2018](https://fashionista.com/2018/07/gucci-dapper-dan-collection-clothing-accessories). — Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Dapper Dan Addressed Why Black-Owned Fashion Brands Don't Get Support On “The Breakfast Club”," 12 July 2019