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.
Celebrities like Rihanna, Lupita Nyong'o, Zendaya, and Michelle Obama have been a few of the many fashion idols in the black female community. For men, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and Ice Cube have also helped define modern day fashion for black men. Today’s fashion scene is not just clothes, but also hair and makeup. Recent trends have included the embracing of natural hair, traditional clothing worn with modern clothing, or traditional patterns used in modern clothing styles. All of these trends come with the long existing and persevering movement of “Black is Beautiful”.
The fashion industry is seeing how 3D printing technology has influenced designers such as Iris Van Herpen and Kimberly Ovitz. These designers have been heavily experimenting and developing 3D printed couture pieces. As the technology grows, the 3D printers will become more accessible to designers and eventually consumers, which could potentially shape the fashion industry entirely.
Many fashion designers have come under fire over the years for what is known as tokenism. Designer or editors will add one or two members on an underrepresented group to help them appear as inclusive and diverse, and to also help them give the illusion that they have equality. This idea of tokenism helps designers avoid accusations of racism, sexism, body shaming, etc.
Wow, Ramsay, thank you again. This is massive! I always have my domain for 5 years and I just parked it. And because I have always pushed back on making it big, I never really paid for webhosting. It has always been with blogspot (I know!) Reading this makes me realize I had 5 years trying to find my voice as a blogger, 5 years of finding that voice and 5 years of, well, maybe wasting my time when I could’ve done a lot better. So thank you, this is like a wake up call.
Black activists and supporters used fashion to express their solidarity and support of this civil rights movement. Supporters adorned symbolic clothing, accessories and hairstyles, usually native to Africa. Politics and fashion were fused together during this time and the use of these symbolic fashion statements sent a message to America and the rest of the world that African Americans were proud of their heritage. They aimed to send an even stronger message that black is beautiful and they were not afraid to embrace their identities. An example would the Kente cloth, it is a brightly colored strip of cloth that is stitched and woven together to create different accessories. This woven cloth of brightly colored strips of fabric became a strong symbolic representation of pride in African identity for African Americans of the 1960’s and later. It was developed into what is called a dashiki, a flowing, loose fitting, tunic style shirt. This cloth became one of the most notorious symbols of this revolution.
1 : to give shape or form to : to make, construct, or create (something) usually with careful attention or by the use of imagination and ingenuity fashion a lamp from an old churn a figure fashioned from clay … delegating to the commander-in-chief the power to fashion the rules of the military justice system …— Fred Strasser Up there in the mountains old ladies … are still hooking rugs … and fashioning dainty dolls out of corn shucks.— Richard Atcheson