Colorless Catwalk

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

I normally try to stay away from what everyone else is discussing in the fashion industry, but did you hear about the "colorless catwalk"? And if you haven’t…what rock have you been under. Apparently, a not so recent statement has caused uproar in the fashion industry. Agencies, designers, corporate America have been accused by minority models and a variety of supporters that they purposefully do not employ them simply because of their color. Actually, this news isn’t new; however, this is first time in history that this issue has received so much publicity. Decade after decade minority models have complained of their lack of employment in the fashion industry, yet the financial structure of it has never deterred success and in fact keeps growing by the minute.

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After reading a gibbering article about this topic in the rear of a very popular fashion magazine I was amazed at the fluff the author had divulged. I really hate to negatively criticize another columnist’s work but this article really stunk! The only substantial information was the title and the extremely brief biographies of several minority models – everything else was (excuse my French) BS! On top of everything else, I went back to the cover page and noticed that there was not even one mention of the ‘colorless catwalk’ column there, nor in the index section. I don’t think I am wrongfully baffled. It’s as though there was an insignificant attempt to discuss a long-time disputed topic without wanting anyone to know about it. What’s the deal the that?

Admittedly, the catwalk has progressively become more and more modernized. Think about it. Plus-size models are getting more gigs and being plastered across fashion mags now than ever before! Meanwhile, minority models are no longer hesitant to attend auditions and go-see’s because they know NOW the fashion industry is "equal opportunity". Additionally, consumers are less surprised and more open-minded to seeing a plus-size woman or model of color promoting their favorite cometic or clothing brand.

So after much thought I decided not to waste my time overstating how I feel about the ‘colorless catwalk’ but instead to highlight some minority models. The following women have walked the walk from all over the world!

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Did you know that Beverly Peele was the first African American to be on the cover of
Mademoiselle in 1989?
In the eighth cycle of America’s Next Top Model, Jaslene Gonzalez, blew her
competition out the water by winning the tedious competition.
Yasmin Warsame who graced the cover of Elle magazine booked gigs with Valentino,
Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, H&M, Escada, Shiseido, and many more.

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