The fashion industry is infamous for being the subject of diversity scrutiny. From weight, height, and nationality requirements, high fashion model castings definitely shed light on the topic of how diversity is, and is not, carried throughout the industry. The norm of casting models 5’10 and up, under 120 lbs, has caused designers to be frowned upon for neglecting full-figured, or “average”, modern day women. As a result, we have seen an emergence of plus-size models and models strutting runways rocking afros and cornrows. Many model castings have shifted towards casting a melting pot of models, who represent different cultures, all of different skin shades. So I think it’s safe to say that the fashion industry is making a diversified, multicultural comeback!
Designers have their own creative visions and are in control of how their lines are showcased to the public. Nowadays, with topics of racism, and talks of Trump’s big wall idea, diversity neglect is noticeable: and will definitely be talked about. This holds true for Vetements
designer, and creative director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia, who neglected to cast a single model of color during the latest runway showcasing of Balenciaga or Vetements Fall/Winter 2016. Gvasalia’s all white model casting was contradictory to the style of cool, edgy, urban wear that happens to be loved by a few of today’s biggest black celebs like, Kayne and Rihanna. The fact there are now many models of color on the rise like, Chanel Iman, Maria Borges, Joan Smalls, Liu Wen, and Soo Joo Park, makes this is a step backwards to the progress towards multi-cultural diversity in fashion. There has been questions to whether the color-lacking model casting was intentional or not, but in fashion, there is a rhyme or reason for every little detail; so I think that answers those questions. As Demna disappointed the fashion industry, Mr. West must not be too bothered by his favorite designer’s model casting because if so, I’m sure we would’ve seen a twitter rant by now!