All Articles Tagged "Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week"
Report: More Models of Color on NYFW Runways, Still Only 8.1 Percent of “Looks” Worn By Black Models
Jezebel has done an exhaustive analysis of the 143 shows and live presentations that took place during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and found that there were more models of color walking the runways than years past. Still, the overwhelming percentage of models (79.4 percent) were white. That means that, of the 4708 “looks” shown, 3,736 were worn by white models.
Fewer than 10 percent (8.1 percent, to be precise) were black. Asian models actually came in second with 10.1 percent representation, followed by Latinas at 1.9 percent and finally, the elusive “others” were .5 percent.
“These results may be partly attributed to the season, because one trend that is apparent in our data is the preference for slightly more models of color at the spring-summer collections and slightly fewer at the fall-winter collections, which may be due to a belief on the part of casting directors that darker skin tones suit the bright colors of spring clothes better than they do fall’s more somber hues,” the site reports, based on off-the-record sources.
Still, six percent of shows had no models of color and 20 percent had three or fewer. Among the more diverse shows were Tracy Reese, Jason Wu, Ralph Lauren and Betsey Johnson.
Even before the Jezebel report, The Wall Street Journal was crowing about the diversity on the runways, using as an example Singapore-born Prabal Gurung, who gave the quote that pretty much sums up the whole issue: “Beauty is beauty.” In terms of race, he says he’s also looking to provide role models for his niece.
But ultimately, it’s about the market. That Journal story goes on to talk about the huge Chinese luxury market and how the desire to appeal to it played a role in the increased number of Asian models participating in NYFW. (If that’s something you’d like more info about, read Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster which has a stunning section about the shopping habits of this growing market.)
The top Asian model was Liu Wen, who walked in 21 shows. Cora Emmanuel topped the list for black models, walking in 17 shows. Number two on Jezebel’s list is Joan Smalls with 14 shows. She’s originally from Puerto Rico.
Overall, the fashion consumer is a diverse one, and the industry should recognize that and reflect it in its shows. With a more diverse crop of young designers coming up through the ranks, a more mixed group of models will likely be coming to the catwalk soon.
We know by now that Venus Williams is a businesswoman as well as an athlete: part owner of the Miami Dolphins (with sister (and recently crowned US Open champ, Serena), operator of Jamba Juice shops across the Mid-Atlantic, interior design and fashion maven with her clothing line EleVen.
The tennis champ gave USA Today a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for her line’s debut on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week catwalk. Over the course of three hours, the newspaper watched as Williams assessed hairstyles and make-up, watched the performers prepare for the evening (a dancer and a yoga practitioner are among the people who will be taking to the runway rather than models) and talked about the EleVen customer.
“It’s about being your best…. and doing more than you thought you could,” she says in the clip, available here.
Separately, but juicy, turns out that Williams has had a secret boyfriend, Miami-based Cuban model Elio Alberto Pis, who is 24 years old, eight years younger than Venus. Actually, I guess it’s not so secret since they were seen kissing at the US Open. But back to Fashion Week…
We’ve never really paid too much attention to EleVen, so we’re surprised that it’s making such a big splash during Fashion Week. Are you? Have you ever bought anything from the brand? If so, let us know what it’s like. Maybe we’ll check it out. Here’s a link to the brand’s website so you can see a little more.
Last night, the world celebrated shopping. It was Fashion’s Night Out, the evening that fashionistas of all levels can head out into the streets of cities around the globe and expect to see celebrities, get free booze, stand in line for stuff and maybe even buy a thing or two.
FNO (as all the cool kids call it) started in 2009, after the economic collapse led to a drop in sales for clothing and accessories. At that time, Vogue editor Anna Wintour wanted to spur spending. Now, it serves more as an exercise in audience participation for the much more exclusive Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. And thousands of people surely did come out, clogging the streets and packing the stores.
Along 34th Street in Manhattan, signs invited people in to shops to celebrate. But it was when you got to Herald Square that the party really started. We walked past a stage with loud music (but minimal dancing) on the way into Macy’s, which had events on seemingly every floor.
At 7:30, fashion designer and Project Runway judge Michael Kors was meant to make an appearance, but at that time, the MC was still announcing names for people that, as best we can tell, had won some sort of raffle. Note: The photo above was taken at Kors’ East Side shop, not at Macy’s. We never actually got to see him, though we did take a look at his line of shoes. We asked a woman standing in line whether she was waiting to meet the designer.
“I think so,” she responded. So theoretically, she could’ve just been standing in line for her health. But whatever. Everyone was just happy to be there.
It should also be noted that people, some in large groups, were strutting about the second floor dressed like they were heading to the club to pop bottles in the VIP section. Or wait behind the velvet rope in the hopes of getting to the VIP section. One or the other.
High off of the many squirts of perfume that were fired my way as I left Macy’s, I thought it would be a good idea to head over to a Target pop-up store in the Meatpacking District, which featured the five special collections available this fall. After zipping through the line to get in (Hugo Boss, Diane von Furstenberg and other high-end shops in the neighborhood had lines that were at a standstill), I waited in line to get into the Kirna Zabete shop to look at the women’s fashions, which were very nice, though I couldn’t find my size. All around were people grabbing free bottles of soda, moving to the music (FNO is a big night for DJs, who were spinning everywhere) and chattering blissfully. Over at Odin, the men’s shop, things were much more calm.
“It was packed before,” a salesman told me. “That’s because men know how to shop. They get in and get out.”
Interestingly, the one place where there wasn’t a line was at the cash registers (see right), where we only saw a couple of people actually making a purchase. I was told on the way in that there was a limit of five items per customer, but it looks like there was a lot more cola consumption than actual purchasing.
Also interesting, at least to me, I did manage to get a couple of things from H&M, which offered 30 percent off of the item of your choice, special for FNO. There has always been the question of whether FNO is more for window shopping, freebies and celeb spotting than actual sales, but, according to reporting by Reuters, the organizers of the event declare it a repeated success.
“Data from NYC & Company found that two thirds of stores who participated in 2011 and responded to their survey said store traffic increased as a result of the night,” the article says.
“What happens is there’s a big bump in the stores the following week or 10 days after that. People go and they see … and then they go back to the stores and buy what they want the next day,” the story quotes George Fertitta, head of NYC & Company, the New York’s marketing and tourism group.