All Articles Tagged "New York Fashion Week"

The Catwalk Had A Little More Color, But White Models Still Dominated New York Fashion Week

February 20th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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A model walking in the Jeremy Scott show during NYFW. Jeff Grossman/

A model walking in the Jeremy Scott show during NYFW. Jeff Grossman/

Pushing for diversity in fashion is an ongoing job. And the push by the likes of Bethann Hardison and the Diversity Coalition is having some effect–but it’s slow going.

For yet another year Jezebel has compiled its seasonal New York Fashion Week racial diversity report, which looks at how many models of color were used by each designer.

According to the Jezebel report, the number of black models jumped from 8.08 percent last season to  9.75 percent. There was, however, a decrease in the number of Asian models from 8.1 percent to 7.67 percent this season, and Latina models dropped to 2.12 percent from 3.19 percent. The site notes that it’s difficult identifying the ethnic makeup of some models, so the calculations might be off slightly.

Designer Tocca didn’t use any models of color and Calvin Klein used fewer than last year. But African-American designer Tracy Reese, Zac Posen, Diane von Furstenberg and Ohne Titel have been consistent in their use of diverse models.

According to Jezebel, 78.68 percent of the outfits were worn by white models. When looking at the 148 Fall/Winter 2014 runway shows (excluding menswear), 4,621 looks were shown and only 985 were worn by models of color.

The Diversity Coalition says more work needs to be done. And former model Beverly Johnson agrees. “There are no models of color on the runway – OK, maybe there’s one,” Johnson said during the Macy’s annual Black History Month event in San Francisco on February 5.

“The lack of acknowledgement is disrespectful,” Johnson said, “particularly when we, as African Americans, participate in the bottom line of these designers and the entire industry.”According to Johnson, the fashion industry is actually less diverse now than in 1974, the year she became the first black model to grace the cover of Vogue.

Some designers complain they can’t find black models, that the modeling agencies aren’t sending out black models. But San Francisco’s JE Model agency owner Phillip Gums tells the Gate that the agencies simply reflect  market demands. Gums, who happens to be an African-American model, admits it’s more difficult to get work for nonwhite models.

Although San Francisco modeling agencies do represent African American and Asian models, “we hate to just have them on our wall sitting there” without work, Gums says.

“Fashion reflects the society as a whole,” former Essence editor and fashion journalist Constance White points out. But she says, “Fashion can do better in terms of diversity at all different levels” including executive positions and the fashion designers themselves.

[h/t The Huffington Post]

White Models Still Ruled NY Fashion Week, But More Models Of Color Hit The Catwalk This Year

September 21st, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014 - Zac Posen - Runway (SIPA/

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014 – Zac Posen – Runway (SIPA/

The fashion world is becoming more inclusive — kind of. There was a slight boost in models of color at this year’s New York Fashion Week, but more needs to be done to bring real diversity to the catwalk.

It seems all the media coverage about the fashion world and racism, as well as the push from the  Diversity Coalition’s highly-publicized campaign for more black models might have helped bring more black models to the runway this year at New York Fashion Week. Things had been looking bleak for black models in major fashion shows.

Jezebel has conducted a racial diversity report of the New York Fashion Week runways since 2008 and found that the number of white, black, Latino and Asian models cast in each show has been steadily declining. But things were better — slightly — for this year.

“Based on the 142 Spring/Summer 2014 runway shows (excluding presentations and lookbook) a total of 4637 looks were presented and, of those looks, approximately 80 percent were shown on white models,” reports The Huffington Post. The number is a slightly down from last season’s roughly 83 percent. The number of black models increased from six percent last season to  8.08 percent. Latina models walked 3.19 percent compared to last season’s two percent, but Asian models had a one percent drop from 9.1 percent to 8.1 percent.

Though a small boost, it is a start, say fashion insiders.

“I see this as a positive step,” fashion activist and leader of the Diversity Coalition, Bethann Hardison told The Huffington Post. “Whether the number moves a decimal or not, the fact that everyone is responding in such a positive way says a whole lot about the synergy of things and how things begin — and will continue to change.”

Among the designers who used models of color were Zac Posen, Rachel Comey and Diane von Furstenberg. Their shows boasted 30 percent or more models of colors. “Meanwhile Jill Stuart, Lacoste, Band of Outsiders and Victoria Beckham are just a few of the designers who showed between zero and three looks on non-white models,” reports the HuffPo.

Although there has been an improvement, the coalition isn’t backing down.

“But we’re not going to rest on our laurels. I know we’re going to have to keep our foot on the gas. As I’ve always said — activism requires you to be active,” said Hardison.

Russell Simmons Responds To Andre Leon Talley : “I’ve Done More For Blacks In Fashion And Gay Rights’ Than You”

September 17th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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From HelloBeautiful 

Once upon a time, you might have found Russell Simmons and André Leon Talley seated across from each other front row during New York Fashion Week. But this season, Andre proclaims that Russell shouldn’t sit front row. During an interview with The Grio, Andre had some interesting words to say about the Hip-Hop mogul.

“I don’t think Russell Simmons should be seated on anybody’s front row this week after having done that disgusting Harriet Tubman sex tape,” André said. “He is a man of great achievement. He is a great philanthropist — why would he think it would be an honorable thing to do? He said he thought it was funny. That is not funny, it is outrageously disrespectful to the legacy and history of Harriet Tubman and to the struggle.”

Andre want on to say that Russell should be banned from the shows this season. WOW! Banned. Maybe! Andre seems just as upset as we are over this Harriet Tubman sex tape foolery, but Russell did apologize, kinda. I’m still questioning that. I think he wanted us all to embrace in a hearty laugh and when it backfired… well you know the rest. I digress.

See Russell Simmons’ response at 

André Leon Talley Says Russell Simmons Shouldn’t Have Been Front Row At NYFW After His Harriet Tubman Sex Tape

September 13th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Around this time last month, Russell Simmons was catching hell for his new YouTube channel “All Def Digital” and the decision they made to put out the “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape.” The clip tried to imply as a joke that Harriet Tubman had sex with her master and taped it in order to blackmail him so that she could be able to start the Underground Railroad. That didn’t go over well whatsoever, and in the end, Russell Simmons apologized for the channel’s decision to post the video, though he claimed that he initially thought the video was funny…

As the man who once brought the world Phat Farm (and in turn, Baby Phat), Simmons can often be seen at New York Fashion Week shows rubbing elbows with other famous folks, and he was at a few shows this past week. But since he’s done that Harriet Tubman skit, some people weren’t too happy to see him at NYFW this time around, including André Leon Talley, the former editor-at-large for Vogue. In fact, he felt that Simmons should have been banned because of the poor taste of that Harriet Tubman clip. Here’s what he told TheGrio:

“I think anyone that is a person of achievement on the front row that has achieved a great deal be they black or white is a good thing.

I don’t think Russell Simmons should be seated on anybody’s front row this week after having done that disgusting Harriet Tubman sex tape. He is a man of great achievement. He is a great philanthropist….why would he think it would be an honorable thing to do? He said he thought it was funny. That is not funny it is outrageously disrespectful to the legacy and history of Harriet Tubman and to the struggle.”

I think we can all agree that it was in poor taste, but should he not be allowed to sit front row with all the other big things Simmons has done philanthropically? Let us know what you think.


Who’s That Girl? Eve Blows Our Mind During NY Fashion Week

September 12th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: AKM-GSI "eve"

Source: AKM-GSI


From StyleBlazer

Here and there we spot Eve, performing and walking the red carpet, but rarely do we see her simply glowing. The rapper attended Catherine Malandrino’s Spring 2014 show on Tuesday wearing a green dress from the designer that we loved.

The air of the collection matched the demeanor of Eve who is currently wearing a honey brown shoulder length do’. To complete the two-tone look, she accented with gold bangles and black peep-toe booties. While the look is very feminize, Eve adds a certain edginess to it that’s authentic to her personality. In a nutshell, we love.

See more of Eve  at 

Americans Behaving Badly: What’s The Real Reason Behind The Disappearance Of Fashion’s Night Out?

September 11th, 2013 - By Karen Francis
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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week arrived in all of its well-heeled, perfectly-accessorized splendor last week and with it, a flurry of blog posts, tweets and even New York Times articles. But for the first time in four years, the first Thursday of fall Fashion Week passed without a Fashion’s Night Out in New York.  The brainchild of Anna Wintour, FNO launched during the 2009 recession in NYC, and “had expanded to stores in over 500 cities nationwide and 30 cities around the globe,” according to WWD.

Last year, the “powers that be” (Vogue, the CFDA and NYC & Co., that is) all decided to pull the plug on FNO.  According to Steve Kolb, the chief executive officer of the CFDA, “[After each FNO] we would always return to what was our original mission and purpose and that was to reinvigorate the shopping experience and the consumers’ engagement in stores. After this last one, we felt we had really created this renewed presence at retail that really brought added value and a fun experience back to shopping.”

Goodbye to free cocktails, dance parties with DJs and celebrity appearances by everyone from Victoria Beckham and Nicole Richie, to Pharrell and Kanye West.

Notice that I wrote “goodbye” — not “adios,” “sayonara,” or even “ciao” (which would be much more apropos in the fashion world).

That is because the FNO party train only stopped in the U.S. this year.  Here in the States, tweets like those of attorney and TV commentator Midwin Charles proliferated my timeline: “Dearest fashionistas: what the hell happened to Fashion Night Out???????? #FNO #RIP #NYFW”.

louboutin kenyElsewhere though, the #FNO hoopla was in full effect. Christian Louboutin posted a pic of its latest shoe, the camo Keny. There were pictures and commentary from attendees at FNO parties thrown by Vogue Germany and Vogue India and even Vogue Australia.  Additional tweets indicated FNO festivities in France, Brasil, Hong Kong and South Africa.

Contrary to popular belief, it would seem that Fashion’s Night Out is alive and thriving. In fact, Nicky Eaton of Condé Nast International confirmed to WWD that “19 countries will be participating in 2013. Thailand and Ukraine will be hosting FNO for the first time.” But nothing in the United States?

The cause of FNO’s stateside demise may have been fiscally-based – at least in part. Started during the recession, FNO’s goal of stimulating revenue was apparently not met.  There were no discounts in conjunction with the event so those who found Louis Vuitton prices exorbitant on any other day did not have a change of heart just because it was FNO. Additionally, the ubiquitous champagne flutes — which initially may have been introduced as a way to loosen purse strings — soon became synonymous with the best places to party for free at FNO.

Year after year, the event became less retail and more social. Crowds grew and began spilling into the streets. When boutiques closed, crowds did not dissipate. Instead, they grew restless looking for food, entertainment and of course, more drinks. Last year, the copious amounts of free alcohol and the sizable crowds led to a small riot in Soho. “I guess that’s what happens when you gather an enormous crowd, get them drunk… and then remind them that they can’t afford any of the pretty things that you’re waving in their faces,” says blogger Beth Hammarlund.

Kolb and others can sugarcoat it, but bad behavior appears to be the real reason that Fashion’s Night Out was cancelled indefinitely here in the U.S. A free party in the name of fashion was not the original intent of the FNO sponsors. Here in the States though, that is what it became. The fact that FNO went on as scheduled in some countries, and even made its debut in others, indicates that the event is still worthwhile in the eyes of its creators.  But like a party guest who overstays their welcome, as Americans, our party privileges have simply been revoked.

Karen J. Francis is a freelance writer and media attorney living in New York City.  Please follow her on Twitter @karebelle.

Harpo, Who Dis Woman? Guess What Famous Face Is Behind All This Makeup

September 9th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Tyra Banks

If you look deep into her eyes, I’m sure you can see that this blonde beauty with her pink pout and furry brows is…Tyra Banks.

Well, it’s Tyra Banks dressed and done up to look like supermodel Cara Delevingne to be specific. The legendary model showed love to New York Fashion Week with a photo project meant to pay homage and impersonate some of Tyra’s good friends and the icons in the business, as well as her “colleagues” and “competition.” In the photo above, the model furrowed her brows, put on a blonde wig and got edgy with her attire in order to impersonate the 21-year-old “it” model, Cara Delevigne. But Delevigne is not the only pretty gyal Banks changed her looks for. She also put on her best mole to show love to Cindy Crawford, and got as wide-eyed as possible to do her best Kate Moss. All in all, Banks did about 15 shots for the project, and according to NewsOne, she also dresses up as Linda Evangelista, Lauren Hutton, Jerry Hall, Iman, Kate Moss, Twiggy, Brooke Shields, Claudia Schiffer, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Kate Upton, and Karlie Kloss. So yeah, as far as the black models goes, she includes two, and Naomi Campbell is not on the list. But of course, those two bumped heads as young models and (as older ones) tried to hash out that drama on Banks’ old talk show so I’m not really surprised at that omission. Check out more images that Banks posted so far of herself as Cara, Kate, and Cindy, and let us know what you think.

Tyra Cara

Nicole Richie Becomes A Rapper With Her ‘Candidly Nicole’ Track

September 4th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Nicole Richie Becomes A Rapper

Source: AOL


From StyleBlazer 

We’re all going to need some energizing music for New York Fashion Week and what better than to listen to the stylistic verses of Nikki Rich aka Nicole Richie. Her new “Candidly Nicole” stunt takes her to the recording studio where she enlists the help of her brother-in-law, Benji Madden and Rapper, Ebone Hoodrich to learn what it takes to become a rap star.

The recording session was originally sparked by her tweet, “Any chance Drake will rap about Plantar Fasciitis soon? I need a summer jam I can relate to.” Thus leading to her sitting in a studio writing versus about making gluten-free pasta and getting highlights to her bob. Corny as it may sound, it actually doesn’t sound half bad. Check out the hilarious video!

See Nicole Richie drop bars at 

Iman Wants People To Boycott Designers Who Don’t Put Black Models On Their Runway

August 13th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/

Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/

Legendary supermodel Iman says that it’s time to take a stand. According to a report on Jezebel, 82.7 percent of models in Fall/Winter Fashion Week were white, while Asian models were 9.1 percent, black models were six percent (falling from 8.2 percent in 2012), and Latina models were only two percent of the supermodels walking the runway. And while some of the top models in the world are of color, including Joan Smalls (who was ranked the number one model on, the runways still manage to stay the same. Because of that, Iman says there needs to be a major change, and she’s saying that until it happens, folks need to start boycotting these fashion labels so they can feel the hit in their pockets. Here’s what she told Vogue:

“It feels to me like the times need a real hard line drawn like in the Sixties, by saying if you don’t use black models, then we boycott. If you engage the social media, trust me, it will hurt them in their pockets. If you take it out there, they will feel the uproar.

There is something terribly wrong. We have a President and a First Lady who are black. You would think things have changed, and then you realise[sic] that they have not. In fact, things have gone backwards.”

This story about the lack of diversity on runways is as old as time, and while I’d love to see more women of color killing it in major fashion shows, you can’t make people put folks in their shows if they don’t want to and if they aren’t keeping them out because of malicious intent. But then again, there are plenty of black designers out here to support if the actions of these major labels aren’t floating your boat…just saying!

What do you think of Iman’s comments?

Where Are All the Black Models? Diversity Is Missing from ‘T’ Mag & The Catwalk

February 19th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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The Marc Jacobs Fall 2013 fashion show last week. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Marc Jacobs Fall 2013 fashion show last week. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The new editor of The New York Times’ T magazine had to respond to a discussion that began after the latest issue of the fashion supplement reached readers this weekend. People remarked that the issue was noticeably monochromatic, with lots and lots (and lots) of white models. One reader, Susan Clark of Annandale, VA, said very specifically, “I assume the ads cannot be controlled, but I saw only one African-American and one Asian-American among the thousands of models in the ads. The T doesn’t look like my neighborhood or America.” OK!

Editor Deborah Needleman, recently of The Wall Street Journal responded. “It was something I noticed and regretted as we were putting the issue together. We are a global magazine and so would like the content , subjects and geography of stories to reflect that,” she began.

“A majority of fashion models are still unfortunately mostly white, but it is our aim to celebrate quality and beauty in all its diverse forms.”

To that end, Jezebel took a look at the level of diversity on the New York Fashion Week catwalks and it was notably lacking. According to numbers the site gathered, covered 151 shows with 4,479 looks. Of those, 3,706 — or 82.7 percent — were worn by white models. Asian models wore 9.1 percent of the looks (409), black models wore 270 looks, or six percent. And non-white Latina models wore two percent of the looks, or 90 of them.

J.Crew, Badgley Mischka, Diane von Furstenberg, Rebecca Taylor, and Zac Posen were among the designers who did feature models of color, while Calvin Klein and Juicy Couture were among those that had no models of color. Overall, there was less diversity on the runways this year than last.

The site, which has been tracking these numbers for five years, says that, within the industry, this preference for white models drives down pay for those who do get jobs, and makes it particularly difficult for the models of color who are vying for the few spots available. But there are larger implications also.

“And outside the industry — because the models who rise to the top of the heap doing runway are the models who go on to do the magazine covers, the cosmetics campaigns, the luxury brand ads, the billboards, and the TV commercials that girls all over the world can’t help but grow up consuming — it promotes the idea that beauty means having white skin,” the site says.

The fashion industry, known for boundless diversity in its creativity, must recognize the diversity in humans and celebrate it along with their designs.