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Forums > General Industry > New York Fashion Week Models are getting Whiter

Photographer

MMR Digital

Posts: 1717

Doylestown, Pennsylvania, US

Garry k wrote:
82 per cent of the models in this years NYFW were white , with 14 companies ( designers ) employing no models of color for their shows


http://jezebel.com/5985110/new-york-fas … ing-whiter

What is your investment in your post?

Feb 21 13 06:34 pm Link

Photographer

AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10555

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Tony Lawrence wrote:

LOL... Its a blue moon!

moons of color are traditionally under-represented

Feb 21 13 08:44 pm Link

Model

Erin Holmes

Posts: 6574

Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

When working on my own photography projects I'm always trying to find models of ethnicities other than white, simply because I like how they look. At least in the area I currently live I have had a lot of trouble finding any.

Feb 21 13 08:47 pm Link

Photographer

HarryL

Posts: 1582

Chicago, Illinois, US

Thought the industries seen the  statistics more than anything else.

Feb 21 13 08:55 pm Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7248

New York, New York, US

I am a person of color and well is it getting whiter? No, it's just more of the same -some gains, some losses, life goes on. Is there discrimination? Name one industry that doesn't in one way or another. I've been discriminated against more times for being single and not married more times than anything else honestly. I was passed up for overtime because they assumed I didn't need it because I had no kids. It's not just race that is the issue in fashion, it's the clientele. They try to reflect the buyer wearing those fancy clothes. Marketing is marketing to a particular part of society. I don't think it's discriminatory, more of a business move. On the runway it shouldn't matter but maybe it does? I don't know. I don't shoot fashion, don't care to either. hahaha I wouldn't spend my time trying to figure this shit out. I rather get back to shooting.

Feb 21 13 09:02 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27208

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
wait....82% of the models were white and 14% of the population is black and there's a problem? we are complaining that the whites are under-represented?

its a bit more than black and white

Feb 21 13 10:02 pm Link

Photographer

Kyle T Edwards

Posts: 431

St Catharines, Ontario, Canada

For what it's worth, yes, the majority of runway models are technically white, but they're about as representative of the Caucasian population as a "Made in Taiwan" tag is of the Asian population.  I don't think any non-anorexic white woman has ever looked at a runway model and thought "hey, if I buy that outfit, I could look like her."

Cait W wrote:
Hey, finally something positive about being uber pale, because I'm about as pale as it gets. At the beach it's blinding. XD

Yeah, well you've got an insider's edge.  When I first saw your pic and then perused your port, my recurring thought was that you reminded me of a young Lauren Graham.    If that's the result of being uber pale, hooray for pale!!

Feb 22 13 09:43 am Link

Photographer

B R U N E S C I

Posts: 25319

Bath, England, United Kingdom

White Lace Studios wrote:
Number given to white models: 3706 (82.7%)
Number given to models of color: 776 (17.3%)
Number given to Latina models:90 (2%)
Number given to Asian models: 409 (9.1%)
Number given to black models: 271 (6%)
Number given to models of other ethnicities: 12 (0.2%

Somebody can't count.

That lot comes to 117.3% lol




Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Feb 22 13 10:26 am Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27208

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:

Somebody can't count.

That lot comes to 117.3% lol




Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

oh come on ...you are smarter than that

what do you think "models of color" refers to?

Feb 22 13 11:35 am Link

Photographer

still-photography

Posts: 1363

Bothell, Washington, US

White Lace Studios wrote:
Number given to white models: 3706 (82.7%)
Number given to models of color: 776 (17.3%)
Number given to Latina models:90 (2%)
Number given to Asian models: 409 (9.1%)
Number given to black models: 271 (6%)
Number given to models of other ethnicities: 12 (0.2%

-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
Somebody can't count.

That lot comes to 117.3% lol

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Or they can't read.  "Models of color" is comprised of the groups of Latina, Asian, black and other enthicities.  Hence the 17.3% discrepancy.

Let's just assume you were making a joke.

Feb 22 13 11:36 am Link

Photographer

B R U N E S C I

Posts: 25319

Bath, England, United Kingdom

Garry k wrote:
oh come on ...you are smarter than that

what do you think "models of color" refers to?

Please recalibrate your sense of humour.

Sheesh!





Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Feb 22 13 01:16 pm Link

Photographer

Shon D.- Femme

Posts: 24388

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

Marin Photography wrote:
I am a person of color and well is it getting whiter? No, it's just more of the same -

Pretty much.

Feb 23 13 10:47 am Link

Photographer

Becky-Marie

Posts: 265

Miami, Florida, US

Guss W wrote:
Who's buying their product?

+10000

Feb 23 13 10:57 am Link

Model

Tiffiney C

Posts: 570

Los Angeles, California, US

udor wrote:

No... that is not the reason, because in NY the amount of ethnic diverse models that fit the standard runway requirements are more than abundant.

+1

Tiff
www.TiffineyC.com

Feb 23 13 11:00 am Link

Photographer

Shon D.- Femme

Posts: 24388

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

The Spaces Between wrote:
geez, who is spending their time looking for things to be offended about?

Making an observation = taking offense?

Feb 23 13 11:09 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

EMILY  C wrote:

Hair color isn't a protected class in the U.S.

Race is.

Or do these laws not apply to those who work in the fashion industry?  And if so, how and why are they exempt?

Please enlighten me - no snark - I'm truly interested!

Modeling is not protected by the same requirements as many industries. Hiring based on someone's looks wouldn't go over well at IBM but it's a BFOQ (Bona Fide Occupational Qualification) in the modeling/fashion industry.

You certainly couldn't discriminate against a wheelchair-bound handicapped person in a "normal" corporate environment, but they would have a hard time citing discrimination if they were trying to be a Runway Model.

A BFOQ is the reason why Hooter's isn't sued more often (other than the one famous case years ago where a hairy guy sued to work as a waiter...and lost). Being an attractive female is considered a BFOQ there.

Feb 23 13 11:10 am Link

Model

Miss_Bee

Posts: 147

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Its very disappointing and sad the number of photographers in this thread saying 'so what', 'looking for something to be offended about' etc. Those remarks obviously come from quite a priveleged place. For some reason I expected this to be more of a progressive community.

Feb 23 13 08:41 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27208

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Stephanie_Bee wrote:
Its very disappointing and sad the number of photographers in this thread saying 'so what', 'looking for something to be offended about' etc. Those remarks obviously come from quite a priveleged place. For some reason I expected this to be more of a progressive community.

there a fair number of folks here who are not very progressive in their views regarding racial equality

Feb 24 13 03:38 pm Link

Photographer

Jason Tamvakis II

Posts: 64

BRONX, New York, US

Paolo Diavolo wrote:
*shrugs*
certain ethnicities excel in different things;
fashion, sports, entertainment, medical, technology, or service industries.

82% in that fashion show were white,..
in 2011 83% of players in the NBA were not white.
no biggie.
hopefully the best rise to the top, and deserve their hard earned success.
thats something that should be appreciated by all regardless of backgrounds.

**Claps**

Feb 24 13 03:44 pm Link

Photographer

Saadiq Photography

Posts: 1331

New York, New York, US

Stephanie_Bee wrote:
Its very disappointing and sad the number of photographers in this thread saying 'so what', 'looking for something to be offended about' etc. Those remarks obviously come from quite a priveleged place. For some reason I expected this to be more of a progressive community.

Stephanie, the issue of change isn't in the hands of the photographers.  But, rather such change comes from those seeking it!  Meaning: if you want equal opportunity as a llama aka "business"... create equal quality of work as your market/clients may demand. 

Example... you're dreaming if you're of "fashion" llama stats with glamour type tfp images and low grade no name agency representation yet you expect to walk FW runway shows.  Example... you're dreaming if you want to grace the pages of Vogue but you're a beginner lifestyle/commercial internet llama working gwc's. 

I'm not dumping on anyone but as a man of color... I understand the quest for equality and I understand that quality seeks quality or the presumption of such quality!

Remember... our President is strong, educated, non criminal, loving husband, devoted father, progressive man of color aka black from humble beginnings and the bigot hates it!  I hope you see my point!  wink

Feb 24 13 04:15 pm Link

Photographer

TomFRohwer

Posts: 693

Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

I am not familiar with the specific laws in the US (or Canada for that matter) but my experience when working on film and television is that acting roles are essentially excluded from the laws, or at the very least a great deal of latitude is given.  Generally speaking when casting actors for leading roles you could limit to whatever race(s) you want.

It would be somewhat weird if - say - a sitcom which is set in an afro-american family living in a dominantly black quarter in the 1930ies had to hire a balanced cast of actors of all descents. Or having Mrs.Huxtable played by a white actress and one of the Huxtable childs by an child actor of Chinese descent...

Even the most absurd manifestations of political correctness are eventually limited by common sense.

Feb 25 13 05:26 am Link

Photographer

TomFRohwer

Posts: 693

Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Garry k wrote:
Sorry but I have to ask

Do You view China as a "melting pot " of ethnic diversity and do you view China as a democracy  ( as the US is considered )

No.

But I see this:

US demographics:

White     72.4%
Black American     12.6%
Asian     4.8%
American Indian and Alaska Native     0.9%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander     0.2%
Other     6.2%
Multiracial (2 or more)     2.9%

So a 82% quota of "white models" at the New York Fashion week is as unsurprising as a 82% quota of "chinese models" at the Shanghai Fashion week.

82% of "white models" with 72% white population is no discrimination but just a small statistic deviation. Next year it may be 69% and 2015 it may be 85%.

So what?

And - really - I do not think that hiring models for the New York Fashion week on basis of a precise representation of demographic statistics would do anyone any favour.

At least 30% of the models should be over 50 years old then... ;-)

.........................................

To add deliberately something which may be political uncorrect:

It's a well known phenomenon that a lot of girls and women in Asia try to change their look towards looking more "european"...

Cosmetic surgeons in Asia earn a lot of money by "rounding" slitted eyes. Etc.pp.

So it is not a surprise that marketing people may come to the conclusion that it is easier to sell clothing to asian women using a model with a "european look" than selling clothing to non asian women with a model with a "asian look".

Life is not all guns and roses. (The german equivalent by the way would translate literally "Life is not a pony farm".)

Feb 25 13 05:37 am Link

Model

angel emily

Posts: 1020

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:
Modeling is not protected by the same requirements as many industries. Hiring based on someone's looks wouldn't go over well at IBM but it's a BFOQ (Bona Fide Occupational Qualification) in the modeling/fashion industry.

You certainly couldn't discriminate against a wheelchair-bound handicapped person in a "normal" corporate environment, but they would have a hard time citing discrimination if they were trying to be a Runway Model.

A BFOQ is the reason why Hooter's isn't sued more often (other than the one famous case years ago where a hairy guy sued to work as a waiter...and lost). Being an attractive female is considered a BFOQ there.

I understand BFOQ -- but race is excluded from BFOQ.

Not arguing what goes on in the entertainment industry, just saying this can't be used as a defense.

Feb 25 13 06:17 am Link

Photographer

TomFRohwer

Posts: 693

Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

MC Photo wrote:
No it doesn't.

That shows the percentage in jail. You need to compare that to how many should be in jail. Maybe instead of being 1% of the population it should be 5% and we're underpolicing relative to the rest of the world.

That's not necessarily what I believe, but that chart doesn't have any meaning to what it shows. It's just a statistic on it's own.

Partly it simply shows that in the US less people are sentenced to a suspended sentence.

In Germany for instance ~ 75 percent of verdicts end in a suspended sentence. Even if it is the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh sentence. Sentences below 3years of imprisonment usually are given as a suspended sentence. It's the exception that you end up in jail after a verdict in Germany - not the rule. And jail terms for many crimes and misdemeanor are shorter than in the US. (When I watch "Law & Order" I often think: ok, in New York this guy gets 10 to 25 years for this crime. In Germany he would go away with 5 years maximum.)

So it's not a surprise that US jails are more crowded than German jails.

Feb 25 13 06:38 am Link

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

Cait W wrote:
Hey, finally something positive about being uber pale, because I'm about as pale as it gets. At the beach it's blinding. XD

Light skin (Pale) is good. Like a blank canvas just waiting for color to be added. smile

Feb 25 13 09:03 am Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27208

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

TomFRohwer wrote:

It would be somewhat weird if - say - a sitcom which is set in an afro-american family living in a dominantly black quarter in the 1930ies had to hire a balanced cast of actors of all descents. Or having Mrs.Huxtable played by a white actress and one of the Huxtable childs by an child actor of Chinese descent...

Even the most absurd manifestations of political correctness are eventually limited by common sense.

why would you compare a multi show event to a single tv show

there were 270 onsite and offsite fashion shows featured at NYFW Fall Winter 2012 ( and I am sure this past season was little different )

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/02/16/new … e-numbers/

a better comparison would be between a NYFW and a network of TV programming - but that would'nt work so well for you argument

Feb 25 13 06:33 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27208

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Saadiq Photography wrote:
Stephanie, the issue of change isn't in the hands of the photographers.  But, rather such change comes from those seeking it!  Meaning: if you want equal opportunity as a model aka "business"... create equal quality of work as your market/clients may demand. 

Example... you're dreaming if you're of "fashion" model stats with glamour type tfp images and low grade no name agency representation yet you expect to walk FW runway shows.  Example... you're dreaming if you want to grace the pages of Vogue but you're a beginner lifestyle/commercial internet model working gwc's. 

I'm not dumping on anyone but as a man of color... I understand the quest for equality and I understand that quality seeks quality or the presumption of such quality!

Remember... our President is strong, educated, non criminal, loving husband, devoted father, progressive man of color aka black from humble beginnings and the bigot hates it!  I hope you see my point!  wink

ok so I now have to ask you ( as we have had some discussions regarding this general topic before )

You are a Black ( Professional ) Fashion Photographer living in the USA yet your portfolio contains very few black models ...Is it because qualified black fashion models are not approaching you to be photographed or is it because of some other reason ?

and by qualified I mean with industry looks and stats ( outside of their skin color 0

Feb 25 13 06:39 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27208

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

TomFRohwer wrote:
.........................................

To add deliberately something which may be political uncorrect:

It's a well known phenomenon that a lot of girls and women in Asia try to change their look towards looking more "european"...

Cosmetic surgeons in Asia earn a lot of money by "rounding" slitted eyes. Etc.pp.

So it is not a surprise that marketing people may come to the conclusion that it is easier to sell clothing to asian women using a model with a "european look" than selling clothing to non asian women with a model with a "asian look".

Life is not all guns and roses. (The german equivalent by the way would translate literally "Life is not a pony farm".)

True , I have met Asian fashion designers who even refuse to use Asian models in their shows ...Sad really

Feb 25 13 06:44 pm Link

Photographer

Igmar Photography

Posts: 42

New York, New York, US

Garry k wrote:
82 per cent of the models in this years NYFW were white , with 14 companies ( designers ) employing no models of color for their shows


http://jezebel.com/5985110/new-york-fas … ing-whiter

Let's keep in mind that only 13 percent of the U.S. population is black.

Feb 25 13 09:43 pm Link

Photographer

Igmar Photography

Posts: 42

New York, New York, US

TomFRohwer wrote:

No.

But I see this:

US demographics:

White     72.4%
Black American     12.6%
Asian     4.8%
American Indian and Alaska Native     0.9%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander     0.2%
Other     6.2%
Multiracial (2 or more)     2.9%

So a 82% quota of "white models" at the New York Fashion week is as unsurprising as a 82% quota of "chinese models" at the Shanghai Fashion week.

82% of "white models" with 72% white population is no discrimination but just a small statistic deviation. Next year it may be 69% and 2015 it may be 85%.

So what?

And - really - I do not think that hiring models for the New York Fashion week on basis of a precise representation of demographic statistics would do anyone any favour.

At least 30% of the models should be over 50 years old then... ;-)

.........................................

To add deliberately something which may be political uncorrect:

It's a well known phenomenon that a lot of girls and women in Asia try to change their look towards looking more "european"...

Cosmetic surgeons in Asia earn a lot of money by "rounding" slitted eyes. Etc.pp.

So it is not a surprise that marketing people may come to the conclusion that it is easier to sell clothing to asian women using a model with a "european look" than selling clothing to non asian women with a model with a "asian look".

Life is not all guns and roses. (The german equivalent by the way would translate literally "Life is not a pony farm".)

What a great great post. Should be copied and pasted everywhere.

Thank you so much for standing up and telling the truth.

Love your line about the Chinese fashion show showing mainly Chinese people. Spot on.

I shoot ballet themes, should I be required to show plus size models in ballet outfits? This whole thinking is ridiculous.

Good post.

Feb 25 13 09:47 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27208

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Igmar Photography wrote:

What a great great post. Should be copied and pasted everywhere.

Thank you so much for standing up and telling the truth.

Love your line about the Chinese fashion show showing mainly Chinese people. Spot on.

I shoot ballet themes, should I be required to show plus size models in ballet outfits? This whole thinking is ridiculous.

Good post.

sorry what truth is being told here ...maybe the truth that you wish to believe perhaps ?

Feb 26 13 12:01 am Link

Photographer

Philipe

Posts: 5214

Pomona, California, US

Fall, winter season......
By nature there is no tans in that season.. I know it sounds silly.
But it does not mean there are not any non white models, just not as much..

Try summer and bring on the Brazilians, Spanish and black models..

Feb 26 13 12:24 am Link

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Model

Anna Adrielle

Posts: 18763

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

I have a degree in marketing, I specialized in sales and fashionmarketing... and I just wanted to say something about "well they are just giving the consumers what they want" "well they don't want to hurt their business by not giving the consumers what they want"

that is such an easy way out, and incorrect.

consumers don't know what they want most of the time. It's like that Henry Ford quote "if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses". On top of that, consumers wanting something and others giving it to them is not a simple process. what we want is driven for a great deal by what is offered to us. The chances of a consumer wanting something completely different, out of the blue, without it being given to him as an option in any way is very small. Only a small part of consumers works like that.

Also, the majority of consumers will always resist something new, whether that is a new name for a wellknown cookie, a new type of shoe or seeing more ethnic diversity on the runway. Change almos always comes with protest, and after a while they get used to it and there's no problem with it at all, until another change comes ofcourse.

The reason why so few ethnic models are used has nothing to do with "pleasing a consumer", or "ethnic models don't meet the same standards" or "there's just not enough ethnic models out there". it's just because that is how it's always been done, for decades, and they're doing well so why would they change (if it ain't broke, don't fix it...).
But it's not like the entire fashion industry would crumble and fashion brands would go bankrupt if we started increasing the number of ethinc models in advertizing, runway, editorials, commercial work,... there may be a bit of resistance at first, but things would go back to normal very quickly, because it would become the norm very quickly. there are a lot more mechanisms at play than just "oh we give the consumer what they want".

Feb 26 13 01:50 am Link

guide forum

Model

Anna Adrielle

Posts: 18763

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Philipe wrote:
Fall, winter season......
By nature there is no tans in that season.. I know it sounds silly.
But it does not mean there are not any non white models, just not as much..

Try summer and bring on the Brazilians, Spanish and black models..

brazilian and spanish are not ethnicities, they're countries. Maybe you meant to say Hispanic?
I have a feeling a lot of people in the US seem to think people from spain look "hispanic", but the majority of them look white. Mostly with dark hair, and they tan easily, but they look just as white as italians or greek, for instance smile.

Feb 26 13 01:59 am Link

Photographer

TomFRohwer

Posts: 693

Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Garry k wrote:

why would you compare a multi show event to a single tv show

I did not do so.

It's just an example that there are reasonable limits to affirmative actions.

As far as the New York Fashion Week is concerned I cannot see anything disturbing with their quotas because the quota corresponds roughly to the "racial mix" of the US population.

(And I do not see any sense in "because there are 12,6% black americans in the US the NYFW has to hire 84,6 models with black american descend. I do not see any sense in deci-models on the runway at all...)

Feb 26 13 05:43 am Link

Photographer

TomFRohwer

Posts: 693

Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Igmar Photography wrote:
What a great great post. Should be copied and pasted everywhere.

Thank you so much for standing up and telling the truth.

Boy - you are living in the country of the First Amendment. (Freedom is the only thing that wears off if you do not use ist.)

I shoot ballet themes, should I be required to show plus size models in ballet outfits? This whole thinking is ridiculous.

In 50 or 100 years people will look in disbelief at our "political correctness" as we are looking in disbelief at the Inquisition or the McCarthy era today.

Feb 26 13 05:51 am Link

Photographer

TomFRohwer

Posts: 693

Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Anna Adrielle wrote:
I have a feeling a lot of people in the US seem to think people from spain look "hispanic", but the majority of them look white. Mostly with dark hair, and they tan easily, but they look just as white as italians or greek, for instance smile.

I friend of mine who's living in Spain for 25 years always claims "most spanish women are blonde"...

Feb 26 13 05:54 am Link

Photographer

TomFRohwer

Posts: 693

Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Anna Adrielle wrote:
The reason why so few ethnic models are used has nothing to do with "pleasing a consumer", or "ethnic models don't meet the same standards" or "there's just not enough ethnic models out there". it's just because that is how it's always been done, for decades, and they're doing well so why would they change (if it ain't broke, don't fix it...).

I agree largely but ...

It just takes two or three years after the opening of the "iron curtain" in 1989 that models of "slavic" descent (commonly but wrongly called "eastern european") and "slavic look" conquered the model world. They looked quite different from the models dominating the scene so far.

Fashion industry people, designers, photographers and customers were enthusiastic with this new look in short time.

Feb 26 13 05:59 am Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27208

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

TomFRohwer wrote:

Igmar Photography wrote:
What a great great post. Should be copied and pasted
In 50 or 100 years people will look in disbelief at our "political correctness" as we are looking in disbelief at the Inquisition or the McCarthy era today.

So in your mind a govt purge of communist support is the same as an ethnic minority's effort to gain equality of opportunity in employment ?

Feb 26 13 07:35 am Link

guide forum

Model

Anna Adrielle

Posts: 18763

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

TomFRohwer wrote:

I friend of mine who's living in Spain for 25 years always claims "most spanish women are blonde"...

that's true :p. A lot of italian and spanish women dye their hair... it's a very distinctive look, you can always pick them out in the crowd, because you can see by the olive tone of their skin they're not natural blondes, but a lot of them go blonde anyway smile

Feb 26 13 07:41 am Link