The Numbers Are In, and 79% of Spring 2016 Models Were White

Meghan Blalock

The S/S 16 edition of fashion month is officially behind us, and with that, hundreds of runway shows have come to a close. As with each season, the staff over at Business of Fashion did a survey of all the shows, counting each model one by one and determining exactly what percentage of said models were non-white. And this season, the numbers are pretty dismal.

BoF just released its seasonal report on runway racial diversity, and here’s what it found: 

Over the last four weeks, BoF has surveyed 117 key shows from New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks. The data gathered reveals that white models still make up the vast majority of those appearing on the catwalk. According to BoF’s calculations, of the 3,875 model bookings that were made during these four weeks, only 797 were models of color (categorised as black, Asian, non-white Hispanic and other), meaning that 79.4 percent of the models that walked the runway were white.

Yikes. BoF points out that this is still an improvement over last season, when 80% of the models walking the runways were white—but it’s a tiny improvement at that. We have to wonder: When will fashion designers learn that women of all colors, heritages, shapes, and sizes should be represented on their runways? The fashion world's long-standing battle with diversity of all sorts seems to still be raging and not making much progress in the right direction; it’s becoming a source of increasing frustration. What is it that’s creating a block in designers—one that’s preventing them from including plenty of different types of women from walking in runway shows?

Head to BoF to read the full report now, and contribute your two cents to the conversation below! And if you’re in the mood to shop the S/S 16 runways, head to Moda Operandi now.

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