The fashion industry has been called out many times in the past for being whitewashed, with many pointing out the lack of models of color in print and on the runways. In fact, according to PopSugar, less than 30% of models who walked in the New York Fashion Week F/W 15 collections were models of color. Regular instances like these have left many in the industry frustrated that designers are merely "ticking a box," as it were—adding one or two models of color to their shows to suggest inclusion—when all models should be equally represented. One modeling agency, London-based Lorde Inc., is looking to make this happen.
Founded by Nafisa Kaptownwala in 2013, Lorde Inc. is the first modeling agency exclusively dedicated to models of color. Not only that, but the agency is not interested in finding models who fit what they feel are arbitrary sizes or shapes, but rather people who are simply comfortable in front of the camera. They also source many of their models online via Tumblr, encouraging potential candidates to submit selfies.
As Kaptownwala said herself on the website Space Matters earlier this month, "I started Lorde Inc. because I wanted to draw attention to representation. But mostly, I started Lorde Inc. because I wanted to make a point that People of Color are people too. We’re not a monolith, your fetish, your type. And not only did I want to draw attention to how beautiful we are, I wanted to make a point that we shouldn’t need to have to keep fighting to prove that."
Scroll down to see some of the beautiful models who have recently joined Lorde Inc.
What are some other steps you think the fashion industry can take to increase diversity? Let us know below!