It’s almost impossible not to talk about diversity and representation when we talk about fashion these days. It’s in part due to the political climate of our country (and world), the instant connectivity we all have through social media, and the sheer desire to celebrate style from every unique and personal angle, among other reasons. And as tradition, The Fashion Spot’s seasonal runway diversity report usually helps us keep track of just how well the industry is progressing ahead. This year it brings good news: Fall 2017 was the most diverse fashion month on record.
According to the report, of the over 7000 models cast in shows across New York, London, Milan and Paris, 27.9% of them were models of color. It’s a record number, and 2.5% higher than the previous season. Plus, in addition to racial diversity, the study also takes into account a number of elements that help define what truly makes a fashion show inclusive, namely casting models who range in age (instead of traditionally teetering around the teens/20s), models who wear all sizes (instead of the industry standard of “sample size”), and models who are transgender. Together the four fashion capitals had promising results, but it’s noted that New York came out on top as far as setting the best example for broad representation.
While The Fashion Spot’s report comprehensively breaks down how each city fared (some much better than others), one of the other most interesting findings within it is an outline of the top 12 women who walked the runway during the entire monthlong event. None of them are truly household names yet, à la Karlie Kloss or Joan Smalls, but more surprisingly, only three of them are models of color.
In all, there is a lot to feel good about reading through the complete results (which we recommend), but it also helps us realize where improvements can be made. And really, we can think of no better way to celebrate a record-making fashion month for fall 2017 than by breaking it on the spring 2018 runways.