What can the fashion industry do for BAME women?

According to a Vice article in December: “New York Fashion Week catwalks for A/W 2014, out of 4,621 looks, only 985 were worn by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) models. Of all the models that walked during the week, 78.69 per cent were white.”

Unfortunately, these results are not surprising. I have written blog posts on here before with my own research early last year on A/W Fashion week 2014 and the results were not very different.

So what can the fashion industry do about the lack of ethnicity on catwalks and in fashion campaigns?

Campaigners for the cause such as Naomi Campbell, Iman and Bethann Hardison have been tirelessly promoting the need for diversity, but has anyone been listening?

Last year, Philip Treacey, one of the late Isabela Blow’s protégées, sent an all-Black cast down the runway making a very strong statement. He described the spring/summer 2013 show as “a homage to the African woman and the sensibility to dressing up.”

In 2013, The British Fashion Council told Vogue during London Fashion Week: “All participating designers should recognise that London is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and should consider reflecting this demographic in their shows.”

If more fashion designers realised what a massive market they have amongst women of different ethnicities, we would most likely see a spike in seeing non-caucasian women on these prestigious covers, campaigns and catwalks.

If they were to act as Treacey did and make bold decisions to have an all-Black cast showcase their clothes, the fashion industry could progress faster than any other industry culturally.

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