Is this fashion week’s most diverse season yet?

 

Diversity on the runway: Designers Rio Uribe and Sophie Theallet discuss

 

 


The Gypsy Sport ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York (photography by Elizabeth Pantaleo for NOWFASHION)

 

The struggle to include more diversity at fashion week has been a long one with only minor improvements made each season. However, a number of brands this Fall/Winter showed a considerable amount of progress not just in showing models of color but by also embracing the full spectrum of what it means to be different, an outsider, or just simply a person that hasn’t been spotlighted before. Some of this change can be attributed to the trend in street casting, the most notable being Kanye West’s Yeezy show that included a mixture of traditional models and those with zero experience all converged together, blending supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Veronica Webb, Liya Kebede, and Ajak Deng among unknown names and faces. Another designer that has championed street casting in recent times is CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner, Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport.

 

The Gypsy Sport ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York (photography by Elizabeth Pantaleo for NOWFASHION)

 

Uribe described over email how the street casting of his presentations act as a connection between the runway and the real world, and is ultimately influenced by the customer he’s creating for. It isn’t something that he’s had to think about too much, describing it as a “very organic” process. This is something that many designers will attest to doing but fall short of when it comes to the models they send down the runway.

“Gypsy Sport is a brand for everyone, so it's always been important to show a range of humanity. Simply, I think fashion should be marketed to everyone and anyone who wears clothes,” says Uribe. “Much of our street casting helps to bring so many types of people, rather than the standard beauty that we book from agencies. And real people on the runway make our fashion more relatable to the real people off the runway.”

“Diversity is a such a hot topic, but to me it's what I see every single day in New York City. So I'm naturally inspired to showcase different types of people in Gypsy Sport. That goes for diverse colors, sizes, ages, creeds, etc.”

 

 

VIDEO | ZAC POSEN READY TO WEAR FALL WINTER 2016 NEW YORK

VIDEO | ZAC POSEN READY TO WEAR FALL WINTER 2016 NEW YORK

Posted by Nowfashion.com on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

 

Another part of the diversity issue each fashion week is the obvious lack of racial diversity cast by designers. Since the Spring 2015 runway season, online industry site The Fashion Spot has been creating an official diversity report to monitor and bring attention to the issue. Jennifer Davidson, Managing Editor of the site, says that each season since has seen a gradual improvement in diversity, specifically relating to including models of color. In Spring 2015, 83% of the New York runways were white, while a year later in Spring 2016 that percentage had dropped to 71.6%. That number isn’t where it needs to be yet but an 11.4% increase season on season shows promise and this week the industry began talking about how FW 16/17 seemed like the most diverse yet.

“We’re still compiling the data for the Fall 2016 season, but from a spectator’s point of view, the runways seemed more diverse than ever this season. Chromat, Zac Posen, and Tracy Reese have been consistent with their diverse casting for several seasons now. And of course there’s Yeezy, which is always very multicultural. The Row and Monique Lhuillier consistently cast mostly white models, though Monique Lhuillier showed some incremental improvement this season.”

 


The Ohne Titel ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York (photography by Régis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION)

 

Brandon Maxwell, Tome, Ohne Titel, Rag & Bone and Eckhaus Latta also stood out for their multicultural runways this season, as did Sophie Theallet with an almost all black runway by casting director Jorge Morales. Theallet, whose Spring 2016 campaign is fronted by African-American supermodel, Veronica Webb, says that her casting isn’t a temporary seasonal inspiration.

“We have always been honored to have diversity on our runway and in our ads; for me it is natural and normal. My friends are international and diverse, as are my clients. Diversity is so ubiquitous nowadays; we are reflecting the world of 2016.”

 


The Sophie Theallet ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear show, New-York (photography by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION)

 

In 2009 the designer also had an all black model cast of about 30 girls which the brand never sought to draw attention to and wasn’t a decision relating to the business but purely was a way for Theallet to celebrate “all the beauty, grace, and shades of the color girls,” a move that was close to Theallet’s heart.

“Our brand ethos is (that of a) global citizenship, diversity, and showing the beauty of all cultures; this is part of my DNA. The world is diverse, I don't live in a box, and certainly my fashion has to be free. I hope that next season this dialogue on diversity will be something of the past, that diversity is the universal standard.”

 


The Rag & Bone ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York (photography by NOWFASHION)

 

Davidson agreed with this sentiment but said that New York is in fact the most multicultural of all the fashion weeks. “I think the upward trend towards inclusivity proves that diversity is not a stunt. Though New York still has a long way to go towards fully embracing diversity, it is still far ahead of London, Milan, and Paris. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season pans out.”

 

DISCOVER THE LATEST IN NOWMAGAZINE HERE.

 

Sarah Owen is an Editor at trend forecasting agency WGSN reporting on youth trends from a runway, retail, street, and cultural point of view.
SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
Meet Alanui: Italy's Arts and Crafts Trendsetters
By Elisa Carassai
While Italy may be known all over the world for its...
By Elisa Carassai
While Italy may be known all over the world for its proficiency towards slow fashion and craftsmanship, only lately what has been defined as the craftiness of mind and hand has emerged as one of the season's more poignant trends.    While this has...
While Italy may be known all over the world for its proficiency towards slow fashion and craftsmanship, only lately what has been defined as the craftiness of mind and hand has emerged as one of the season's more poignant trends.    While this has only emerged recently on the runways, through the Spring Summer 2020 collections of McQueen, JW...
Online Petition Calls For Major Fashion Brands To Pay Their Garment Factories
By Alice Ierace
An online petition on change.org is calling all major fast fashion brands to pay the garments...
By Alice Ierace
An online petition on change.org is calling all major fast fashion brands to pay the garments factories they use for all cancelled and delayed orders as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.Launched on April 3rd by Remake, a registered non-profit organisation that exists to shed light on human...
An online petition on change.org is calling all major fast fashion brands to pay the garments factories they use for all cancelled and delayed orders as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.Launched on April 3rd by Remake, a registered non-profit organisation that exists to shed light on human rights violations and climate injustice being caused by the fashion industry, the petition explains...
How is Italy’s Independent Scene Reacting to Covid?
By Elisa Carassai
While Milan Fashion Week may be known for its calendar...
By Elisa Carassai
While Milan Fashion Week may be known for its calendar surrounded by a smattering of fashion behemoths such as Prada, Armani and Gucci, slowly but surely, a series of young talents have emerged during the years, favoured by industry insiders and...
While Milan Fashion Week may be known for its calendar surrounded by a smattering of fashion behemoths such as Prada, Armani and Gucci, slowly but surely, a series of young talents have emerged during the years, favoured by industry insiders and celebrities alike.    Still, given the current situation, how will this crisis impact their...
Covid and The Ugly Side of Fast-Fashion
By Alice Ierace
As expected, the Coronavirus...
By Alice Ierace
As expected, the Coronavirus emergency has already had a significant impact on every industry – from food to tech and fashion. It comes with no surprise how to safeguard the health and wellbeing of employers businesses have started...
As expected, the Coronavirus emergency has already had a significant impact on every industry – from food to tech and fashion. It comes with no surprise how to safeguard the health and wellbeing of employers businesses have started to shut down, take extreme measures and reduced deliveries.    In particular, when it comes...
Massimo Alba: The Purist of Slow Fashion
By Elisa Carassai
Remember the fable of the ant and the cicada? Let’s use...
By Elisa Carassai
Remember the fable of the ant and the cicada? Let’s use that fable as a comparison for the fashion world. While there are many designers nowadays thriving on the glitz and glam of social media and its fast-paced tempo, some others instead, prefer to...
Remember the fable of the ant and the cicada? Let’s use that fable as a comparison for the fashion world. While there are many designers nowadays thriving on the glitz and glam of social media and its fast-paced tempo, some others instead, prefer to conduct their businesses in a rather tranquil way, silently working their way up the ladder in order to...
The Best Beauty Apps For Some Home Pampering
By Alice Ierace
As the world continues its fight against COVID-19, the...
By Alice Ierace
As the world continues its fight against COVID-19, the days spent in self-isolation seem to get longer and longer. Amongst all the Instagram lives, free workout videos and the constant baking, we mustn’t forget to take care of our beauty and wellbeing....
As the world continues its fight against COVID-19, the days spent in self-isolation seem to get longer and longer. Amongst all the Instagram lives, free workout videos and the constant baking, we mustn’t forget to take care of our beauty and wellbeing. Luckily, we are surrounded by a multitude of apps and, in the past couple of years, the beauty world...
Pitti Announces New Calendar
By Elisa Carassai
After last week's previous announcements which declared...
By Elisa Carassai
By Elisa Carassai
After last week's previous announcements which declared the postponement of Milano Moda Uomo and the Paris shows to September, the Pitti Group also divulged the change of dates of their upcoming fairs and events.   The majority of the fairs will be...
After last week's previous announcements which declared the postponement of Milano Moda Uomo and the Paris shows to September, the Pitti Group also divulged the change of dates of their upcoming fairs and events.   The majority of the fairs will be hosted in September (the 98th edition of the show will be hosted from the 2nd to the 4th of...
Huda Kattan Pledges $100.000 in Support of Struggling Make-up Artists
By Alice Ierace
Beauty icon, entrepreneur and founder of Huda Beauty, Huda...
By Alice Ierace
Beauty icon, entrepreneur and founder of Huda Beauty, Huda Kattan, has pledged to donate $100,000 to support freelance make-up artists who are struggling during the COVID-19 crisis.   In a raw and emotional Instagram video, she explained: “When...
Beauty icon, entrepreneur and founder of Huda Beauty, Huda Kattan, has pledged to donate $100,000 to support freelance make-up artists who are struggling during the COVID-19 crisis.   In a raw and emotional Instagram video, she explained: “When coronavirus first hit, I think everyone was scared about like ‘how can I protect my loved ones?’ And...