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Post in Besides Beauty

Racism in Fashion?

Ok, this doesn't apply to Sephora because they do a good job of showcasing beauty of different races and ethnicities, but my beef lies with the fashion designers, in particular: Dolce and Gabanna, Prada, Dior, etc. It angers me that since they are popular high-end designers, people still support them....ok now I'm starting to babble, I'll get to the point...


My point is that they see white people as high end, elite, and everyone wants to look like them. I have never seen Prada use a black model ever. 


Now there's another question: what about Asian, Hispanic, Indian...?


Yes, they are the minority, however, they get better job openings because of their skin color, which is sad. In 2013, you'd think that there's change, but there's non, nada. Yes, blacks (dark-skinned people) can get sucessful, but that's about it. 


Why post this on Sephora? 


Sephora does a fantastic job of seeing people as beautiful, everybody is beautiful in their own way. Several companies Sephora carries such as Bobbi Brown, Nars, Lancome, etc, they do a wonderful job and they're sucessful. 


I think the biggest problem is that since Dior Prada Coco Chanel, etc are popular brands at the moment, they have extrodinary influence on the way people outlook beauty and since 93 percent of the models they used are white, it's enough to assume that they think whites are super while there are other diversities.




What is your opinion on Racism in fashion? 





Re: Racism in Fashion?

I honestly think this is a topic much more suited for another type of forum, as Beauty Talk is usually a much more light-hearted place to discuss topics in beauty that aren't so controversial.  When opinions range so greatly on a topic such as this, it is easy for emotions and such to take over.  I'm not saying this isn't an important issue, just that we're all supposed to be supporting one another and this just lends itself to controversy with every one of us having a difference in opinion.  


It is also very easy to misconstrue what someone is trying to say when it comes to typing.  It is difficult to get your point across efficiently without being extremely wordy and there is just no way to accurately reflect the meaning and tone that was intended.  


Hopefully we can all get back to a happy place.

Re: Racism in Fashion?

i think the bigger picture we should be thinking about is racism as it exists in the world in general. fashion is just a small arena where racism plays out, but what concerns me more is racism in the everyday. Ya models are beautiful to look at, but what would really inspire me are minority women excelling in the world force. 

Re: Racism in Fashion?

If you look hard enough, you'll find something to support your point, regardless of what it is. Whether you're trying to state racism exists in fashion or whether you're trying to state that though there is an imbalance, there's not some horrific void or inability to expand the industry.


For example, you state that you've never seen an African American model for Prada, in 1994, Naomi Campbell was used in Prada's print ads:



And in 2008, Jourdan Dunn was the first African American female to walk for Prada. Though time frames and periods might not be the most progressive in the fashion industry, it is moving along.


Just because it's not moving or expanding at a rapid enough rate for the majority of the world to see doesn't mean it's not happening, but just because there are more Caucasians in the fashion world doesn't mean their race should be held against them either. They're not joining the fashion ranks to "hold down" any other race, just as other races from African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Middle Eastern aren't only joining to "combat" or fight the image of Caucasians.


Changes happen, yes, some small, some big. But they all have to start somewhere. Though a 1994 Prada ad of Naomi or a 2008 runway featuring Jourdan may seem insignificant, it's progress nonetheless and much better than none at all. Just because we're not seeing changes take place in masses doesn't mean it's not happening. I mean, I merely had to Google "Prada African American Model" and had images of Naomi and Jourdan pop up. Besides, one must also factor in geographically where you live and what you're exposed to. In the USA, it can appear the demographic of Asian models is even fewer in number than African American models; however, once you travel to Asia, there's a slew of them that even out number Caucasian models in their market, but that doesn't cause flags to go up for Caucasians in Asia to state there's racism or discrimination toward them in that field.

Re: Racism in Fashion?

I understand what you're saying but to me that's an aspect of complacency. I'm tired of people telling me to be grateful for the little progress. It feels dismissive. Why shouldn't I fight to be perceived as equal? Why shouldn't I actively campaign? 


I don't believe that anyones speaking against white models. And we are intelligent enough to realize its not up to them who walks along them. But I very appreciate the white models that speak up for their fellow POC models. Look up the TedTalk by fashion model Cameron Russell.


Your two examples are constantly brought up as some kind of proof that everythings ok. But that's the problem. Too often do designers and casting agents cite Campbell and Dunn as if they filled a quota and so theres no need for them to cast POC. Beliiiieve me, we know and heard all bout Campbells and Dunns careers.


I know that I'm talking about the systematic racism in the industry. Too many here are making excuses to why they think its not so bad. 

I'm leaving the thread, its depressing and disappointing.

Re: Racism in Fashion?

Aw, Pickyplease, we're not here to depress or bog you down in any means. And frankly, I'm not stating anyone should be complacent either, but in that same breath for not wanting to be complacent one can merely come back and state if you don't want to be complacent and you don't want to fight or actively campaign, then how will change be boosted and supported to progress?


I'm not saying you or any one specific person must lobby for racial equality in the fashion world, but the ideal that one isn't happy with the current matter but in the same aspect doesn't want to be the one to do anything will lead to nowhere.


I'm also not here to say that racism isn't bad. Would I like equality? You're darn skippy that I do and would! But do I believe it'll come easily? No, I do not, as much as I may want otherwise. Acceptance and equality levels are never going to satisfy everyone because everyone has different tastes. What you may view as equality in the fashion world may be a sudden overabundance to others, and then what? This is a matter where it's impossible to appease everyone at the same time.


If there are personal instances where you felt the need to defend yourself, then my deepest sympathies, discrimination can befall anyone regards of race, color, creed, or gender. You know that my post is in no way a direct attack on your or anyone, but I know where your frustration lies and can only hope that the positives and progressive changes made can be big and shine clear enough for not just you but the world to see to provide some solace and peace of mind.


Though the faces of the two models I featured for Prada shouldn't count as a satisfactory sigh of relief and only sign of progress, it shouldn't be discredited either as that would be a shame to both models. A step forward is a step forward, regardless of size shoe you have on, as long as more steps are being taken to move forward we won't have to worry about moving back. Smiley Happy

Re: Racism in Fashion?

I don't understand, you're preaching to the choir about doing things. There's many activist and representative groups lobbying. Nothing is a natural process and you'll be shocked at all the things in entertainment that could've been more offensive or discriminatory if not for the groups behind the scenes. My cousin is the executive director of CAPE. I've very much involved in campaigning. 


There ARE concrete solutions and groups. Minorities aren't just sitting and complaining. But like the majority of 'ism causes, that's invisible to those that have the privilege not to need them.


Its a constant fight that we ARE fighting. I think youre underestimating the volume of dismissal and rejection the campaigns  receive.  And I'm not discrediting Campbell and Dunn ... I don't think you're understanding me at all. I'm not being a negative to your positive, I'm explaining why your positive might want to take a lateral move. You're allmost there but not quite.


Equality isn't about appeasement. Its about equality. The hurt feelings of someone feeling a loss because others were risen up to their level (no one gets dragged down when minorities are given opportunities and rights), is not one I care to soothe. 

Re: Racism in Fashion?

I didn't say that there weren't groups or lobbyists and by all means, it's commendable what they're doing. I was merely responding to your take as you stated questions in the form of "Why should I?" rather than "Why should people?"


As you state being active in lobbying and campaigning, then I know you are one who can genuinely appreciate progress, even on the back pages of this thread when it was just Naomi and Tyra being mentioned, I included a further list of African American models:


Iman, Oluchi Onweagba, Grace Jones, Kimora Lee, Alek Wek, Beverly Johnson, Chanel Iman, Selita Ebanks, and Toccara Jones are all top named African America models aside from Naomi and Tyra.


To be honest, it's really about how involved you want to get in terms of knowing names and putting them to faces for calling out models and familiarizing yourself in the scene. I'm not saying racism doesn't exist, but also self-educating does a long way in terms of at least expanding one's own horizons in learning there's more than just Tyra and Naomi in the modeling world.


You don't have to stress how equality isn't appeasement, just as I like equality isn't just tolerance.

Re: Racism in Fashion?

The question was "why shouldN'T I?" 


Yes, self educating does go a long way.


No matter how far into the scene you get and count heads, the statistics prove that reality is not so subjective that anyone can build whatever argument. You will very quickly run out of the handful of POC models. 


Look, Im getting the sense that you think I'm underestimating the prescence  of POC in mainstream media. I'm not. I'm saying its not at all enough. 


I'm open to continuing through PM only if you are open to understanding how you were patronizing in this discussion.

Re: Racism in Fashion?

My mistake, I misread your post.


I won't even go back and alter my response, because I want it to be seen and made aware in a public matter that I made a mistake.


I'm not arguing that racism doesn't exist, I hope you can see that.

Re: Racism in Fashion?

Thanks for defeating the purpose of this discussion. I can feel like a fool even more. -_- 

Re: Racism in Fashion?

Sorry to threadjack w/ a lighter note, but I just wanted to say that Alek Wek is soooo amazingly beautiful! Her skin and features are breathtaking. I got to see both Naomi and Alek walk when Sephora hosted a Mercedes-Benz fashion week in SF years ago, and they were the highlight of the show (along w/ Tyson should have seen all of the ladies swoon every time he came by).


And especially Naomi, you don't want to be the model walking after her...people can say whatever about her attitude/ personality but no one walks better than she does!

Re: Racism in Fashion?



Man candy for ya! Smiley Wink

Gotta love a great smile!

Re: Racism in Fashion?

Haha you should have seen one of our employees (who got a front row seat) almost faint every time he came by.


Sorry folks, end threadjack!

Re: Racism in Fashion?

I didn't want to really give input in this thread, i think it's such a sensitive subject, but i just wanted to add this. 

There is beauty in everything that exist in this world. It doesn't matter your skin tone, how you look, your height, your weight, where you come from, what you do. We need to learn to see the beauty in things and not focus on what we can't change. I would love to see changes in many things to better make the world equal, but we can't change the mind of every person. I think all women, of every color, are beautiful, and i only wish the world would see it too. 

Re: Racism in Fashion?

I appreciate your attitude and lovely kindness, but I just couldn't be okay with myself if I didn't at least try to open eyes. I hope its not about changing minds in this forum, cause that would mean some beliefs are already made up and it doesn't matter what information I give. Sigh, I just wish our experiences would stop being dismissed as not based in reality and a product of political correctness. I'm not PC, I'm coming from life, reality, and science, you know? 



Re: Racism in Fashion?

you are right. this IS important

Re: Racism in Fashion?

Very well put.

Re: Racism in Fashion?

I just want to add that racism exists towards every skin color, including caucasians. School acceptance/scholarships & Jobs are supposed to be "equal opportunity", yet many times someone who is white may not get a position because someone of color applied, but is less qualified. Same is true for gender. If the US really wants equality, then it should be equal across the board. Best resume gets the job no matter what your race, religion or gender is. Same goes for education; school's pride themselves on being diverse. We shouldn't have to check a box stating what color we are. We are all equal. 

What really irked me was when Obama was running for re-election and an African American actress was supporting Romney. Everyone threw a hissy fit. How could she not support her fellow African American? To me those calling her out are racists. So now we have to choose our countries leader based on his skin color? That makes no sense to me. 

Re: Racism in Fashion?

Whoever saw this post unedited, it was NOT me who posted was my adorable but immature neice who does not share in my sentiments...

Re: Racism in Fashion?

Noted. Thank you for the PM. Good luck with the niece. Hopefully she'll understand, eventually.

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