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2017 Ad Campaigns Prove We've Still Got A Long Way To Go To Achieve Diversity In Fashion

'Diversity in ads is a slow-dripping faucet.'

05/05/2017 14:20 BST | Updated 05/05/2017 14:39 BST

Diversity in fashion still a long way off, according to a new report. 

The Fashion Spot’s Diversity Report analysed race, size, and gender diversity across 444 models in 207 spring ad campaigns, concluding that “the movement toward greater racial, body, age and gender diversity in ads is a slow-dripping faucet.”

Just more than three quarters of models in the print campaigns for spring 2017 were white. Only 24.5% of models cast were nonwhite. In comparison to last season it’s a 1.2% improvement. 

“Compared to the most recent runway season, wherein nonwhite models represented 27.9% of castings, this figure is especially underwhelming,” noted The Fashion Spot. 

“This feeble push toward racial diversity is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the seasonal campaigns.”

And the findings for size and gender weren’t any better. Plus-size women represented just 2.3% out of the 444 model castings.

“Considering the numbers seen in previous campaign seasons — 14 in fall 2016, just seven in spring 2016 — this figure is neither impressive nor totally discouraging,” noted The Fashion Spot.

Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images
Models walk the runway during the Celine show during Paris Fashion Week for spring/summer 2017 on 2 October 2016 in Paris, France. 

The least representation went to models over the age of 50 - with model Lauren Hutton securing both of the two castings.  

“Spring 2017 was the least age-diverse season we’ve seen since we first began tallying the numbers in Spring 2015,” noted The Fashion Spot. 

On a more positive note, transgender models had their most successful season to date with five castings in four campaigns.

Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang, Zara, Urban Outfitters, Express, Net-A-Porter and Gap were noted as designers and retailers with the most diverse campaigns. 

Unfortunately, some designers - such as Alberta Ferretti, Giorgio Armani, and Céline - failed to cast a single women of colour. 

Kelly Knox, a model and co-founder of Diversity Not Disability, who walked the runway for Teatum Jones in February 2017, commented: 

“It is time to feel empowered by the images we see, to recognise and celebrate beauty from all walks of life,” she told The HuffPost UK. 

“Diversity will boost a brands’ revenue, it reflects the society we live in and is the future.”

We’re hoping next season is more inclusive and diverse as the fashion industry implements changes.