Of all the female models who appeared in Spring 2018 print fashion ads, 34% were women of colour. This is an increase on previous seasons, but the industry still has a long way to go before it can be said to have embraced diversity, especially when it comes to age, size and transgender representation.
One in three of the 541 female models in the season’s major international campaigns were women of colour, according to the latest diversity report from The Fashion Spot. But sadly casting agents seem to have hit a plateau when it comes to booking plus-size models, as for the third consecutive season they were featured just 10 times, making up a measly 1.9% of castings.
Women aged over 50 saw the steepest decline in representation: in Autumn 2017’s ads, 3.1% of models were over 50, but in Spring 2018, just 1.9% were older models. And only four models who openly identify as trans or non-binary landed a Spring 2018 fashion campaign - down from last season’s six — an all-time “high”.
“It’s hard to understand — both from a business and social perspective — why campaigns and runways continue to ignore such a large percentage of the market,” Jennifer Davidson, editor-in-chief of theFashionSpot.com told HuffPost UK. “Consumers naturally gravitate towards brands that embrace them, so it makes far more sense to be inclusive.”
Davidson’s team has also called out the following brands for having “the most whitewashed ads of the season”: Mango, Versace, Max&Co, Mulberry, Tommy Jeans, Tory Burch, Dolce & Gabbana and denim label DL1961.
These brands’ international print ad campaigns featured the lowest percentage of women of colour.
Out of 12 castings, Versace’s Spring campaign featured just two models of colour (defined by The Fashion Spot as those of nonwhite or mixed backgrounds) . While all four stars of DL1961′s campaign were white as were all six models in Dolce & Gabbana’s spring ads.
However, the report praises Swarovski, Nordstrom, Gloria Vanderbilt, UGG and River Island for producing the most all-round inclusive ads of the season.
Of the top nine models who landed the most Spring 2018 ad campaigns, four (44.4 percent) were nonwhite: Gigi and Bella Hadid (who are of Dutch-Palestinian descent), Aube Jolicoeur (originally of Haiti) and Shanelle Nyasiase (of South Sudan).
Read the full report on The Fashion Spot.