Today, The Fashion Spot released their findings on the Spring 2016 Fashion Ad Campaigns, looking for improvements in diversity of race, size and age. And while a lot of people are reporting that things are slowly but surely getting better in the industry, the numbers don’t lie: things really aren’t that much better than they have been in previous years when it comes to runway fashion,
With all the recent fashion campaigns like Swimsuits for All and Lane Bryant, and magazine covers like Glamour and Sports Illustrated, it does feel like brands are starting to think more about inclusivity and notice where their faults lie. But for someone like me who works in the fashion world, those brands aren’t even applicable. None of them are considered high fashion, or have runway shows, so they aren’t the kind of designers that we would ever call in for cover shoots or even consider. Brands like Chloe, Saint Laurent and Versace continuously show whitewashed ads and never including curvy women.
According to The Fashion Spot, For the Spring 2016 Fashion Ad Campaigns there were 236 campaigns with 422 different models used. 78.2% of the models were white and the numbers trickle down from there. 8.3% were African American, 4% were Asian and 3.8% were Latina. And out of the 422 different models used, only 6 women were curvy, boiling down to a whopping 1.4%. Not one single curvy model of color was included on covers or campaigns.
While I am thankful for the 6 women, the truth of the matter is that it feels like curvy women are only included when it’s a swimsuit or mass market brand. It’s great to have accessible brands in fashion, and fashion that all women can find in their size—but the real test that fashion continues to fail is seeing curvy women in the same light as runway models. There is still the reality of when I want to include a curvy woman in a high fashion shoot that I have to go out of my way to find high end designers who have the right sizing available. That 1.4% of curvy women in campaigns is great—but it represents only a small portion of where the industry needs to be.