Just How White Was New York Fashion Week?

Naomi Campbell is part of a wave of model activists championing diversity. (Mike Pont/Getty Images)
Naomi Campbell is part of a wave of model activists championing diversity. (Mike Pont/Getty Images)

Last week, black supermodel Jessica White wondered aloud where all the black supermodels were.


Black modeling icon Bethann Hardison continues to do her part during New York Fashion Week in creating awareness around the runway's lack of diversity during the fashion and modeling industry's biggest week, alongside fellow legends Iman and Naomi Campbell. 

The call for more color in complexion, not clothes, on the runway is not new. The topic has become a standard part of the Fashion Week news cycle, and it remains so largely because no one is listening. Over at Jezebel, a team of reporters crunched the numbers for 142 of the 184 shows at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week, and what they found was, well, white. Very white.

Of those close to 5,000 looks, around 80 percent were modeled by white women. (80 percent. That's a number that, if you look at the charts, we're growing familiar with.) Fewer than 1,000 looks were given to women who were not white, mostly black and asian women, with some non-white Latina women sneaking in there. Women of other ethnicities, like Middle Eastern women, were barely seen.

The study also shed light on additional issues, such as the tendency for many of the same black models to be seen in multiple shows. Cora Emmanuel did the most, appearing in 13 shows, and Campbell also made an appearance as a closer for Diane Von Furstenberg.

Read more at Jezebel.

Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.