Iman And Naomi Campbell Address Racism In The Modeling Industry
The scarce presence of African-American men and women in today’s modeling industry has long been a topic of public discussion throughout the entertainment industry, but now two of the most influential, high profile black supermodels in the history of the industry are speaking up and speaking out.
Iconic models Naomi Campbell and Iman recently voiced their dissatisfaction with the lack of representation of women of color in the modeling industries just as New York’s annual Fall Fashion Week gets underway.
In what GMA is calling an “unprecedented” move, supermodels Iman, Naomi Campbell and Bethann Hardison are going after racism on the runway and publicly calling out the designers who fail to hire a diverse cast of models.
While it’s not actually unprecedented — Jezebel’s own Jenna Sauers and Dodai Stewart have been calling out the fashion world on its whitewashing since 2008 — their actions and out-spokeness could have a profound and positive impact, especially considering that Iman and Naomi Campbell are two of the most powerful, high profile models in the business.
“There were more black models working [in the '70s] than there were in 2013,” Iman, on behalf of Diversity Coalition, told GMA’s Juju Chang. “There is a time when silence is not acceptable at all and if the conversation cannot be had publicly in our industry then inherently there is something wrong with the industry.”
In an open letter to the CFDA, Diversity Coalition names Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Armani among the worst offenders.
This discussion is definitely nothing new, but hopefully such high profile supermodels with career achievements that transcend color voicing their concerns will stir the pot enough to bring about some change.