The Fashion Industry is lacking diversity

Hey Guys! This is a blog I wrote as an assessment piece a few months ago for my online journalism class and I thought I’d share it with you all here.

Once again racial issues in the fashion industry have sparked media attention. The Misha Collection Show finale at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week has caused quite the stir when an entirely Caucasian catwalk strutted to Beyoncé’s song Formation. A article on the event quotes NY Mag fashion writer Lindsay Peoples post where she says, “It’s awkward to see a brigade of white models marching to a song that’s become a “Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud” anthem for black women.” It’s not the first time the Australian Fashion community has been criticized for the lack of diversity on the runway.

An image of a catwalk at a fashion show. Credit: Gary Bigeni –


It has been an ongoing issue for many years that people think the fashion industry is racist. The Fashion Spot Australia is a website which posts statistics about the types of models who have been included in each fashion season. They look at the main fashion capitals such as New York, Milan, London and Paris. The most recent post of statistics are from March which shows less than 25% diversity. Even though it doesn’t include Australia, as our fashion calendar is different from overseas, it still shows the lack of diversity in the modelling world.

I do not believe the industry in racist however I do believe that there should be more diversity amongst models and this is something that needs to change. But to address this issue we need to ask ourselves why is it that the industry is lacking in diversity?

I notice when watching fashion programs on TV their audience is predominantly Caucasian and when people go to runway shows they want to be able to imagine what the clothes look like on them. Are models being cast based on the audience? I believe this could be the case.

catwalk 2
Photo of a runway showing predominately Caucasian models and audience. Credit: Herlitz_pbs –

I have also noticed in shows such as Australia’s Next Top model that there aren’t many indigenous girls who audition… have they simply been discouraged? I think what needs to happen is to encourage women of all cultures to be a part of the industry and get them involved. There is certainly no lack of ethnic women wanting to be involved with indigenous only model agencies in Australia and Indigenous women representing Australia in overseas modelling competitions for the first time. Creating a more diverse audience will create a more diverse catwalk. Australia is a multicultural country so why not a multicultural catwalk?


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