Racial Diversity In Models At New York Agencies is Pathetically Low, According to New Study (Shocker)
Hi everyone! Welcome to the year 2014, where racial diversity is an issue that needs to be discussed constantly because there still isn't enough of it, oh, basically everywhere. The fashion industry is no exception. Nika Mavrody of The Fashion Spot crunched the numbers on racial diversity in New York modeling agencies and the results were pretty disappointing, if not particularly surprising.
The study counted models of color included in show packages from Spring 2014 and Fall 2014, using only the data available on Models.com. For each agency, The Fashion Spot calculated the number of models of color (a phrase used to incorporate any non-white model include those identifying as black, Asian, non-white Hispanic, Native American, and mixed-race) relative to the total number of models in a show package. The goal of the study was to identify industry trends in terms of diversity, but of course, some agencies had more impressive numbers than others.
A clear standout was Fusion Model Management, described as a "small boutique agency," with an average of 46% non-white models per show package. Jody Gordon, founder of Fusion, told The Fashion Spot, "Models are not discriminated on their ethnicity.The truth is, it’s tough finding great models, period. It’s a competitive business and since we are so boutique, we don’t always get the models we want, due to industry politics, etc."
With numbers like that, Fusion is clearly doing a good job, especially compared to Silent NYC, which featured zero models of color per show package of seven or eight total models. Unsurprisingly, Silent NYC ignored The Fashion Spot's request for comment. Across all 19 agencies studies, total diversity only improved one percent between the seasons examined. UGH.
The numbers are bleak, but let's turn to visual representation to remind us how many wonderful models of color are currently out there killing it! Here's hoping that we will continue to see more diversity on runways and in the pages of our magazines.
Fei Fei Sun
Images: Getty Images