Lately, there's been a bit of an outcry from the fashion community regarding diversity in the industry's models. Now, however, Burberry's first Pakistani model has hit the scene, and she's only five years old! Laila Naim is starting young, and hopefully she's part of a larger movement toward diverse casting in fashion.
This year at New York Fashion Week, the casting of models of color was slightly better—emphasis on the slightly. However, the diversification of the fashion industry has barely begun. While some may argue that the problem with diversity is specific to the catwalks of New York, Milan, and Paris, the truth is that outside of the runway, magazines also appear to be guilty of whitewashing covers, which extends to all aspects of the fashion industry.
Enter Laila Naim, the five-year-old Pakistani cutie who is the new face for Burberry's children line. She is pure magic in her first campaign for the brand with her bright brown eyes and adorable smile. She's the perfect embodiment of youthful fun, and she seems to approach modeling with the same spirit. The Pakistani girl is a natural in front of the camera, according to her mother. In an interview with Dawn.com, Laila's mom discusses her Burberry photoshoot stating, "She loves the camera and is a natural, at her first shoot the shoot’s creative director asked if she had been doing this for a long time! She was totally comfortable in front of the camera and Burberry team.”
Kudos to Burberry for continuing to diversify their children's label, which features many young boys and girls of color. While the industry as a whole needs to continue expanding beyond their white-centric standards, Burberry has moved in the right direction by casting Naim and appears to be sending a message to young girls everywhere that their representation matters.