Prabal Gurung Faced Opposition Over Joan Smalls When He Wanted Her To Be The Face Of The Brand
You would think that now that it's 2015 and we've elected a black president (twice), the world of fashion would catch on to this diversity thing. Unfortunately, we've still got a long way to go. According to Style.com, Prabal Gurung faced opposition over Joan Smalls when he wanted her to be the face of the brand. But luckily for Smalls (and us), Gurung didn't listen to the unhappy people who disagreed with his choice. When Gurung sees a model he wants, he wants her, regardless of her skin color. Sadly, his way of thinking hasn’t taken over the fashion industry just yet, even though there are many other who agree with him
At a CFDA panel, where the topic was race and diversity within fashion, Gurung offered up the story about his experience with Smalls. "I fought for her and I got her a two or three years campaign deal and everything," Gurung said. "And I will fight for [diversity] that way." He wasn't alone. Others came forward, like Edward Enninful, the fashion and style director of W magazine. For him, it's all about the story that he's trying to tell. "I will use whoever is right for that story," Enninful said. "This type of model for this type of story has never worked for me."
I guess when you look at the bigger picture, there are still a lot of problems with race relations, so it's not that surprising that they flow into the fashion world. But I agree with Enninful; fashion is a lot like art, so instead of looking for a "type," shouldn't it be more about the vision, and the story? Although big advancements like Rihanna being the face of Dior and New York Fashion Week's models becoming more diverse, I'm still wondering if it's all enough. I tend to think not, especially when "No Black Models" was still an option for designers not too many years ago.
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