This Just In…

male_models_runway_milan

In Milan, Models Still Come in Only One Color.” In this recent New York Times Magazine article, writer Guy Trebay talks about the lack of minority representation at menswear shows in the fashion capital.

Now, while I applaud consistent efforts to bring ethnicity issues to the fore in light of the recent appointment of America’s first African American president, why is it that some people believe that the latter, albeit an historical moment in itself, would somehow automatically reverse decades of systemic discrimination? And why must it take the inauguration of the first black president for these very issues to take precedence? Is it not wishful thinking on our part to expect a change of mentality, and consequently the end of racist, and discriminatory practices to take place overnight?

And while the burgeoning discourse on the matter, as the T Magazine article exemplifies, is definitely a good place to start, why aren’t concrete measures being taken to make Milan’s runways less bland? And by concrete, I’m certainly not referring to the all-black issue of Vogue Italia, which, while it may have been produced with the best of intentions, simply comes off as nothing more than a band-aid solution all the while foolishly exposing the racist practices of the industry (seeing as Vogue Italia didn’t have any trouble finding black models to populate every single page of the magazine, while designers and casting directors still claim that black, or any non-white models for that matter, are simply not available).

Photo via New York Times Magazine

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Comments
2 Responses to “This Just In…”
  1. Retromus-ik says:

    Nice. I looked at the pictures from Vogue Italia, and they’re gorgeous. Even though, it may come across a band-aid solution, all I could think of was: “It’s about time”.You’re right some people tend to think that since Obama is president, it means that racism no longer exists. Those type of false assertions bother me; a change of mentality does not happen in the blink of an eye. Having him as president of the U.S, however proud that makes me, will not provoke a magical domino effect that will spill over unto a concrete change on the runway, for example, or even to our reality as black people in Montreal (in the way, we are still stereotyped by some etc…)

  2. Katia says:

    Agreed! The issue is a beautiful one, and I certainly thought that it was a great way to highlight the fact that beauty comes in different shades and colors, but it just irks me when people automatically assume that, as you say, Obama’s recent inauguration will immediately initiate a “domino effect that will spill over unto a concrete change on the runway.” Of course, it would be nice, but simply unrealistic considering the world we live in. In my opinion, facing up to the problem, and initiating change gradually by giving more ethnic models a fighting chance would be a more plausible scenario.

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