Former Model Bethann Hardison Calls Fashion Industry ‘Racist’ in Letter

It seems the color lines in fashion remain white well into the new millenium. Despite the efforts of many brown girls in the industry, fashion houses continue to use little to zero black models for runway shows and print campaigns. Former model Bethann Hardison, who shot to fame in the 60’s and 70’s, is using her influence to call out Fashion Week’s priciest labels for leaving color out of their shows.

“Not accepting another based on the color of their skin is beyond ‘aesthetic’ when it is consistent with the designer’s brand,” she writes to the fashion design councils in New York, Paris, Milan and London.

“Whether it’s the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models, reveals a trait that is unbecoming to modern society.”

In response to the letter and its accompanying publicity, most fashion councils have placed blame on individual designers, saying that they aren’t responsible for casting models.

“British Fashion Council does not organise model castings [and is] more than happy to engage in tackling any issues regarding best practice and diversity at London Fashion Week,” said the BFC.

Read the full letter below. Vixens: what do you think needs to be done to create more diversity in the fashion world?


bethann hardison's letter to fashion councils

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