I am wondering out loud being born an African American when did the Brazilian folks realize that diversity was not being practice on the catwalk? What about organizations and corporations around the globe? I would be an idiot to think that every time I read equal opportunity slogans, pamphlets and listened on television blips, articles ran in newspaper ads and ad placements in workplace lunch rooms about how they practice diversity within the workplace that folks should believe the printed material and writings placed on the wall. Nowadays all you have to do is look at the inside circle of some groups when hanging out at the club, sports events, schools, universities, model recruiting, boardroom meetings, neighborhoods, corporations, organizations, television commercials, blogs, news, media and magazine ads, etc to notice that diversity is not practice as much as it is preached! Hmmmm….diversity is an huge issue around the world amongst all social groups. Don’t kid yourself into believing that everyone and anyone want to mix with other ethnic groups. Mixing is unacceptable in some social groups, financially, culturally and geographically, social standing and money may or may not have something to do with it. I know black folks are the kindest and tend to be the most compromising group of folks when it comes to interracial and race mixing more so than any other ethnic groups….black folks tend to be receptive to other races mixing within their family structure than other ethnic groups…#justsaying that is my #randomthought and experience with the interracial mixing that has occurred within my own family tree. Hence, no one ask me though!
The lack of black models being used on the catwalks got some folks panties in a bunch enough to chain themselves to a fence….Uh huh! I don’t think I would go to that extreme but some folks are willing to put it out there on the front line for change…my hats are off to them!
SAO PAULO–Showgoers at Sao Paulo fashion week were greeted by a group of about a dozen protestors from non profit organization Educafro Brazil, who had chained themselves together in front of the Fundação Bienal (Sao Paulo fashion week’s official venue), to call for more black models on the catwalks in Brazil. While 12 protestors outside an event might not seem like enough to raise a stink, the story was all over Brazil’s papers and news sites for the rest of the week.
Brazil is known for its beautiful models almost than for its fashion. While Gisele, Brazil’s most famous model, didn’t walk in Sao Paulo fashion week this season (she walked last season for Colcci), Brazilian models Raquel Zimmerman, Daiane Conterato, Bruna Tenorio, and Viviane Orth walked countless shows. The pervading look of the models on the runways in Sao Paulo is undeniably blond, white, and European. As Educafro Brazil pointed out in their literature, the models do not reflect Brazil’s population, which is over 50% black.
A regulation currently stipulates that 10% of models in each show at Sao Paulo fashion week are black. Educafro Brazil would like that number to be increased to 20%. In their pamphlet, the non profit puts forth that the “current European standards upheld in fashion shows in Brazil” are “unacceptable.”
According to Estadao.com, the issue was raised after Osklen creative director Oskar Metsahvat tried to cast an all black show for his Royal Black collection and said he couldn’t find enough models (he was only able to cast 10). “If he really wanted to cast a completely black show, he would learn that there are more than 30 companies that work exclusively with black models.” David Santos, the executive director of Educafro Brazil, told Terra.com. Source
As much as I like to think I am fashion forward and progressive with my thinking….I have to wonder if Andrej Pejic cause a stir that cause protestors to take to the streets? Yeah, dude is gorgeous but why should we all fall head over heels with this new trend of using transgender men on the runway which step other ethnic women in the process? I think not….what about how heterosexual men and how they feel about purchasing clothing from the runways? Anyone think of that? Diversity mean practicing and giving everyone something….YUP! If we are going to use transgender models than why aren’t black women being use on the runway? Perhaps selected bias, discrimination or hatred toward black and other ethnic women is being practiced in the fashion houses but these are the same fashion houses that would like black and other ethnic (groups) women to spend their hard earn money on their wares? What if folks start boycotting these fashion houses that consistently refuse to change with the times? What about that? Pay attention folks? We are all living during a time where we all must make our money work for us….fashion is a fantasy!