The fashion industry has endured a lengthy past of race superiority and stigmatization of models of colour. Despite the likes of legends such as Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell, historically, the runways have championed the white models.
However, it seems, times are finally changing. More than ever before, models of colour are opening and closing the worlds most renowned fashion weeks. This year, in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been even further effort to promote the inclusion and representation of minority groups. The black community in particular have been bossing spheres such as fashion week modelling.
While there are many faces helping to create change in the industry, here are some of our favourites who have been tearing up the runways in 2021
Lineisy Montero, who was discovered at an amusement park in the Dominican republic, has been making her mark on the runways this year. Sporting her trademark Afro at NYFW, which she says is never heavily pampered for runway modelling, has proven to other aspiring black models girls that you should always be proud of your heritage.
Adonis Bosso has made his mark this season, modelling for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Todd Snyder. Bosso said in an interview with Vogue that his aim as a black model on the runways is to dissolve all the stereotypes. “I want to represent something more than being boxed into stereotypes”. Basically, we love him.
Adut Akech Bior
One of the most sought-after Black models in the industry, Bior has opened and closed several major shows this fashion week season. Not only does she want to represent black girls, as she said in an interview with Allure, she wants to represent and inspire anyone who started from nothing and worked their way up.
It took Staniel five years to sign for an agency, but after a lot of hard work and determination, he killed the runway at 2021 London Fashion week. He is another Black model proving to the industry that fashion has no colour.
And of course, the Queen herself, Winnie Harlow…
Winnie Harlow has been a shining star of the runway for some time now, and she never fails to promote inclusion and diversity along the way. After having to deal with years of stigmatization, the boldness and passion this woman has for her job is unmatched. She has been one of the most important figures in the industry for showing people that being unique is something to be proud of. This year, she stunned in a cute cartoon print dress as she walks for Mochino at NYFW.
Not only are we seeing more black and ethnic minority models on the runways, but alongside this we are finally getting to see more and more black designers showcase their talent. Organizations such as the ‘Black in Fashion Council’, who were crafted near the start of the pandemic, are actively working towards providing more oppertunities for Black designers to share the main stage during fashion week. Another step in the right direction.
Although there is still far more to be done, the industry is shifting for the better. Black models and designers are paving the way for change in the world of fashion. And of course, we love to see it.