Black models are not the minority at the British Fashion Awards, but unfortunately, it is not enough.
The nominees for the British Fashion Awards were announced yesterday, and the usual suspects were listed, from Victoria Beckham to Tom Ford to Burberry. What really got our attention was the best model category. For what might be the first time, black models were the majority, with Jourdan Dunn and Malaika Firth being nominated next to Georgia May Jagger.
Yes, two black models were nominated in a three person category. While the winner won’t be announced until November 23, it is a big step in the diversity issue in fashion, but there is still more work to be done.
Spring 2016 once again saw an overwhelming majority of white models, 79 percent to be exact. And it’s just not designers to blame. According to an op-ed by Bethann Hardison for Business of Fashion, modeling agencies are holding black models back by “not allowing the girls to be seen by all the brands that request their models- many white girls are sent, but never the good working black model, unless the brand is very important.” That is a big problem.
So while we applaud the British Fashion Awards for their major decision to nominate two models of color, we need to see that happening on the runways, in the pages of Vogue and in fashion ad campaigns.
Here are all the nominees for the 2015 British Fashion Awards:
New Establishment Designer
Emerging Womenswear Designer
Emerging Menswear Designer
Grace Wales Bonner
Emerging Accessory Designer
Georgia May Jagger