Fashion Week and Models of Color

By Jorge Rivas Mar 06, 2009

At the start of fashion week New York Times style writer Guy Trebay asked “Has ‘the Obama Effect’ Come to Runway Castings?”. Trebay writes “there are signs that the recent industry habits of exclusion may be undergoing a shift. Call it the Obama effect, if you will.” But does this concept of an “Obama effect” represent a real cultural shift or is it simply a nod to the problematic fiction of a post-racial America? Jezebel reports: "There were 116 labels that held shows at the recently ended New York fashion week; that’s 3,697 spots in runway and presentation lineups. Of those, 668 were given to models of color — which, at just over 18%, is 6% better than one year ago. (And certainly better than in the fall of 2007, when WWD reported that one-third of the New York shows used no models of color at all.)" Only time will tell if fashion designers, casting directors and modeling agencies are making real moves to reflect their customers, but in the meantime check out the raw data after the cut for the NY fashion week shows and make your Fall 09 purchases accordingly. via Jezebel, here is raw data for 25 of the top shows: 3.1 Philip Lim 9 runway spots to models of color / 41 total runway spots 21% of runway spots to models of color Wanessa Milhomem (Latina) Tao Okamoto (Asian, O) Emma Pei (Asian) Hyoni Kang (Asian) Liu Wen (Asian) Han Jin (Asian) Du Juan (Asian) Gracie Carvalho (Black) Georgie Badiel (Black) Alexander Wang 4/40 10% Liu Wen (Asian) Lakshmi Menon (Asian) Tao Okamoto (Asian) Jourdan Dunn (Black) Anna Sui 6/50 12% Liu Wen (Asian, 2 looks) Du Juan (Asian, 2 looks) Jourdan Dunn (Black, 2 looks) Badgley Mishka 11/33 33% Flavia de Oliveira (Latina, 2 looks) Bruna Tenorio (Latina, 2 looks) Lakshmi Menon (Asian, 3 looks) Hyoni Kang (Asian, 2 looks) Sessilee Lopez (Black, 2 looks, C) Calvin Klein 1/35 3% Lyndsey Scott (Black) Carolina Herrera 5/34 14% Lakshmi Menon (Asian) Du Juan (Asian) Liu Wen (Asian) Jourdan Dunn (Black) Gracie Carvalho (Black) Diane von Furstenberg 12/39 31% Caroline Ribeiro (Latina) Bruna Tenorio (Latina) Flavia de Oliveira (Latina) Du Juan (Asian) Emma Pei (Asian) Han Jin (Asian) Lakshmi Menon (Asian) Sessilee Lopez (Black) Chanel Iman (Black) Arlenis Sosa (Black) Gracie Carvalho (Black) Georgie Badiel (Black) Donna Karan 3/45 7% Jourdan Dunn (Black, 2 looks) Arlenis Sosa (Black) Isaac Mizrahi 9/40 23% Tao Okamoto (Asian) Aminata Niaria (Black, 2 looks) Arlenis Sosa (Black, 2 looks) Georgie Badiel (Black, 2 looks) Sessilee Lopez (Black) Jourdan Dunn (Black) Jason Wu 10/35 29% Lakshmi Menon (Asian, 2 looks) Liu Wen (Asian, 2 looks) Du Juan (Asian) Jourdan Dunn (Black, 2 looks, O) Arlenis Sosa (Black) Sessilee Lopez (Black) Chanel Iman (Black) Malandrino 12/47 26% Joan Smalls (Latina) Eugenia Mandzhieva (Asian, 3 looks) Emma Pei (Asian, 2 looks) Georgie Badiel (Black) Aminata Niaria (Black) Rahma Mohamed (Black) Sessilee Lopez (Black, 3 looks) Marc Jacobs 10/60 17% Daiane Conterato (Latina) Bruna Tenorio (Latina) Hye Park (Asian) Han Jin (Asian) Du Juan (Asian) Tao Okamoto (Asian) Chanel Iman (Black) Sessilee Lopez (Black) Georgie Badiel (Black) Jourdan Dunn (Black) Michael Kors 7/55 12% Caroline Ribeiro (Latina) Bruna Tenorio (Latina) Liu Wen (Asian) Han Jin (Asian) Jourdan Dunn (Black) Chanel Iman (Black) Arlenis Sosa (Black) Monique Lhuillier 1/12 8% Cecilia Mendez (Latina) Narciso Rodriguez 3/39 8% Liu Wen (Asian) Sessilee Lopez (Black) Arlenis Sosa (Black) Oscar de la Renta 25/51 49% Daiane Conterato (Latina, 3 looks) Bruna Tenorio (Latina, 2 looks) Cecilia Mendez (Latina, 2 looks) Marilia Dutra (Latina, 2 looks) Joan Smalls (Latina) Hye Park (Asian) Jourdan Dunn (Black, 3 looks, O, C) Ubah Hassan (Black, 3 looks) Sessilee Lopez (Black, 2 looks) Georgie Badiel (Black, 2 looks) Aminata Niaria (Black, 2 looks) Arlenis Sosa (Black, 2 looks) Tara Gill (Other — Native American) Philosophy 2/24 8% Daiane Conterato (Latina) Selina Khan (Asian) Proenza Schouler 3/38 8% Daiane Conterato (Latina) Liu Wen (Asian) Jourdan Dunn (Black) Ralph Lauren 16/55 29% Cecilia Mendez (Latina, 3 looks, O) Bruna Tenorio (Latina, 3 looks) Tao Okamoto (Asian, 2 looks) Liu Wen (Asian) Shu Pei Qin (Asian) Selina Khan (Asian) Ubah Hassan (Black, 3 looks) Jourdan Dunn (Black) Gracie Carvalho (Black) Rodarte 3/35 9% Daul Kim (Asian) Emma Pei (Asian) Jourdan Dunn (Black) Thakoon 5/35 14% Daiane Conterato (Latina, 2 looks) Bruna Tenorio (Latina) Jourdan Dunn (Black, 2 looks, C) Tommy Hilfiger 5/29 13% Du Juan (Asian) Eugenia Mandzhieva (Asian) Jourdan Dunn (Black) Sessilee Lopez (Black) Arlenis Sosa (Black) Vera Wang 8/30 27% Bruna Tenorio (Latina) Daiane Conterato (Latina) Wanessa Milhomem (Latina) Shu Pei Qin (Asian) Tao Okamoto (Asian) Liu Wen (Asian) Gracie Carvalho (Black) Aminata Niaria (Black) Yigal Azrouël 11/28 39% Bruna Tenorio (Latina, 2 looks) Daiane Conterato (Latina, 2 looks) Lais Oliveira (Latina, 2 looks) Tao Okamoto (Asian, 2 looks) Hye Park (Asian) Kinée Diouf (Black, 2 looks) Zac Posen 5/43 12% Du Juan (Asian) Alek Wek (Black, 2 looks) Chanel Iman (Black) Jourdan Dunn (Black)