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Naomi Campbell & Iman Call Out Designers For Runway Racism

| Filed under: Victoria BeckhamFashion SmashionMarc JacobsNaomi CampbellSad SadRodarteCalvin KleinImanDonna Karan

Naomi Campbell and Iman have formed a coalition that singles out designers who don't use diverse models!

As we all know, discrimination has been a historically long-winded battle that’s still being fought today.

Amongst countless others, Miss America had to face it, Oprah Winfrey experienced it, and now the mostly white runways of fashion week have come under major scrutiny for their lack of diversity (see above pic).

Luckily the fight to end racism in the fashion world has some of the seksiest models ever as spokespeople: Naomi Campbell and Iman!

The two icons have joined forces with former model agent Bethann Hardison to form the Diversity Coalition, in hopes of raising awareness about the issues.

Iman made an accurate statement on the matter, saying:

"The absence of people of color on the runways and photography reinforces to our young girls that they're not beautiful enough, that they're not acceptable enough. The diversity that we live in, the world that we live in, is not what is shown on the runway. That to me is the concern. It's a bigger issue at large than just about runway and models."

As part of their campaign for change, the trio have written letters to fashion councils, which featues a list of labels who "consistently use one or no models of color" in their presentations.

Some of the designers mentioned include fashion heavyweights like Victoria Beckham, Calvin Klein, Rodarte, Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan. The letter states "no matter the intention, the result is racism."

Iman puts part of the blame is on casting directors, saying:

"I don't want to ever hear again a young model telling me that [casting directors] have said to her: 'We are not seeing black models this season.' To me that's offensive. To me that's a racist remark."

Now that Iman, Naomi and Bethann have opened up a dialog about racism in the industry, they'll continue to talk about it until a they see a real change, not just a temporary one. Miz Campbell adds:

"We don't want this to be a trend. We want this to last."

If anyone can do it, it's these three influential ladies!

[Image via WENN.]

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6 comments to “Naomi Campbell & Iman Call Out Designers For Runway Racism”

  1. 1

    OK, so they are obviously fine with not using ugly girls, and not using fat girls, and not using short girls, or people with disabilities. But when it comes to something that applies to them such as race….all of a sudden they are concerned about what young girls might think? That is pretty damn funny.

  2. UncleFan says – reply to this


    Ridiculous. No woman on the planet has profited more from "runway racism" than Naomi Campbell. If there was an abundance of gainfully employed black models, does old-assed, horse-faced Naomi really think SHE would have been the first one who got called for jobs for the last 20 years and counting? This as just as dumb as Jackie Chan calling for more Chinese action stars in Hollywood, count your blessings, b*tch!

  3. mia says – reply to this


    i hope this works!! there need to be more people of color on runways and print editorials!

  4. fiera says – reply to this


    its true. Not enough diversity on runway or print. I am sick of seeing the same type of eastern european/Russian girls constantly being used for everything, its boring

  5. chillax62 says – reply to this


    Re: Lilygirl27 – Hi Lilygirl, I totally get what you mean, but try seeing it this way: The modeling industry requires beautiful women, this is the main criteria when hiring any model that meets that standards, as far as runways are concerned. Now the point is this, only (sorry for this) white models are hired 80% of the time, even if the world has evolved since the time of segregation. What these ladies are trying to say now is this, respect that criteria, but hire black models too without throwing the color factor to their faces. If this was about discrimination towards fat girls or ugly girls, i am totally sure people will voice out their opinions too. Sorry for my english

  6. 6

    Re: chillax62 – I do get what you are saying. But I think it is completely hypocritical to call people out for eliminating certain types of people from runway shows when you work in a business that you know perfectly well only hires people based upon their looks.

    And then when they do complain, it is only because of skin color and not all the gobs of other reasons that people aren't chosen to model. In the big scheme of things…..the color of somebody's skin is way down on the list of reasons why a designer wouldn't choose a model. Beauty and weight and height are much higher on that list. A designer would much rather have a thin black model than a curvy white model. But Iman and Naomi never complained about that injustice. I just don't think that is right. But thank you for being kind and polite.