Models have always been a huge part of the fashion industry, without them, all the intricate pieces made by designers would not be able to walk down the run way by themselves or even act fashion films all alone. In recent times, models of color have gained a lot of attention on the runway, going from being replaced with their white colleagues to actually opening shows and walking in world class shows like the Victoria Secret Show.
Every year a list of highly paid models is released and this year it is a shocker that not a single black model was on the list, just like how Beyonce beat Taylor Swift to highest paid female musician of the year, Kendell Jenner beat Giselle Bundchen who has held the title of Highest earning model for 15 years. Not only did Kendell Jenner snag the highest earning model of the year, no black model made the cut. This list comprises of Chrissy Teigen, Gigi Hadid, Lui Wen, Karlie Kloss and a list of other people who are not black.
All the models in these category are great but it brings us to the question, why did no black model make the list? With black models who have ultimately set the pace for others to follow and even achieved greater feats than their colleagues, it is very disheartening that Naomi Campbell, Joan Smalls, Tyra Banks, Jasmine Tookes, Jourdan Dunn,Chanel Iman, Alek Wek, Liya Kebede and a couple of others were not included in the top ten.
This list can only mean one thing, that with all the fuse about how models of color and black models are being given much more attention, it is only but noise to the ears because it does not translate in the figures paid to these models, or endorsements and campaigns handed over to black models.
Liu Wen who came up in number 8 of the list, earning a total of $6.5 million is the only Non white model on the list, it means that out of 10 models, only one model of color got the best endorsement this year and that is the number 8th position which clearly means she did not come close to her white colleagues.
Can this be discouraging? Yes most definitely, with the statistics shown on the rate and rise of black models in the fashion industry, it is just mere numbers to blind the actual activities taking place in the fashion industry. A recent survey by FashionSpot found out that nonwhite models accounted for more than 30% of the models cast in Fall 2017, advertising campaigns for the first time, which means according to them, models of colors are now being booked not just for low paying catwalks but lucrative adverts too.
Designers and brands decided to include one or two black models in their campaigns and runway so they can make headlines on how they are accepting models of color but are they really accepting them?
And the real question is, for how long do we depend on statistics that don’t translate to real life figures.