Diversity in the workplace has always been a topic on people’s conversations. That is certainly the case with fashion, as over the past few years there has been a significant increase of involvement by a more diverse range of people. What we mean by this is the fact that the fashion industry has been seen to be predominantly a scene dominated and run by Caucasians from the models, designers, photographers and even bloggers/editors. Until of recent people of ethnic backgrounds haven’t had their work recognized as such (on a global level). But as times has gone by we have gradually seen an increase of involvement by more ethnic groups with the likes of Tyson Beckford, Naomi Campbell to name the most iconic names who have built stepping-stones for ethnic groups to embrace their unique appearances and skills.
As times have been changing, one of the biggest news in the fashion world to date is the upcoming appointment of the first male (of black ethnicity) editor of vogue. Edward Enninful has been appointed as the first male in history to become an editor of vogue which leaves controversy seen to the perception that it is a role that’s deemed to be more suited for a female as previous editors has been. This change has a major benefit for the fashion industry as a whole. Firstly it marks an age where diversity is on the up rise as a black male will be taking over one of the most prestigious fashion magazine on the planet. This gives hope and inspiration to younger fashion enthusiasts to pursue their dreams in this industry.
Another case that shows the representation of the increased diversity of the fashion industry is the involvement of ethnic designers and styles in the high fashion (runway) sector. A great example of a big influencing designer to date would be Virgil Abloh of Off-White. Virgil Abloh has taken a big stamp in fashion recently with his involvement with Kanye West’s label Yeezy which has been a success in its own right to creating the most anticipated brand of today Off-White. Since Virgil has moved on to work on his own brand he has had great success with the constant features in fashion weeks across the globe to being sold in major stores such as Selfridges. This has opened a gateway for designers from all backgrounds to express their art and creativity. This is the same with the traditional and cultural messages sent from the designers of Wales Bonner, whose influences come from African attire. Wales Bonner has been an influential designer with the masterpieces of African cultural silhouettes to the involvement of black models on runway shows. The brand has experimented with different materials, colour schemes and textures. By doing so it has opened up a cultural relationship to designing.
As well as designers with the increase in a more ethnic range of models has been unnoticed over the past few years. The involvement of more people of colour in runway shows has helped to expand the fashion industry to a wider audience. An example of an upcoming ethnic model would be Sol Goss. Sol Goss has been a big hit in the fashion world with his facial structure (’razor cheek bones’) and physique always being a topic of interest to point out when he has been walking for top names. The most inspiring and influential case that Sol has been involved in would be the fact that he became the first black male to open Louis Vuitton in a number of years. Since this achievement Sol has gone to walk for some of the most prestigious names, to name one of current, he walked in the Louis Vuitton X Supreme runway show in January for their most anticipated F/W17 collaboration.
This increase in diversity has shown the positive steps the industry has taken to involve everyone and make it such a loved industry where people of all race, backgrounds, and upbringings can get involved and make a difference.