Earlier this week fashion activist Bethann Hardison (yes, that’s on her Twitter bio) put out a call to action: she sent out letters to the governing fashion bodies in each major fashion city (New York, London, Milan, Paris) stating that it can “no longer be accepted” that designers “consistently use one or no models of color.” The result of using an all-white model cast, she said, is “racism” regardless of the reasoning behind it. She went on to call out every offending designer. (See the full list here.)
Jason Wu was not among them.
Yesterday five models of color walked his show, including rising star Jourdan Dunn, who hasn’t shied away from speaking out about fashion’s racism problem in the past. Earlier this year, after she wasn’t cast in Dior’s couture show (because of her curves) she tweeted, “I’m normally told I’m cancelled because I’m ‘coloured’ so being cancelled because of my boobs is a minor : )”
We caught up with the stunner after Wu’s show yesterday to get her take on Hardison’s campaign.
Fashionista: What do you think of Bethann Hardison’s call to action for designers to end racism on the runway?
I hope it helps. I hope more people speak out, then hopefully people listen and realize it’s not right and something needs to be done.
Have you noticed any progress since you’ve been working?
I mean, there was a season where ethnic models were being represented and then it went back to the same routine of just using one or none at all. It seems like [non-white models] are only cast when it’s hot for one season and everyone jumps on board. It’s a look.
And that’s a problem. What Hardison says is it’s not about it being a look, it’s that it’s racist. Do you agree?
Right. Yes, I do.
I hope things change.
I do too.