There has been a lot of bad news recently, and so it is a relief, however small, to find one little bit of good news coming from within our own industry: the Spring 2018 runways were more diverse than they've ever been.
According to the Fashion Spot's latest post-fashion month diversity report, racial diversity increased in all four cities, and there were a record number of plus-size, trans or non-binary and over-50 models cast this season.
Notably, New York led the way in every category, as we reported last month: 36.9 percent of models who walked in U.S. shows were nonwhite, 90 of the 93 plus-size model castings of the month took place in New York, and more trans, non-binary and over-50 models walked in NYC than anywhere else. The city was also home to all of the season's most age-, race- and gender-inclusive shows of the season, including Helmut Lang, Marc Jacobs, Chromat, Tracy Reese, Christian Siriano, Desigual, Tome and Torrid.
While overall diversity numbers rose to record highs this season, there's of course still more progress to be made. New York's neighbors across the pond have the most work to do, with London, Paris and Milan barely raising the number of plus-size castings since Spring 2016 and no steady increase being charted when it comes to over-50 models on European runways.
Still, the increase in racial diversity across every city — and the significant gains made in other categories, even if largely thanks to New York — are reason for hope. As casting director James Scully noted to Paper in September, the industry may be shifting slowly, but it's certainly shifting.
"In all the years I've been in this business, [this season] was definitely the most diverse on every level," Scully said. "Besides size and color and age, there was a big showing of trans girls this season… I don't even know what to say, I'm so surprised at how diverse it was."
Here's hoping that increasing diversity becomes so normal that it stops being a surprise to anyone.