Zac Posen is taking the issue of diversity in fashion into his own hands.
The highly coveted designer has created a campaign to shine light on the unfair casting practices in the fashion industry. The designer exclusively chose models who come from African descent and other ethnicities. The fashion show took place in New York this week with special guests Katie Holmes and Jennifer Hudson. However, the real treat was seeing so many diverse women modeling the high-end line in regards to an issue that many agree needs to be addressed.
It’s no secret fashion isn’t the most diverse industry. Even though Black people have a rich history in fashion, oftentimes there is little representation of this. Knowing this Posen imposed a history lesson on fashion lovers in the form of artistic expression. He says he was inspired by Ugandan Princess Elizabeth Of Toro. The Princess studied law at Oxford, modeled for Diana Vreeland at Vogue in 1968 and represented her country at the United Nation. Posen stated on his Instagram page that in her honor he closed out his Fall 2016 NYFW show with Aamito Lagum.
Along with honoring Princess Elizabeth of Toro, Posen also made various statements on social media regarding Black models and unfair casting practices. “Diversity is what makes the world beautiful and inspiring,” Posen said. The designer continued to show his support by modeling an oversize tote with the phrase “Black Models Matter” across the exterior. The NYFW show, which was a tribute to the 1930s, featured an array of tailored pantsuits with wool flannel and jewel shades. Some notable faces of African descent modeling the collection consisted of Aya Jones, Aamito Lagum, Cindy Bruna, Riley Montana and Grace Bol.
While Black models are hoping to break down more doors in fashion, Posen is showing that action is the best way to make a change. While the main point of the show was to “study couture geometrics of the 1930’s”, Posen made more of a statement with casting practices that more closely represent all women. Other underrepresented people in high fashion like plus size models, older models, and models with non-traditional body-types are still vying to grace major runways. Diversity seems like a gateway for other people of different shapes, sizes, and ages to become the new norm when casting models. For more from the SS16 Zac Posen collection click here.