By Jasmine Washington
Critics of Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 4 fashion show don’t owe him an apology, but they should give him credit for curating one of the most racially diverse and inclusive shows of the entire Spring 2017 Fashion Week season.
Yes, you’ve read that right. After creating a firestorm of controversy with his “multiracial” casting call, Yeezy Season 4 featured an astounding 97% models of color.
Unfortunately, Yeezy’s huge numbers were not mirrored by his peers in the fashion industry. A recent diversity report published by The Fashion Spot found that only 25% of models hired throughout the Spring 2017 Fashion Week season were considered women of color.
While the findings poorly reflect the The Council of Fashion Designers of America’s insistence to curate more racially inclusive shows, Spring 2017’s Fashion Week season was dubbed the most diverse fashion week series in history.
Cities like London, Paris and Milan saw a slight increase of the women of color in their shows, while fashion capital, New York’s decreased from 31.9% to 30.3%.
The sad truth is that although there was historic incorporation of models of color into the Spring 2017 Fashion Week season, there were actually some shows (like Junya Watanabe, The Row, Mila Schön and Daniela Gregis) rated least inclusive for not featuring a single model of color in their fashion shows. Wow!