New York Fashion Week: Lack of Diversity Called out
New York fashion week as been a favorite of mine since, I was a young girl. As it turns out, my attention is distracted by the non-inclusion of women of color and women over forty. So, this blog is not my fashion recap as promised. Instead it’s a New York Fashion Week: Lack of Diversity Called out.
The fashion industry as a whole from company branding, designers, editors, photographer, are excluding an entire group of women. Why am I/we, women of color over forty not included? Are we not really not relevant in their eyes? Hiring WOC as a part of a “quota” aka affirmative action so as not to be call attention to their blatant discrimination is not what we are looking for. This SHOULD NOT be the reason why someone likes me shows up on a runway, or is featured in an ad campaign or has a collection shown during NYFW, or is highlighted in a fashion publication under the ” STREET STYLE section or is seated front row. WTH ?
My personal experience
My career and background of 20+ years has been in Human Resources primarily in retail fashion. I have been the one pushing hiring managers to hire qualified talent for just that, their talent. There were times, I was told “no” on a candidate of color for no other reason than the color of their skin. They then move forward on a less qualified person who looks more like a “fit”. For example,I have had to take it upon myself to provide “tips” to my WOC candidate during the interview process on how to wear her hair ie not NATURAL so she can land the job. Because, I knew she would not get the job otherwise. My point is racism “IS A “thing and I won’t tolerate it.
Times are changing; get it together people
Times are changing and silence is not an option. You can be apart of the problem or you can be apart of the solution. I chose the latter. If you have read my ‘about me ‘ section on my blog, you will see what my intention and motivation for creating @fortyplusten was from the onset. So, I will continue to speak on this topic as long as I feel this way. I will represent women like me, woc of color as long as this is an issue.
As long as I am not seeing more women who look like me in the role of fashion editor or stylist or ad feature or highlighted in fashion publications, I will continue to speak out ! Oh, I don’t mean the hand full (one hand ) of amazing women currently holding down these spots as apart of some quota or affirmative action bullshit. I mean when the representation is FAIR and above all EQUAL across the board!
Women with voices using their platforms for GOOD!
Here are two women of color amongst many who are using their platforms to shine a light on this discrimination.
New York Fashion Week: Five Women Of Color Who Should Be On Your Radar by Lauren Wesley Wilson founder of Color Comm
Street Style Is Killing Itself With Its Narrow Focus on Thin White Women by Lindsay Peoples fashion editor at The Cut
These women have written powerful and thought-provoking articles this past week.
Definition of diversity
1: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements : variety; especially : the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization
- programs intended to promote diversity in schools
2: an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities : an instance of being diverse
- a diversity of opinion