THE CHALLENGES THAT FACE THE MODEL OF COLOUR IN BRITAIN'S FASHION INDUSTRY
London is recognised as one of the most diverse cities in the world but this is not reflected in the models used during the London Fashion Week’s and many of the other Fashion Weeks across the world. The Black BUT Invisible campaign spearheaded by Sola Oyebade the CEO of the biggest ethnic minority Modelling Agency in the UK - Mahogany Model Management is saying enough is enough. the main aim of the Campaign according to Sola is to put an end to the discrimination of Models of Colour on the catwalk.
Black BUT Invisible challenges the British Fashion Council. “We see things in colour not just black & white.”
How many British models of colour can you name? Struggling to think of any other than Naomi Campbell? This could in fact be a direct result of the undeniable prejudice that models of colour (by models of colour we refer to models of African, Caribbean, Hispanic, Oriental, Asian and dual heritage ethnicity) face in the fashion industry within the United Kingdom every day.
Launched by Mahogany Model Management in June 2008 with the primary aim of increasing the numbers of models of colour present in the fashion industry, the Black But Invisible campaign successfully managed to make the July 2008 Italian Vogue (all black issue) the best selling Vogue ever, and the second stage is now in progress.
Working once again to bring the plight of black models to the media’s attention worldwide, Mahogany Model Management are challenging the British Fashion Council in the run up to London Fashion Week (February 18 – 22). Directly responsible for the running of London Fashion Week, the British Fashion Council are in-turn also responsible for failing to allow models of colour to merely audition for a place on the catwalk of one of the world’s most prestigious events, an outrageous and unacceptable truth.
Sola Oyebade, Chief Executive of Mahogany Model Management said: “London is recognised as one of the most diverse cities in the world but this is not reflected in the models used during the London Fashion Week’s and many of the other Fashion Weeks across the world. As part of the Black BUT Invisible campaign we are saying enough is enough, it is not good enough to take the money that we spend on consumer goods but then refuse to put a fair proportion of models of colour on the catwalk. They will not even be a little bit fake and let us audition and then say no. London Fashion Week & the British Fashion Council are blatantly open about the "industry Apartheid" they are practising.”
Is there evidence to show that these models are less talented than their white counterparts? Not at all. Can the discrepancy between the numbers models of colour, and the number of white models that adorn the catwalk be closed? There is no doubt. However it is the willingness of the British Fashion Council whom hold the power to enforce these changes that must be questioned.
With ‘black’ selling out in every other industry, from successful global music icons such as Beyonce Knowles, Rihanna and Chris Brown to television hosts such as Oprah Winfrey and ex-supermodel Tyra Banks, to the world’s very first history making black President, Mr. Obama Barack, the excuse that ‘black does not sell’ is simply futile.
To find out more and to support the ‘Black, But Invisible’ campaign please contact the following: Sola Oyebade at 07891 204389 / 07971 388687 / 0845 388 7249 – firstname.lastname@example.org