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06/22/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Brazil Fashion Show Race Dispute Settled

An investigation into Brazil's Sao Paolo Fashion Week to determine if participants were including enough black and mixed-race models has ended with a settlement between fashion brand companies and prosecutors, the BBC reports. The settlement requires that participant companies meet a minimum 10 percent threshold of models who are either of African or Indigenous descent, and comes in the aftermath of an investigation last year that found the non-white contingent of models to be only 2.3 percent, according to the BBC.

The race disparity was called out earlier this month by the black advocacy group Educafro, who called for a second, parallel Sao Paolo Fashion Week that would feature only black models. According to AFP:

"We will hold a black Sao Paulo fashion week in the street right in front of the Sao Paulo Fashion Week" unless the demand is met, David Santos, of the Educafro group, told AFP.

Santos said his organization, which fights to boost the number of blacks in Brazil's higher education system, wants to see "greater inclusion" of blacks in the Sao Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW), the premier fashion event for Latin America that runs June 17-22.

Much of the outrage stems from the fact that Brazil is a markedly heterogeneous country, with 50 percent identifying themselves as white, seven percent as black, and 43 percent as some variation of mixed-race, according to the AFP.

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