STYLE

Diane Von Furstenberg Urges Designers To Promote Health And Diversity At New York Fashion Week

02/04/2015 12:08 pm ET | Updated Feb 04, 2015
Gabriel Olsen via Getty Images

New York Fashion Week is days away and if it's up to Diane von Furstenberg, we'll be seeing a lot more diversity when it comes to the models who will be hitting the runway.

The legendary fashion designer and president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) posted a letter on Tuesday, composed by herself and the organization's CEO, Steven Kolb, urging designers and industry insiders to keep both health and diversity in mind leading up to the Fall 2015 show presentations.

The letter begins by stating:

As we approach New York Fashion Week, let’s remember that beauty is health and health is beauty. It is also important to remember that beauty is diversity and as an industry, we stand by these two principles. It is essential to remind ourselves of this as we spread the message to the world.

The industry has a history of whitewashed runways with little to no models of color and featuring models that appear way too thin. This letter is an important reminder to keep those issues in check. Furthermore, the letter goes on to say: "We strongly believe that models under the age of 16 do not belong on the runway and we ask everyone to follow this belief. Remember, we must consider the emotional and physical well-being of these young women."

When it comes to diversity, the CFDA continues to work closely with prominent fashion activist and leader of the Diversity Coalition, Bethann Hardison. The former model has lead quite an impressive campaign against racism within the industry over the past several years. Hardison's mission has been so effective that last year von Furstenberg and Kolb adopted an official set of Diversity Guidelines for the CFDA. Those best practices were also included in the letter on Tuesday.

We're curious to see if the industry will take heed. Fingers crossed.

You can read the full letter at CFDA.com.

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