A few weeks ago I did a story that appeared on this very site about Obama's--the President, not the First Lady's--impact on the fashion world. I noted that since "Yes We Can" fever began sweeping the nation in 2008 (and Vogue editrix Anna Wintour began hosting fundraisers for him), more black women have begun to appear on the covers of Vogue magazine, including his lovely wife Michelle, who was followed by Beyonce...and just this year Halle Berry snagged the coveted cover of the September issue, the first black woman to do so in more than two decades.
But apparently I popped the champagne too soon. According to an analysis just published by the news site TheLoop21.com (for which I am a political blogger) most of the runways at New York Fashion Week this year were about as diverse as a Tea Party rally. Meaning they weren't.
Out of 4699 looks, 405 or 8.6 percent models were African-American, 345 or 7.3 percent were Asian, 114 or 2.4 percent were Latino, 149 or 3.2 percent were considered other (we couldn't decipher their ethnicity but they weren't Caucasian) and a considerable 3686 or 78.4 percent were Caucasian.
Out of 144 shows, 25 shows featured no models of African-American descent. Nineteen shows featured no models of Asian descent, Latinos only appeared in 63 shows and of those only 31 shows had more than one model. Caucasian models dominated every single show, and there wasn't one show in which they did not appear. You can view analysis of every single show and corresponding spreadsheet here.
The good news is there were some designers who made sure that their runways reflected the diversity of the consumers who wear their clothes. Betsey Johnson, Gwen Stefani, Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Tam and First Lady favorite Jason Wu all had multiple black models and models of all colors in their shows.
I know what labels I'll be buying this weekend.