The runway is officially a more beautiful place thanks to a
successful push for diversity over the last decade. It’s been a steady climb – one
that I’ve happily witnessed first-hand. I actually worked for a casting agent
in the early teens, and was appalled and disgusted when designers would specify
that no more than 1-2 women of color be cast – if at all.
Thankfully, those dark ages of fashion are behind us and every FW is more gorgeous because of it. In honor of both fashion month and black history month, we wanted to highlight some of the dopest melanated muses making waves in the industry, inspiring people of all ethnicities.
Born in Louisiana and relocated to California after Hurricane Katrina, Selena was discovered in Huntington Beach and his since taken over fashion month, walking for Alexander McQueen, Céline, Chanel, and Versace among many others. She has also spoken out on designers who don’t case diverse models and brought attention to inequality in fashion.
Adut has an amazingly inspirational story, from being born in a Somali refuge camp to signing as a model at 16 and walking for Yves Saint Laurent just a few years later – we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this rising star.
Naomi Chin Wing
Trinidadian model Naomi Chin Wing is an up-and-comer who gives that “other Naomi” a run for her money.
One of the first plus-size models to appear in Vogue,Precious is happily home-grown, originally hailing from Georgia.
Adwoa has been on the covers of American Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Poland, and i-D – to name a few. She is of Ghanian descent and was born in London – she was named British GQ's 'Woman of the Year' and Model of the year, both in 2017.
Scouted in Angola, Amilna has walked for everyone, including Prada, Fendi, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, and Moschino — and starred in as many campaigns.
Getting her start on Australia’s Next Top Model, Duckie became a household name after moving to NY, where she has started in campaigns for Fenty and L’Oreal.
Kyla, a catwalk staple, is a force to be reckoned with. You may recognize her from Alexandre Vauthier, Valentino, Jacquemus, Schiaparelli, Chanel, Versace, Marc Jacobs – the list goes on and on.
Named a “Supermodel in the Making” by Vogue, Adesuwa was originally rejected by agencies for being “too black.” She penned an essay for The Guardian in 2017 about the challenges she had to overcome, noting, "I can be whatever I want to be." Amen, sister!
The first model to ever walk the Victoria’s Secret fashion show with natural hair, the Angolan model changed the inclusivity conversation.
UNICEF ambassador and model, Halima was born in a refugee camp in Kenya. She is the first woman to ever wear a hijab on an international catwalk and on the cover of an American beauty or fashion magazine. She has also walked for every top brand, including Gucci, Calvin Klein, and Balenciaga.
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