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26-04-2013
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Gosh, isn't this discussion such a mine field? Some of the comments from the casting directors a few pages back regarding black and asian models is quite disturbing if not outright racist. AT the end of the day, you have to ask, are they just giving the public what they want or is there an onus on the industry to push for diversity. After all, they are the trendsetters, they have the power to push a diverse beauty if they wanted to.

But at what cost though? I read somewhere a while back that non-white models on magazines didn't sell anywhere near as well as white models. Should a company, whose goal is to make profitable return to shareholders not have the right to cast or put whoever they want that will give them maximum returns on profits, even if that means casting a majority white lineup?

I'm of two minds about this, being non-white myself; If I look at it objectively, I can see the economic reason, if not the artistic - America and Europe are majority white Caucasian and I don't expect them to buy into a standard of beauty that doesn't represent them.

What I'm more disheartened by, is the white standard of beauty that is prevalent throughout Asia. I wish we'd embrace our own beauty more but it seems every magazine cover, every ad campaign is dominated by European models. The same 50ft European billboards & banners, whether it be Gucci or Prada are used throughout Asia without even localising models for the destination market. What does that say about the Asian consumer? They must not be too flustered because Asia has been a hail Mary for many of these flailing luxury brands. Add on top you have ads for eye lid surgery, skin whitening, it's a real shame and you can start to see why this discussion becomes increasingly difficult


Last edited by tctra; 26-04-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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26-04-2013
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tctra, I never bought into the "white women/blond blue eyed women sell more" magazines and products. I think there are a lot of other factors into consider in those numbers and until companies release the actual numbers, I don't buy into it.

In the 90's and 80's, there were a lot of black and asian models featured on magazine covers and big advertisements. If someone is new to the fashion industry, they will probably find it crazy that black models were regularly on the cover of Vogue, Elle etc compared to today (we have to make a big deal with Joan Smalls gets a cover..). But more importantly, black and asian models were regularly used in fashion and cosmetic advertisements (CoverGirl, Chanel beauty and fragrance, Clarins, Revlon, YSL ads, Versace ads etc). Back then, people spent more on fashion and frivolous things unlike today in which sales have dropped and people are more likely to shop at H&M, Gap, Old Navy (stores that have always utilized diversity in their ads).

Now we're starting to see a lot of celebrities taking away a lot of the modeling jobs (and they come in all kinds of backgrounds, skin tones, haircolors, asymmetries etc). We're seeing that they sell better than the pristine 16 year old blond blue eyed Russian fashion model. So I feel as if something doesn't add up when I hear these casting directors defend their choices.

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26-04-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatJenahMckey View Post
No one talks about Céline on here but they haven't booked a single black model since Phoebe Philo took over. Last black models to walk for them were in SS09. A real shame because I love Phoebe's work.
That is really insane, and I thought Jil Sander was bad. Would you happen to know who casts the Céline show?

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26-04-2013
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^Russell Marsh.

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26-04-2013
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Originally Posted by Style Savvy View Post
^Russell Marsh.
For some reason I knew that but I blanked, thank you! It probably has something to do with "what Phoebe wants her models to look like", pretty awful if you ask me.

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27-04-2013
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I've been watching Dolce & Gabbana shows from 07-11 for the fierce factor and I do notice that they're very diverse - the S/S 11 had Joan Smalls, Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn. That's like the holy trinity right there. Not to mention their inclusion of Asian girls, not just the main Chinese ones, but Koreans as well. So kudos for those boys from Milan!

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28-04-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tctra View Post
Gosh, isn't this discussion such a mine field? Some of the comments from the casting directors a few pages back regarding black and asian models is quite disturbing if not outright racist. AT the end of the day, you have to ask, are they just giving the public what they want or is there an onus on the industry to push for diversity. After all, they are the trendsetters, they have the power to push a diverse beauty if they wanted to.

But at what cost though? I read somewhere a while back that non-white models on magazines didn't sell anywhere near as well as white models. Should a company, whose goal is to make profitable return to shareholders not have the right to cast or put whoever they want that will give them maximum returns on profits, even if that means casting a majority white lineup?

I'm of two minds about this, being non-white myself; If I look at it objectively, I can see the economic reason, if not the artistic - America and Europe are majority white Caucasian and I don't expect them to buy into a standard of beauty that doesn't represent them.

What I'm more disheartened by, is the white standard of beauty that is prevalent throughout Asia. I wish we'd embrace our own beauty more but it seems every magazine cover, every ad campaign is dominated by European models. The same 50ft European billboards & banners, whether it be Gucci or Prada are used throughout Asia without even localising models for the destination market. What does that say about the Asian consumer? They must not be too flustered because Asia has been a hail Mary for many of these flailing luxury brands. Add on top you have ads for eye lid surgery, skin whitening, it's a real shame and you can start to see why this discussion becomes increasingly difficult
Very good points. However. Staying as far away from weight talk as I can, I don't think the public does believe the current standard of beauty in the industry represents them. The main feature of today's models (the forbidden topic) is constantly discussed negatively in the media and most of the public are shocked/disgusted by it. So I'm not sure that being represented by the standard of beauty is what sells magazines.

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28-04-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littleathquakes View Post
I've been watching Dolce & Gabbana shows from 07-11 for the fierce factor and I do notice that they're very diverse - the S/S 11 had Joan Smalls, Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn. That's like the holy trinity right there. Not to mention their inclusion of Asian girls, not just the main Chinese ones, but Koreans as well. So kudos for those boys from Milan!
Then you should look at ss 2013 and count the black models there

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28-04-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsamg View Post
Very good points. However. Staying as far away from weight talk as I can, I don't think the public does believe the current standard of beauty in the industry represents them. The main feature of today's models (the forbidden topic) is constantly discussed negatively in the media and most of the public are shocked/disgusted by it. So I'm not sure that being represented by the standard of beauty is what sells magazines.
Agreed.
Most people talk about fashion models in a negative light. If anything, sales in fashion with models has dropped compared to the 90s and 80s when advertising was more diverse. I'm pretty sure this is why there's a shift toward actresses. Actresses are more relatable and come in all skintones, racial mix, age, face shapes etc (Eva Mendes for CK to Zoe Saldana for CK to Jessica Alba for Revlon to Blake Lively for Chanel and Gucci to Monica Bellucci for Dior, D&G, Ellen DeGeneres for CoverGirl , Jessica Chastain for YSL, Chloe Sevigny for Miu Miu etc). But when you think of fashion models today, most people think they look alike in terms of coloring, face shape, structure.

The shift toward actresses is different, in my opinion, from the Dove "real beauty" aesthetic and closer to the 80s and 90s modeling. Actresses have some "imperfections"/"quirks" but they're beautiful and glamourous. People still want to see glamour, fantasy but relate to it.

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28-04-2013
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Originally Posted by jmrmartinho View Post
Then you should look at ss 2013 and count the black models there
It's absolutely ridiculous to have 50-60+ girls walking in a show and only including one or two Black models.

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29-04-2013
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Originally Posted by jmrmartinho View Post
Then you should look at ss 2013 and count the black models there
Oh jeez what happened there...

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09-05-2013
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http://bullettmedia.com/article/the-...iles-aldridge/

Uh, huge fan of Miles Aldridge but this article makes him sound like a totally ignorant jerk. Can't post it here because of weight talk, but this part is relevant to the discussion in this thread, I guess:


Quote:
You have one plus-size model in your book. In one of the images she is pouring milk into her mouth. In another, she is by the toilet. I recently attended an exhibition by another fashion photographer and all of the few plus-size models in his show were also eating something. This is something I notice happens a lot: when we editorialize plus-size models we make the story about their being plus-size.

Miles Aldridge: I wanted to shoot Felicity. I’m aware that my type of model that I photograph is a kind of version of my mother: very pale skin, very beautiful. There are no African-American women in my book. There are no Asian women in my book. There’s one large lady, so to speak. The rest are—well, they’re beauties. They’re a typical Western concept of beauty, which goes back to what I grew up with: my mother’s copies of Cosmopolitan.


[...]


Okay. So, for you, the fashion industry model type can stand in for some everywoman, some blank slate. Like the white whale of Moby Dick, we can project whatever or whoever we are onto it.

Miles Aldridge: I don’t feel it’s my place to be responsible. I don’t at all. I don’t feel it’s my job to kind of make everything nice and easy and say, “you know what, everyone’s equal.” They’re not, it’s bullshit.

You resent the call for an artist to be socially responsible?

Miles Aldridge: Yeah. That’s a different type of work. I’m interested in how we live, the world we live in, what it means to be me. Which is important as an artist—we try to leave behind our story like the trace a snail leaves behind. I think there’s relevant justice in the world. This empire of fashion isn’t based on saving the planet or making people happy. It’s commerce and art. The world is ****ed, what a mess. But I don’t feel responsible and I don’t want to change it.
How can he say he's not responsible when he at least is very much responsible for not bringing more diversity to fashion magazines by using only using white models? I suppose when it comes to magazine spreads photographers also have quite a bit of a say in what models are used, it's a shame people think like him and don't recognize they're very much part of the problem

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09-05-2013
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I think that is so gross. It is very strange though that so many people in fashion learnt their craft in or are inspired by London or New York but there is zero diversity in their work. I think it is odd that they completely and utterly ignore the diversity in these cities to perpetuate the aesthetic that ignores the realities of the world they live in.

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09-05-2013
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Wow that is actually one of the most disgusting things I have heard any photographer say.
"He doesn't want to change it?" No one is asking him to, but regardless that just comes out as blatantly ignorant and racist.

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09-05-2013
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I know it's in Beijing and is trying to appeal to Asian buyers and the booming economy there, but THIS is what I would rather have a Jil show look like than the milquetoast casting they presented this season and the season before that. :p

youtube.com/fashiontv

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