When uniqlo, a Japanese clothing brand, opened its first Canadian site in Toronto last fall, it announced giant billboards in unexpected places. The wall of the subway platform was blocked by advertising. On social media, models wear the brand’s simple logo. But the difference in this movement is its banality, from random and identifiable locations to models of race, age and height. Some men have long, bushy beards; One has a perfect binding headband. A woman wears a headscarf and folds it into a single package.
What helped drive this activity was Lorde Inc., a street modeling company that deliberately showed color models. Kaptownwala, who runs the Toronto office, said the company was founded in 2014 by artist Isaac Kariuki, Christopher Whitfield and Nafisa Kaptownwala in London.
“At that time, there were models of color,” she says. “your beauty was always negotiated through a white lens. “We want to have a platform and we can be arrogant. At first, I never thought of it as a business, but more like a platform to celebrate our beauty. ”
Since then, the agency has booked models for Kenzo, VICE, Milk Makeup and singer Frank Ocean (his “Nikes” video). Actors and directors can be a powerful creative bridge to narrow the gap between everyday people and fashion.
The relationship between fashion and tolerance is still full of mistakes. Think of Marc Jacobs and his response to criticism when he used pigtails in his spring 2017 show. However, in January, the popular Gucci launched a series of full-black model auditions. And, on the corporate side, the fabled house promises to work with Liberi e Uguali, an Italian non-profit group, to help the company diversify.
This progress is good, but there is one risk: “since we started, ‘diversity’ has become more and more fashionable, and I have never predicted it,” said Kaptownwala. “I just want to make room for myself and my friends in an industry that basically ignores us. And now I feel that our work is being swept away from under us. “
Ryerson University of Toronto, Ryerson University), associate professor of diversity and inclusion is Ben Barry (Ben Barry) said, if the creator of the industry and business diversification, the diversity of fashion will be sustainable. “The conversation needs to get out of the runway and into the people who make the model decisions,” he said.
Before being named the first black female editor of Teen Vogue, Elaine Welteroth filmed “cultural appreciation” in the magazine’s May 2016 issue. The story features young women talking about the special properties of culture: baby hair in temples, Africa, nostrils. At the time, waitrose said, it was thought that it would be impossible to find a woman with a real feather in her hair, but the Zan Casting of the Zan Ludlum in New York did.
Like Lorde, Zan helps use the “real” model in commercials, movies and runway shows, but says there are limits. “I just went through the data packets and looked at a group of designers I knew who couldn’t run to the curved girl on the runway because of their sample size,” she says. Still, she is optimistic that the shift in fashion is the start of a new definition of beauty. “Most of the clients we work with have a responsibility to push the boundaries and recognize that we are leading the visual media. We have a responsibility to talk to a lot of people. ”
Kaptownwala wants to be positive, but can’t speak. “I think the only thing that makes it sustainable is what if the brand wants self-reflection to make it important,” she said. “If these brands are just trying to seize the moment, because it’s fashionable, that doesn’t solve the root of the problem and it’s not conducive to social change.”