Norwich, United Kingdom (PressExposure) August 27, 2009 -- Amongst others, the handsome David Agbodji represented Calvin Klein, known to have a more inclusive attitude than many brands, alongside Versace and Giorgio Armani who also have an encouraging mix of models. These iconic brands appear to be setting a positive example in their support of new faces of colour. However, Burberry, Jil Sander, Prada, Roberto Cavalli and Trussardi were still disappointingly lacking in any sign of a change in their approach at the recent Spring/Summer 2010 show. In fact, the 17 seemingly very conscious additions to this season's shows were just a fraction of over 300 models present in Milan.
According to Guy Trebay this theme is familiar throughout the industry "The same can be said of the staff at most Italian fashion magazines. With the possible exception of Pat McGrath, the omnipresent British makeup wizard, there are few black stylists to be seen in any backstage area in Milan." He commented in the New York City Times article back in January.
So are ethnic minorities racialised and stereotyped by the fashion industry?
Managing Director of Models Direct, Damian O'Connor says, "I think many of us would like to see more ethnic diversity in the high fashion end of the industry."
Are modelling agencies to blame for the apparent lack of representation for minority models in the industry? O'Connor responded:
"In terms of Models Direct, due to the concept of the agency, we deal with a variety of requests for models of all ages, sizes and races, which is extremely refreshing. We are very lucky not to be limited in the way that many modelling agencies are. Models Direct serve a broad range of clients and can cover almost any look, something we take pride in."