Apparently the long-discussed issue of diversity in fashion as it relates to black models is as much of an issue overseas as it is here in The States. As Paris Fashion Week comes to an end, a group of black models have taken to the Parisian streets to protest fashion brands amidst claims of racism and cultural appropriation.
Blavity is reporting on the protest started by a collection of black models who wanted to call out the consistent lack of diversity on the fashion runways and how black culture is often used in runway presentations that feature few if any models of color. Led by model India Irvin, the protest was also meant to be inclusive to advocating women’s rights.
The report states:
In light of prevalent accusations of cultural appropriation on the runways at New York Fashion Week, U.K.-based model India Irvin felt the time was right to bring light to the historic lack of diversity that continues to prevail on runways in Paris, Milan, and London. “February was black history and March is women’s so it just felt right,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
Holding a sign that read “Les Modèles Noirs Importent” (translated “Black Models Matter”), Irvin protested outside the Balenciaga show on Saturday where of the 47 models featured in the show, there were only four models of color. In an Instagram post, Irvin explained that while her protest happened outside of the Balenciaga show, the fashion brand is not unique in its underrepresentation of black models. The protest could just as easily been staged at Lanvin or Celine, or any show that “was big enough to grab the attention back to the cause,” she said.
Sigh. Despite attention being called to the fashion industry’s extreme lack of diversity, it appears that it’s falling on mostly deaf ears. Irvin used an example of this by listing the diversity facts at the Gucci 2017 show. She pointed out that the fashion house featured only 17 models of color of the 119 who walked in the show.
There is also the equally disturbing issue of using black culture on the runway (courtesy of ethnic hairstyles, music, jewelry, etc.) while not having any (or few) actual black models walking in the show. The fashion industry is supposed to be all-inclusive, but apparently if you’re a black model it’s easier said than done.
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20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Legendary Michael Jackson
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1. MJ was a victim of physical abuse from his father as a child. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he shed tears and claimed that he was so terrified of his father that he would often vomit when he saw him.
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2. His favorite animated character from childhood was Pinocchio.
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3. When MJ listened to the songs from his days in The Jackson 5, he said he sounded like “Minnie Mouse.”
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4. His middle name was Joseph – Michael Joseph Jackson.
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5. “Billie Jean” is allegedly based on a true story. MJ claims an obsessive fan tried to say he was the father of her child.
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6. His first song to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was “Ben” in 1972.
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7. MJ was a huge Beatles fan. He paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of it to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.
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8. Get this… The costumes for the “Thriller” video came from the Salvation Army.
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9. Jackson invented and owns the patent for the special anti-gravity boots he wore that allowed him to lean forward extremely far in live performances of “Smooth Criminal.”
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10. MJ loved animals, and had several…strange pets. He had a python called Crusher, two llamas called Louis and Lola, and his most famous pet was Bubbles, the chimpanzee.
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11. Sources say MJ “borrowed” the Moonwalk from street dancers he saw outside a hotel.
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12. The original song title for “Thriller” was “Starlight.”
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13. Sources say MJ slept in an oxygen tent to live longer and for cosmetic purposes.
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14. MJ was a proud owner of a 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch that has a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.
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15. “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin was one of MJ’s closest friends, and is the godfather of two of Jackson’s children.
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16. MJ’s estate signed a deal with Sony that gave them access to his unreleased recordings for $250 million.
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17. MJ often wore a black armband to remind people of the suffering of children around the world.
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18. The Los Angeles mansion he was renting just before he passed away once belonged to Sean Connery.
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19. MJ was allegedly a pretty avid reader… He was once accused by a library of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.
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20. Wikipedia, Twitter, and AOL’s Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15PM on the day MJ died: June 25, 2009.
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