According To Spring’s Ad Campaigns, Diversity In Fashion Still Has A Long Way To Go

While diversity in fashion has been largely one of the most talked-about topics in the industry lately, according to a report created by The Fashion Spot, all the conversation still isn’t quite getting through to fashion’s most influential designers and fashion houses.

Of the 236 spring 2016 print campaigns The Fashion Spot surveyed, around 78% of the hundreds of models appearing in some of the most major ad campaigns were white – meaning less than one in four of the models featured in an ad campaign were women or men of color. Even worse? Of the 14 most frequently booked spring 2016 models, only two were women of color: Joan Smalls and Mica Arganaraz. A problem? Yeah pretty much.

The spring 2016 campaigns are disappointing when it comes to size diversity too. Of the 422 models that appeared in advertisements, only six (yep, six) were over a size 12 – and nearly all of them were cast in ads for plus size brands. *Sigh*

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The good news: Despite the fact that fashion still has a long way to go, ad campaign diversity was up from previous years. While models of color were only 15% of the models cast last spring, they comprised 21.8% of the models this year. The bottom line? Fashion is making progress – albeit (way too slow) baby steps of progress.

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The Fashion Spot’s report also gave a shoutout to some of the spring 2016 campaigns that actually got it right. Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs were among some of the designers noted for creating diverse, inclusive campaigns that featured models and celebs of all sizes, races and genders. Oh, and let’s not forget Beyonce made the major move to cast disabled model Jillian Mercado to model her Formation Tour merch. Hopefully, with so many big names setting the example of what a fashion ad should look like, others will soon follow suit.

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