Last year, Apeiron. reported on the developing trends in the beauty and fashion industry that were heading toward a more natural, relatable aesthetic. You can see what we foresaw here. Now, a year later, we explore how far we have come using 7 models of the moment, who are changing the face of fashion – one kink or dimple at a time.
1. Khoudia Diop
Statistically, diversity on the runway is promising. Fall 2016 saw the number of models of colour increase with 31.9% non-white models (to 68.1% white models) over 120 shows. Fall 2017, The Fashion Spot reports, keeps this statistic at a near constant with 31.5%.
TFS reports however, that Fall 2017 ads were the most inclusive thus far with 30.4% models of colour appearing in campaigns.
While these numbers could be at a much more equal percentage, it must be noted that the aesthetic has broadened to include not just one definition of dark skinned beauty (affectionately known as ‘cappuccino’)- but has seen models such as Khoudia Diop receive particular attention due to her darker skin tone.
20 year old Khoudia told Glamour, that at first she wished to be lighter but came to realize that what made her stand out, could be worked to her advantage as a tool to be seen- rather than to hide because of.
While we await Forbes’ highest paid models 2017 list, it is still worth mentioning that the top 20 highest paid models at the moment are overwhelming majority white.
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Beyond my wildest dreams ! Thank you so much @allure for showcasing and highlighting a young Muslim woman in the fashion world. I'm so beyond grateful to the whole team! @heymichellelee @lisadiruocco @ivanmbart @imgmodels 📸: @solvesundsbostudio 👗: @beatbolliger 💇🏽: @philippetholimet 💄: @thevalgarland 💅: @mariannewman @marie_suter @rhiannarule @dkpergament // words by #MollyYoung
Halima provided a much needed role model for Muslim women as one who proudly wears her religious hijab. Halima has spoken about her aim to dispel the idea that the hijab is solely oppressive to Muslim women, saying “Anything in life, if it’s not your choice, it’s oppressive. So I’m not going to argue against that. But for the majority it’s a choice.”
She also has braces. Which we think is pretty fucking great, too.
NOTED.. In addition, Nike released a breathable, mesh hijab in March this year, becoming the first major sportswear brand to do so.
Taking her lead from Maria Borges, at the Victoria’s Secret 2016 runway, Lineisy continued to light up the runways with her natural short ‘fro but didn’t stop there. Lineisy has appeared with a weave, full afro and relaxed short hair- proving that African hairstyles (and African hair in general) have a place in high fashion.
We see a trend shifting towards natural hair texture in general, with designers and the beauty industry embracing and capitalizing on the curly hair revolution. From loving your wavy texture to nourishing your curls instead of berating them- give your straightener a break.
Fernanda’s bubblegum pink hair is fresh on the bright hair trend – a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away, as it seems to be evolving. Now we see the trend shift to silver/grey thanks to streetstyle trendsetters like Vanessa Hong (A.K.A The Haute Pursuit).
But while Fernanda’s accomplishments are no small deal- the trend of alt-hair Asian models is becoming a little tiring. The idea that an Asian model can only rise from catwalk obscurity if she dyed/cut her naturally black locks to differentiate herself, was crushed by Fall 2017 favourite, He Cong, who walked, true to her roots, and killed it.
Asian models are no longer a runway anomaly, but a normality.
Fall 2017 saw 27 plus size models in total walk the runway.
“We’ve been at it for several years now, and just keep pushing the diversity conversation in general,” Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models told Vogue. “We signed many of these curvy models four years ago. . .In the last 18 months or two years, it became very apparent to designers that things had changed. ”
Ashley Graham cemented her supermodel status- and while she is credited with paving the way for other plus-size models there seemed to be a danger of what Vogue called ‘tokenism’. Fall 2017 saw a wider representation of body shapes and sizes. We’d like to see more racial diversity amongst plus size and curvy models.
Aleece stole the spotlight at shows like Yeezy, Alexander Wang, Sies Marjan, and Marc Jacobs . “I never thought I was pretty enough to be a model”, Aleece told Vogue, “[because] I never saw models who looked like me.”
As the story goes, she was teased for her unique look- but her freckles and red hair are what got her signed by IMG on the spot.
You can be forgiven for second-guessing EZ’s gender – that’s the point for her.
She’s most-loved for her gender-fluid look and bleached pixie/buzzcut. Even better, is her don’t give a fuck attitude.
Jaden Smith made headlines this year when he modeled women’s clothing in a Louis Vuitton campaign.
Men and women walked together for shows like Etro, Prada, Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood and Gucci – some even swapping clothing, showing that the line between men and womens-wear is becoming harder and harder to distinguish.
“I know that designers and casting directors are watching and I trust they will make the right decisions next season to include more diverse models.” Said Precious Lee who walked for Christian Siriano, “Not only because it’s right, but because it’s beautiful.”
Words: Zoya Pon
Feature image: Pinterest