Ethnic model: Weoanlynn Cuthin for Dolls of Decadence AW11

 

 It is completely intentional that I have consistently featured models of colour to represent the Dolls of Decadence brand throughout all its product campaigns.
It was a decision, I consciously made when trying to source models for Dolls of Decadence UK’s first professional shoot back in the early part of 2010. Not only did I set out to do this to reinforce the idea of Dolls of Decadence as brand that can be embraced by women of all races.

Ethnic model: Tanya Shinga

Ethnic model: Preet Nevah Kaur for Dolls of Decadence SS10

But as  a woman of colour, it is important for me to give as many opportunities to women like myself to be recognised and accepted as a face in Fashion; in an industry steeped in institutional racism.
An issue that was highlighted and highly publiziced in an interview given to ‘The Independent’ by co- founder of leading model agency ‘Premier models’- Caroline White in 2008.
The report by Rob Sharp states:

Speaking as London Fashion Week drew to a close, Carole White, co-founder of Premier Model Management, which supplies models to top fashion brands, admitted that finding work for black clients was significantly harder than for the white models, because both magazines and fashion designers were reluctant to employ them.
“Sadly we are in the business where you stock your shelves with what sells,” she said.
“According to the magazines, black models don’t sell,”

So on hearing that ‘Top model of colour’- a coompetion specially designed for recognising and rewarding aspiring models of colour, which we set up because models of colour were being marginalised by mainstream fashion- where looking for sponsors for their event. I felt obligied to offer some support.

As a small growing company, offering sponsorship is not something I am always able to do and can only be subjected to very few causes, that I feel will not only help to expose my line, but is of a relevant, worthy cause to the Dolls of Decadence brand and myself as a black woman in the Fashion Industry.

 

Model: Yanique Gordon for Dolls of Decadence. BFW10

 Just think, about 3 years agos: a 362-page Marie Claire had eight photographs featuring black women, Vogue with over 400 pages of editorial and advertising – had 14 shots with black or Asian women – two of them featuring Naomi Campbell and four examples are in the current 312-page Glamour magazine.
Out of 136 images selected from London Fashion week 8 featured black models displayed on Fashion site, Style.com.
Fast forward a few years and Italian Vogue has since published a publication, using purely black models and British Vogue (June 2011) has ran an article on the rise of Asian Supermodels.
I personally feel that racism within the Fashion Industry will always be present and maybe the growth in the use of ethnic models is just a fad, either way, if shows such as ‘Top Model of colour’ continue to support ethnic models with their events. Hopefully, this fad will continue a while longer.