|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:
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.