Iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell is no stranger to speaking out about the ills of the fashion world, especially as it relates to models of color. Naomi discussed recently in an interview with Teen VOGUE her frustrations on dealing with hairstylists who were not prepared to work with black models hair.
“When I was younger, I encountered this same issue,” said Naomi. She continued, “I would be backstage at shows and there would be stylists who didn’t have any experience working with black models. It’s disappointing to hear that models of color are still encountering these same issues all these years later.”
Just open any social media feed and you’ll notice black models recalling their anger at having to work with ill-equipped stylists. Recently, runway favorite Leomie Anderson gave an earful on twitter voicing her frustrations. “We need more makeup [and hair] artists who are competent with all races backstage at shows.”
Fashion activist Bethann Hardison has also dealt with this issue and explained why the problem continues to exist. “If you don’t have models of color [being booked for a show], there’s no point in practice,” she says. “Often girls didn’t get the job if there was difficulty for the technician to actually do their hair.”
Campbell, along with another legendary supermodel Iman are fighting for inclusion through Bethann’s advocacy group (Diversity Coalition) initiative, Balance Diversity. They are using their voices for inclusion into the fashion industry and not just for walking down the runway but for stylists being equipped and experienced in working with models of color.
Well done, ladies! Hopefully we can see an immediate change!