Former Model Launches Attack Against Fashion Designers Calling Them Racist

4

betthan-hardisonBy: Krystle Crossman

Bethann Hardison was a model. She is now an activist for the Diversity Coalition. Just recently she wrote four scathing letters to four different companies that are responsible for Fashion Week in New York, Paris, London, and Milan. These letters contained accusations of racism on the runways at the Fashion Week shows.

In the letters Hardison states that rarely if ever are colored models seen on the runways because they don’t fit the “image” of the designers but this is racism whether they may think it is or not. She also states that the racism cannot be hidden by the use of an Asian model.

downloadAt the end of her letter she lists off the names of the four different “houses” that are responsible for the Fashion Week shows and also lists some of the designers names that are involved in all of this. Some of the names on this list are top designers such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Chanel, Prada, and Alexander McQueen.

This is not the first time that Hardison has fought for equality. In 2007 and 2008 she campaigned to get the designers to change their outlook on their clothes and start including models of color. As a result in 2008 Vogue Italia put out the “Black Issue” which was inspired by Hardison’s campaign. She applauded Vogue for trying, but said that she didn’t want a magazine that was dedicated only to black women. She wants every race and color to be published as that is what diversity is all about.

Diane von Furstenburg is a leading designer and president of one of the houses that holds Fashion Week. She says that her shows always try to incorporate diversity. Hardison has not revealed what she will be doing next.

Share.

4 Comments

  1. Jah Larry Dread on

    “In the letters Hardison states that rarely if ever are colored models seen on the runways because they don’t fit the “image” of the designers but this is racism whether they may think it is or not…” Many of times I have read or heard in the media a white person would state: We don’t believe this incident was racially motivated. Who knows about being a sufferer/victim of racism better than a black person born in the USA? I applaud Ms. Hardison.

    • @Jim: it’s this attitude that just keeps all of this racism coming. You seem to be someone who believes in the adage “i’ll just ignore it…as long as I’m not affected, it’s all good”

  2. Believethepromise on

    I applaud the beautiful Ms Hardison and agree wholeheartedly with her comments. Racism is a systemic problem in our country, but maybe she has the right idea, rather than tackling the big bear, wrestle with the cub and take one industry at a time! When I watch fashion programming, I often wonder how these design houses make money when 90% of the consumer base can’t wear or afford their designs, and the starving celebs who can do both receive them for free! The racist modeling industry today and her discriminatory brother, the advertising industry, tomorrow!

Leave A Reply