THERE SEEMS TO be a power struggle taking place within the fashion industry. Non-Whites want recognition and identification whereas Whites want distinction and exclusivity (Chang, 194). This is a possible reason as to why increases in ethnic diversity have been slow — Whites in the industry are happy with their profit and racial power; they have no plans of stepping down soon to let a non-White take their place as it would shift the ideals of power the American nation was founded on. Race goes unaddressed as it is seen as a problematic and scary term to use in the fashion world (Sharma).
“diversity seems to be nothing more than a systemic trend for profit — to exploit & provide a false sense of hope to BIPOC in a white domain.”
Bethanne Hardison stated that people of color are seen as thieves based on the stereotype that they can’t afford expensive clothing. However, the industry finds much of its inspiration from other cultures. Black & Brown culture has been termed a basic tenet of global fashion, music, street life, and consumerism (Friedman). The designs that appear on the runway exhibit world influences but those cultures and its ethnic models tend to go underrepresented. Diversity seems to be nothing more than a systemic trend for profit — to exploit and provide a false sense of hope to BIPOC in a White domain. I’m DONE with it. Let’s challenge the status quo together. ■