What I discovered about American Fashion Magazines

Jerrod La Rue shot by Brandon Stanciell

Racial diversity is current issue in the American fashion magazine industry. Current fashion magazine employees tell us about diversity in the fashion industry.

Connie Wang, fashion features director at Refinery 21 talks about the lack of representation and inclusion in the fashion industry:

“I think it’s arrogance. There are so many people in fashion who believe that the small bubble they live in is reality. There’s nothing wrong with creating art and products about what you know, but if you’re doing it for a public audience who buy your clothes, consume your products and don’t feel respected by your work, you have to open yourself up to criticism. If there’s anything that Donald Trump has taught us is it’s that there are still people — smart, educated, well-meaning people — who don’t think that their internalized racism is a problem. They might couch it as a backlash against “political correctness,” but all it means is being able to practice hatred without consequence. It just means that the rest of us have to continue to be vocal and agitate for inclusivity and sensitivity.”

Verky Arcos Baldonado, editor at Large Magazine talks about a possible solutionfor the lack of colored people in fashion magazines:

“Like in Hollywood, part of the problem is not having minorities in positions of power to make those important decisions. In fashion, part of the solution is creating incubator and accelerator programs like Access Latina, which help Latinos excel and succeed. Programs like these will put more Latinos in positions to make a difference and include people like themselves.”

Marjon Carlos, senior writer at Vogue.com talks about a more inclusive fashion industry:

“I’d say “putting on” your people is fundamental. They could be friends or people whose work you greatly admire, but if you identify a talented individual of color, whether they be a model, a writer, an editor, a photographer, a designer, always throw their hat into the ring. I know that’s how I moved along in fashion: People remembered my writing and wanted me to do more with it. I’m incredibly grateful for that.”

Most people of color would agree that American fashion magazines lack the presence of racial diversity, by having a diverse group of people in these fashion magazines would appeal to a broader spectrum of people and not create a stigma that a certain group of people can correctly wear pieces of clothing because of how It is demonstrated throughout the magazines.

Certain photographers who are not well known, like Brandon Stanciell a photographer in California, create small projects that include a wider variety of models showing off clothing and/or style than that of perhaps a fashion magazine like Vogue. But, the issue is a lot of people do not know of these rare or small volumes of fashion inspiration that resides unpopular, yet provides a greater diversity.

The people who work for these fashion magazines say they ‘re aware of possible issues regarding racial diversity and that it’s at their best interest to implement a course of action to end the problem. However, these fashion magazines only change subtly and not fully engage in reforming their presentation of stylish models. Ultimately, the fashion magazines are within their own “bubble” of what is “good” for the crowd when presenting a new trend, so the cycle mainly caucasian people are featured repetively.

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