Sadly in Rio last week, only a handful of black models strutted their stuff down the catwalk which sparked fresh calls to ensure a greater diversity in a country which has more than half of the population coming from African ancestry.
More than 24 labels showed off their very latest designs at the Rio de Janeiro winter 2012 fashion week which ran from Wednesday the 11th Jan to Saturday 14th Jan. As with previous years more and more models have been white; yet Brazil which is home to 190million people has the worlds largest black population coming second only to Nigeria.
Organisers of the show have refused to address the lack of diversity however in the past they have claimed “there is no racial discrimination”; this in an industry which is well know for its preference of Europeanised standards of beauty (and as a quick example…how many times have you seen a black Barbie, Cindy or any toy doll?)
Back in June of 2009 Sao Paulo Fashion Week imposed quotas which required a minimum of 10% of all models to be black of indigenous. Before this only a handful of black models featured among the more than 350 who sashayed down the catwalks which is less than 3%.
Diversity advocates have said that show organizers and the fashion labels have simply ignored the imposed quotas and have stressed that only a set of compulsory rules can bring about a permanent change.