Racial diversity on the runway is at an all-time high, according to The Fashion spot's seasonal report. Out of 7,431 runway castings in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, 36 percent of models were of color in the Spring 2019 shows, with New York leading the way. Thirty-six might not sound like a large number, but that's a significant increase from Spring 2018's 30.2 percent. And the numbers have more than doubled from a mere 17.1 percent three years in 2015, which proves that the fashion industry is definitely making progress.
And the age disparity is, unfortunately, worse. The Fashion Spot reports that women 50 continue to be the least represented group on the runways. But let's not get discouraged. The numbers are gradually increasing, with 27 in total. According to The Fashion Spot, "European designers were responsible for just over half (15) of the season’s mature model castings. (Interestingly, they seem much more eager to hire gray-haired women than they do those with a greater-than-25-inch waist.)"
A small sign of hope: trans and non-binary models broke records this year, with 83 openly transgendered and eight non-binary models hitting the runways. Proof that representation is increasing, but the fashion industry still has a long way to go.
Diversity in body size also reached an all-time high, with 54 plus-size models strutting down the runway in 15 shows. But before we go popping bottles to celebrate the increase in size diversity, we have to admit that there is still a huge disparity when it comes to the shapes and sizes we see on the runway.
Those 54 models only make up 0.73 percent of the total amount of models. And once again, the majority of those castings came from — you guessed it — New York City designers: Chromat (13), Savage x Fenty (12), Christian Siriano (8), Cushnie (3), Prabal Gurung (2), Michael Kors (2), Tome (2), Gypsy Sport (2), Yuna (2), Eckhaus Latta (1), Collina Strada (1), and Sies Marjan (1). If you did the math, that's 49 out of 54, leaving 1 for London (in Nicholas Kirkwood's show), 3 for Milan (all at Dolce & Gabbanna), and 1 for Paris (at Alexander McQueen).