While models of color were largely underrepresented on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, milliner Philip Treacy made a bold statement at London Fashion Week by featuring all black models at his Spring 2013 presentation.

25 African-American models participated in the show, which introduced Treacy’s elaborate collection of headpieces alongside original costumes from Michael Jackson’s estate. Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn and Nyasha Matonhodze were among them.

Treacy’s participation also fittingly included a soundtrack of Michael Jackson’s hits and an introduction by superstar and avid hat-wearer Lady Gaga.

Some critics are arguing that an all-black cast won’t foster enduring diversity, and that it appears more like spectacle than actual progress. Others are happy to see models of color employed en masse.

See video of the runway show here:

Tell us your thoughts, Clutchettes and Gents. Should more designers opt for an all-black cast on the runway?

  • http://mommaused2say.wordpress.com mommaused2say

    It doesn’t have to be all black but there needs to be more than 2! These women need to be given the opportunity to work just like everyone else. Kudos to Philip Treacy!

  • Bekah

    Jeremy Scott’s latest runway show was a predominantly black/brown cast and I was overjoyed. Now seeing this, it’s definitely a move in the right direction. We’ve gone too long being under-represented so why not?!

  • http://www.pishposhperfect.com Kim

    I find the choice of the word “spectacle” curious (if that was indeed a word used to describe the show), as it doesn’t seem to be a spectacle when there are all white models for any given show. I think it shows progress–and if nothing else, it gave more black models a job than would have normally gotten one with all the shows combined. Every little step in the right direction counts, I think.

  • T.

    Do you mean 25 African-American models or 25 black models? Jourdan Dunn is black British, not African-American. Nyasha Matonhodze is from Zimbabwe/the UK, also not African-American. Some of the other models in the show were Leomie Anderson, Betty Adewole, also not African-American. African-American is not a synonym for black.

  • Miss. Lady

    Yeah–I thought “African-Amercan” was TOTALLY off base and a bit uninformed. Note to self: all Black people (for lack of a better word) are not African-American, and not all African-Americans are Black (think African born, naturlized US citizen Charlize Theron). Now stick that in your bonnet Miss. Clutch. Other than that, interesting choice Mr. Treacy.

  • Pingback: Philip Treacy Features All Black Models On The Runway at London Fashion Week « Good Black News

  • Anghud

    I Agree 100%! Now, if we can get Hollywood to un-segregate us that would be awesome!

  • M

    Thank you, Mr. Treacy! What a tribute to fashion, art, and the late Mr. Jackson.

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