New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014 kicked off in New York on the sixth day of February, the month noted by Americans to celebrate the history of African Americans. As a tribute to both fashion and black history, Style Stamped created this post to highlight models of color on the runway during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Models of color, in particularly African-American models have always struggled to compete with their fairer-skinned long-legged beauty counterparts when it comes to walking the runway. Decades ago models like Dorothea Towels, Sara Lou Harris, and Donyale Luna had to go to Europe for a chance at serious career opportunities during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Now, 60 years later, the industry is still struggling to recognize and employ models of color in the major fashion market. In September 2013 at the Spring 14 New York Fashion Week, Bethann Hardison, a prominent fashion activist and former model wrote a letter on behalf of the Diversity Coalition and sent them to the governing bodies of Fashion Weeks in New York (Council of Fashion Designers of America), Paris (Fédération Française de la Couture), London (British Fashion Council) and Milan (Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana) questioning the lack of models of color on the runway. Here is a copy of one of the letters:
Bringing attention to the stereotypical images and alerting those responsible for the casting of models for fashion design houses who choose not to diversify their runways is long overdue. Diversity in this country has been slow for the past two centuries, especially for African Americans, with obvious reasons. Penetrating high-end fashion has been one of the slowest struggles for decades. So this fashion week, Style Stamped is going to celebrate the fashion houses who make the conscious decision to include models of color and we will showcase them here.
Photos: Alex Geana Courtesy of Brandon Son
Brandon Sun did an awesome job of showcasing his Fall 2014 collection by accentuating his background in couture, tailoring, fur, and ready-to-wear. The collection was kept dark with black, ox blood, grey and metallic but the use of mixed fabrics and the patterns of the clothing brought life to each design…it’s amazing!
Photos: Yannis Vlamos/IndigitalImages.com
BCBG brought a fur inspired look to the runway in their outerwear along with colorblocking of darker hues of blacks, burgundys, and blues. Cropped gaucho pants were paired with high boots. Evening wear incorporated flowy prints and fabrics.
Photos: Courtesy of Coach via Style.com
Coach has been known for making luxury leather goods since 1941 presented its first ever ready-to-wear collection in NYFW today. The collection translated their history in leather into RTW well with the use of menswear inspired patterns including houndstooth and plaid and several polka dots. Fabrication included heavy leathers and suede with accents of brass and fringed bags.
Photos: George Chinsee
Costello Tagliapietra inspired us with his collection that had a mature ladylike feel with an edge. There was mid section draped dresses, knits, deep v’s and delicate patterns contrasted with suiting. The satin material and play on color was an inspiration to this collection.
Creatures of the Wind
Photos: Monica Feudi
This collection was a comforting line of ready-to-wear clothing Caped sleeves and brocade, double breasted coats and the robe coat that resembles the bath robe. There were even some butterfly’s on fabrics and the use of hats. Since its still cold outside, it would be nice to warm up in some of these looks, especially the long sweater dress.
This collection is mod inspired and fun with the use of plaid, grid, and polka dot patterns. Desiguel always gives us something great to look at.
Photos: Alessandro Garofalo
Sportswear meets dressy in this collection.
Photos: Gianni Pucci
This collection was bold in print and fabrics. The checked pattern and use of leather was toned down with the softer cozy fabrics. Then we were surprised with the bold red that stole the show!
Photos: Marcus Tondo
This collection was all the way street style stamped! Sporty baggy streetwear was paired with rubber boots…athletic in the rain maybe? Draping materials and drawstrings helped make this collection one of a kind.
Richard Chai Love
Photos: Kim Weston
This was another relaxed collection with oversized looks but the relaxed fits were made interesting with the use of brocade, leather, bold striped, sequins, and bias-cut pieces. The menswear bridged with womanswear. Blazers and coats were a big focus in this collection. All hail to the shearling!
Photos: Marcus Tondo
This collection seemed Asian inspired with the use of fabrics. Brocade with sheer underlays and flowy fabrics were included with feminine patterns. Deep V’s ruffles and lace added the feminine touches on this RTW.
Photos: Kim Weston
This collection can’t be mentioned without first giving honor to the formal satin gloves that go from the fingertip to the underarm. Who needs sleeves when you can have gloves like these! Tome put on a production that resembled vintage glamour with the use of colors, lace, metallic, deep v’s and brocade. We were just really excited about the gloves. Go figure.
Photo: Courtesy of Veronica Beard for Style.com
This collection had us ready to go to a black tie affair. The shoes were amazing too! The strategic placement of piping, satin, and print made this collection red carpet ready.
Photos: George Choresse
A big jump from his red carpet, or couture wear, Zac Posen debuted his Fall 14 collection with outfits that seem similar to what we would wear, true to ready-to-wear’s name. We are ready to wear it! Especially the leather fit and flare skirt.
What do you think of the first day of RTW fashion week? And what do you think about diversity in the modeling industry?