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78% of models in 2016 spring ad campaigns are white

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According to a new study by The Fashion Spot, 78.2% of models are white, leading critics to question diversity in the fashion industry.

The study broke down spring 2016 advertising campaigns into different categories of diversity: representation of plus-sized models, transgender models, models of varying age, and racially diverse models. Although the study did not include data on disabled models, they were noted as an additional bleak spot in the industry’s diversity breakdown.

The study was based on 236 print campaigns. Based on these samples, The Fashion Spot concluded that only 1.4% of models were categorized as plus-sized (size 12). There were no transgender models represented in the samples; the study’s commentary stated this was surprising, as transgender issues have received heightened attention in the media this past year.

An overwhelming 78.2% of models were white, leaving only 21.8% of models of colour represented. A total of 85.7% of the most booked models in spring campaigns were white women. Additionally, only five models aged over 50 were featured – a total of 2.1%.

The Fashion Spot’s Mark E. noted in his reporting of the data on the publication’s website that several ad campaigns did stand apart from others as being successful in pushing for diversity in fashion. Calvin Klein, Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs all targeted millennials through ads featuring an array of people and backgrounds. Additionally, Beyoncé and Diesel were both applauded for their use of Jillian Mercado, a model with muscular dystrophy, in their advertisements both in the spring season and previous collections.




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