Selita Ebanks Says It’s About F@!#ing Time Fashion Embraced Diversity


New York Fashion Week is an exciting time for many in the industry, and also a time of intense body hatred for many others. Yet another event dedicated to size zero waif thin models and clothes that nobody in the actual real world would wear, right?

Fashion week has been somewhat shaken up in recent times, however. NYFW in the fall of 2013 showcased it’s first ever plus size show, making history with this new addition. The label is called Cabiria and designer Eden Miller won a competition by the New York Fashion Law Institute to have a show at NYFW, and raised all the money to create her new line on Kickstarter. If that’s not an example of an everyday person breaking down institutionalized barriers we don’t know what is.

Last year also saw Supermodels Naomi Campbell and Iman campaign to force all major fashion weeks around the world (New York, London, Paris Milan) to include more diversity on the runway. They wrote a letter to company which organizes all the major fashion weeks to say they need to make a mandate for all designers to cast a diverse range of models, and stop making lame creative excuses for being exclusionary. Yep, Naomi finally put that temper to good use!

Now that NYFW is upon us all again, (c’mon, no one can escape all the pics, tweets and statuses on social media) this year things are also being stepped up. Just a couple of weeks ago IMG Models declared they are no longer going to segregate their models by divisions based on bodies, but put plus size models and straight models at the forefront of their books alongside the big names they represent such as Gisele Bundchen and Kate Moss. Managing Director Ivan Bart made a statement saying: “We want to be an ageless, raceless, weightless agency. We just want to represent the best in the industry.”

It’s all about speaking up, and one supermodel who is proud of this change is Selita Ebanks. Although she is on the petite side, she is an African American woman of Caribbean descent who has seen how the industry has treated women of color in the past, so she understands how monumental IMG’s decision is.

“It’s about f–king time,” she told The New York Post. “It’s about time women get to see women [who] look like themselves.”

“When I was 17, yeah, I was a size zero. But as we grow, we mature. We’re not all 6 feet tall with measurements 34-25-34!”

The Victoria’s Secret bombshell has been a campaigner for diversity for a while, modeling for hair care product Carol’s Daughter which although is primarily targeted at black women, aims to promote diversity within that culture in terms of different shades of skin color and hair types.

“Our skin and body types are different. Today, people are blended…” she said in a statement reiterating the fact that all areas of the beauty and fashion industry need to cater to the unique qualities of every woman. Sure that seems like a big ask, but keeping diversity in mind when creating something will hopefully push the industry to be more inclusive, even in small ways.




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