But today, fashion isn’t just about money-makers at the top who have the influence to sway trends; it’s become more about making a personal statement, and diversifying the fashion world as we know it.
The fashion world today is immensely different from the fashion world in the 50s, and not just because poodle skirts aren’t as prominent.
How fashion is expressed and communicated from a commercial standpoint has also shifted. Here are four ways the fashion industry is becoming more diverse:
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A decade ago, if you took a look at runways you’d notice a huge difference in the models strutting across the catwalk compared to today. There was very little color back then.
The majority of models were Caucasion, and while there are still some improvements that need to be made today, it’s clear we’ve come a long way from a single-ethnicity runway. Spring 2019 runways saw more diversity than any other.
This record-setting diversity was a big deal, because it wasn’t any type of statement—from Europe to New York City, casting agencies brought on more people of color.
Half of the top 10 models were women of color. In New York, 44.8% of all models featured on the catwalk were women of color. London ranked second in racial diversity, with 36.2% of models being women of color.
The “Nude” Colors
For a very long time, the fashion industry has had a bit of a problem with the color “nude.” When you think of the color nude, chances are that you think of a beige, peachy color.
This is the color that the fashion industry has given to a word that revolves around the way a piece of clothing blends with a person’s skin.
Of course, the problem with this is that there are many shades of skin—not just a very light tan version. Somehow, nude became inclusive of one type of skin.
“Nude” isn’t an offensive word, but the way the fashion industry has chosen to define it has certainly made it offensive to many people whose skin doesn’t match the elusive color of “nude.”
Essential basics for women, like hosiery, have only been convenient for people of pale complexions. But more recently, brands are becoming more aware of these issues.
“We understand the importance of catering to every woman, regardless of ethnic background and skin complexion,” says NUMI, an innovative clothing line that offers women’s undershirts in three different shades of nude.
Although it wouldn’t be fiscally possible to push hundreds of nude shirts to match every skin tone exactly, many companies are making smart moves to be more inclusive and thoughtful in their branding and manufacturing.
Bigger Plus Size Representation
Fashion has long been associated with thin women. You see it in advertisements, online, and on your television screen. Women with curves have historically struggled to not only find clothing that fit them, but to be represented in the fashion world. Plus-sized clothing isn’t as huge as a mystery anymore.
Many well-known brands have carved a path for plus-sized in their stores, and well-known retailers have made their plus-sized departments ubiquitous with their brands.
And furthermore, some companies are launching clothing lines that strictly plus-sized only, like the high-end brand 11 Honoré, which opened for Fashion Week in New York City. In Fall 2018 Fashion week, there were 54 plus-sized models in across 15 shows, compared to 30 in ten shows the year before.
Gender Fluid Fashion
If you’ve milled about the fashion blogosphere, you may have come across a couple topics on gender fluid fashion. This movement has been fueled by celebrities making their own fashion statements.
Billy Porter showed up at the Oscars wearing a black gown by Christian Soriano. Jaden Smith wore an iconic Louis Vuitton skirt and continued to smash gender norms with several other outfits. B
ut gender-fluid doesn’t always have to be men in skirts and dresses; it also implies more options for both men and women when it comes to clothing that implies no gender roles.
Neutral clothing options and more fluidity between men and women means everyone can benefit from free-range expression, which changes the way we all see fashion.