The fashion industry has a diversity issue! Many people in the industry have been tackling it, but the actual problem has often been dodged. Multiple brands, stylists, and celebrities have taken to social media over time to share claims that the industry has some toxic, racist working environments and business practices, a thing the public has observed.
It’s unarguable that the industry has made many significant strides, but it’s still bombarded with issues regarding the inclusion of people of different races, body types, and races. The industry insiders such as high-profile models (such as Tess Holiday) are calling for much-needed change. And for proof, here’re 20 celebrities (including Dascha Polanco), designers, and stylists who’ve taken the matter to heart and are spreading the message on a whole new level.
Ashley Graham had British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman support as she called out the fashion industry who “flatly refused” to dress her up.
Getty Images“It seems strange to me that while the rest of the world is desperate for fashion to embrace broader definitions of physical beauty, some of our most famous fashion brands appear to be traveling in the opposite — and, in my opinion, unwise — direction,” she later wrote.
Dascha Polanco splurges on branded clothes for the red carpet after she was refused multiple times. She’s vowed to never wear their clothes when offered now.
Leah Vernon needed a manager’s help to get her group to enter the London Fashion Week afterparty despite having an invitation. Inside, the group recalled, “We were the only visibly plus-size women there.”
Khloé Kardashian commented with Harper’s Bazaar, “I definitely think the fashion industry, and people in general, look at me more now that I’ve lost weight.”
Tess Holliday fired a team member in 2018 who said “the designers aren’t making clothing” for her size and it’s going to be impossible to find a dress.
Getty ImagesAfter explaining what happened, Tess confidently told Cosmopolitan, “Since I’ve fired them, I’ve done two high fashion shoots. I’ve shot two major covers. I am continuing to do even cooler stuff in the high fashion world, and basically prove them wrong in, like, four months.”
Gabi Fresh expressed the challenge of finding clothes on her own on her blog and wrote how “being fat and well-dressed is a f**king challenge.”
Blake Lively whose had many great red carpets looks revealed “no one had samples that fit [her] after giving birth” and she had to scramble around to wear for her red carpet.
“I felt insecure,” she admitted. “Simply because I didn’t fit into clothes.”
Marquita Pring could feel that the fashion world is “less inclusive” now compared to when she first tread the entertainment world.
Speaking to Bustle, Marquita said, “We need to continue having the conversation and continue inspiring casting directors to cast curvier women in their shows. And we need designers to start providing the samples for it.”
The wide range size offers feels more like a “trend” and she told Vogue, “I don’t know if fashion has made a wholehearted effort. When I look at the ads, I don’t see faces like mine, I see skinny white women.”
Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty inclusivity hailed praises from many. She said, “That consumer is one that’s been neglected before, and I’m not gonna let that happen here.”
For Philomena Kwao, skin tone diversity is still an issue she struggles with.
Getty ImagesShe told Elle, “There are not many models in the US that have my depth, like, really dark skin, that is also plus size.”
Marilyn Model Agency president Chris Gay blatantly called the industry standards “ridiculous” in 2013. During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, he spoke, “They’re not standards I think a woman can [maintain] throughout the course of her life or career.”
Danielle Brooks thinks designers shouldn’t be praised for “something they should’ve done 30 years ago.”
Christian Siriano said, “Congrats aren’t in order; a change is.” This is after people praised him for taking up the offer to dress Leslie Jones who was refused by designers.
Getty ImagesHe wrote, “It shouldn’t be exceptional to work with brilliant people just because they’re not sample size. Congrats aren’t in order, a change is.”
Barbie Ferreira had tweeted in support of Leslie Jones’ struggle: Curvy women are not allowed to be edgy, not allowed to be stylish, or allowed to explore their looks like everyone else in this industry.
Getty ImagesFerreira took her rant to Instagram and Twitter: So don’t expect much from my designer looks in the future until people wake tf up. And hearing an actress in a huge film having similar struggles… Girl I feel hopeless. Am I gonna have to wear Sears when I win my Oscar?
Lizzo, who openly shuns designers that don’t cater to various sizes, told Allure, “If you’re not making clothes for me, and if you don’t want to make clothes for me, I don’t want to wear your [designs].”
Jameela Jamil is shockingly another celebrity from the UK size 10-12 range who “can’t fit into most of the clothes on any shoot.”
“Instead we are forced into a uniform of thinness, and everyone who consumes our media thinks that if every celebrity is one size, then that must be the ‘normal’ size and there’s something wrong with you if you don’t fit that aesthetic,” she added while speaking to Stylist.
“Wrong. There is nothing wrong with you, there is something wrong with this business and its complete disrespect of women and our bodies.”
Zendaya’s stylist Law Roach revealed that brands were refusing to dress black girls, motivating him to work with new designers instead.
Getty Images“I wanted to prove… that she doesn’t have to be in Valentino to become a fashion girl,” he told Hollywood Reporter’s Stylist Roundtable. On top of that, it was a payback to when they were struggling to find clothes for her. “So now that everybody wants to dress her, I go back and say, ‘Not this season!’”
Corissa Enneking wrote in her Fat Girl Flow blog regarding her horrible time at Forever 21, “Tell me why the sweet hell the tiny plus-size corner is dimly lit with yellow lights, no mirrors, and zero accessories on the shelves.”
She wrote that the rest of the shop did not look like that and “the most crowded sections of the store were clean and tidied.” She felt like she was “pushed aside” like an “afterthought.”
Robyn Lawley led a boycott against Victoria’s Secret in 2018 so that they admit “the buying power and influence of women of ALL ages, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities.”
She started a petition with her Instagram post, starting the hashtag #weareallangels for people to share unedited pictures of themselves. The next year, Victoria’s Secret canceled their annual show.
Kate Upton in 2019 demands that Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show stops their “snoozefest” and to start representing every woman.
“We’re sick of seeing the same body type. You have to be body inclusive now,” said Kate on an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.