The fashion industry comes under fire for its dearth of black models in new short film by filmmaker Elizabeth St. Philip that recently made its debut online.
The Colour of Beauty follows Toronto model Renee Thompson, a striking, determined 24-year-old who wants to make it in New York.
St. Philip says,
“It’s really just a glimpse of the fashion world. I was only with her for a few days. The aesthetic of the fashion industry is out of step with the rest of the world. All around you in cities like New York and Toronto, you see diversity. People are comfortable with it.”
“It’s a crazy kind of racism. I hate to call it that,” says FashionTelevision’s Jeanne Beker on-screen. Runways over the last few years have been dominated by a kind of “robotic Eastern European look” that demands white models. The token black models who get work have straight European noses and hair and straight, almost curveless figures.
“You’re constantly justifying your worth and what you can bring to the business,” a frustrated Thompson says in The Colour of Beauty.
Thompson encounters the typical struggles: designers not wanting to cast models of color and casting agents saying black models won’t sell products.