• Designer Philipp Plein On Why He Cast Only Black Models For His Runway Show

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    Philipp Plein - Runway - Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2014

    Now there’s a shocking headline for you! Designer, Philipp Plien casts all black models for runway show. Say word?

    The conversation around the lack of diversity in fashion pains my sole deeply. I am personally exhausted at the idea of engaging in anything more than shrugs to express my concern. We know it’s an issue. For decades, women of color have been scarce on the runway, and on a broader scale nearly void in major beauty campaigns. But what I’d love to see is a movement towards a solution and ultimately create more opportunities for black models.

    Insert Philipp Plien. He’s a popular international designer known for creating spectacles and doing the most to attract attention and buzz. His latest collection, “Teatro Philipp Plein” which debuted during Milan Fashion Week,  embodied your club kid ready for a great time out in the streets of Milan. Only thing–She’s Black!

    Philipp Plein Event - Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2014

    Each black model, including iconic Supermodels Alek Wek and Liya Kebede, strutted down the catwalk in pseudo metallic sweatpants and leg-baring cocktail dresses.

    What’s interesting is that I had just declared this same vision under the tents during New York Fashion Week. How awesome would it be for a designer, say Tracy Reese, to take this issue by the ponytail and set some real standards for the fashion industry?

    Philipp totally agrees with me! Fashionista.com reached out to the designer for a statement on his message:

    “My message is about breaking down barriers and breaking the rules,” Plein explained over email after the show. “Doing the unexpected and shaking people from their complacence, forcing people to face the future where old prejudices have no place. For example, the public expects to see pallid girls in high heels walking my show and I give them a fleet of black beauties in flats! Not to mention the opening act featuring one of the hottest rappers on the horizon, Iggy Azalea, who also happens to be white in a black dominated hip hop world.” – Fashionista.com

    To his point, in order to evoke change their must be some level of responsibility. And although he gains from the spectacle and showcase of having an all Black model runway show, his message could be heard by other top fashion brands. Prada and Gucci may be more inclined to raise the number of Black models walking in the garments. Or this stunt could fall on deaf ears; that’s the risk you take.

    Follow me @gorgeousingrey


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