We’ve heard from runway models on the racism behind the scenes when it comes to beauty and fashion. From legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell to millennials such as Ebonee Davis and Joan Smalls, all have expressed how under-appreciated Black models are in the industry. Even with recent increases in diversity during fashion events around the world, there are still plenty of issues to tackle.
Casting director James Scully, who has worked with the biggest names in fashion since the 1990s, revealed some events that took place regarding Black models during Paris Fashion Week…and dropped names. Scully posted comments on his Instagram page, putting companies including Balenciaga on blast, stating:
“I’m disappointed to come to Paris and hear that the usual suspects are up to the same tricks. I was very disturbed to hear from a number of girls this morning that yesterday at the Balenciaga casting Madia & Ramy (serial abusers) held a casting in which they made over 150 girls wait in a stairwell told them they would have to stay over 3 hours to be seen and not to leave. In their usual fashion they shut the door went to lunch and turned off the lights, to the stairs leaving every girl with only the lights of their phones to see. Not only was this sadistic and cruel it was dangerous and left more than a few of the girls I spoke with traumatized…”
Disturbingly, Scully also noted several agents have complained that big name designers (he doesn’t say who) have expressed specifically that they do not want women of color to represent their brand, which he describes as “shameful and major step backward” in the fashion industry.
While speaking with Vogue magazine, Scully pointed out that this type of treatment is “systematic and has been going on for years.” He also noted that the fashion business is crumbling as it relates to the way models are being treated. He warns that the big names in the industry should be mindful of who they hire to work for them. He also explained that the models cannot be treated with disregard, especially in light of what took place during Paris Fashion Week.
Scully’s Instagram post has not only been shared by thousands, but models are telling their personal experience of what goes on behind the scenes. “In just one day not only are models sharing the post, they’re actually telling their stories [in the comments]. I really want these girls to have their voice back. In the old days, if a girl didn’t want to do a job, if she felt sexually harassed, she could say, “No, I don’t want to do this.” Now it’s, “Either you do my show or you don’t work again.” I’m hoping to see what happens.”
Check out Scully’s Instagram post and tell us what you think!