Many women of color (WOC) have been breaking ground and absolutely slaying in the fashion industry as of late, and our hopes are to see this trend absolutely thrive. For the first time at New York Fashion Week, every runway included at least one model of color. From H&M featuring Sikh and Hijabi models in their campaigns, to WOC dominating the runway – giving your brand a face of color empowerment is something that is rightfully being embraced today. Here’s three #GIRLBOSS-es that have recently started to gain a lot of traction and dominate the fashion industry. Be sure to follow them!
This Somali-American, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, proudly represented Muslim women at one of NYFW’s biggest shows – Yeezy Season Five. Last year, she was the first Miss Minnesota contestant to wear a hijab. She prides herself in staying true to her beliefs while paving her career in fashion after signing on with IMG Models. She landed her first major magazine cover for CR Fashion Book: Issue 10. This issue was released on March 2, 2017.
“My goal is to send a message to Muslim women and young women everywhere that it’s okay to break stereotypes and be yourself. Always stay true to who you are—barriers can and will be broken!” – Halima Aden
21-year old British-Indian model got her first modeling gig with Burberry by signing on to an international exclusive last year. Within the past year she has become a highly-recognizable face. She has also signed on to be the first British-Indian face of L’Óreal Paris UK. She makes it a point to be very active on social media and share her journey in this crazy world of fashion with her followers, many of who are women of color who aspire to build their careers in fashion.
“Growing up I felt left out and unrepresented knowing that nobody in mainstream media looked like me, and now I hope to change that.” – Neelam Gill
This transgender model of color is paving the fashion industry with the statement to prove transgender models aren’t some trend. She has made it her personal mission to eliminate the current culture taught by the fashion industry of what kinds of bodies and identities are valued. She has walked major FW runways from Chromat to Gypsy Sport these past few seasons. She also debuted in a CR Fashion Book spread alongside many transgender models of color.
“Women of color in the fashion industry, our existence alone is breaking down so many barriers and pushing so many lines.”- Maya Monés
With such headstrong women of color paving representation in the fashion industry, it’s quickly becoming an exciting time for fashion. In the future, we hope to see diversity be the normal face of fashion and changing the culture of model casting. We will get to see what the fashion industry has learned regarding representation and political empowerment during next Fashion Month in September.