The street style scene was surprisingly and progressively refreshing these past New York Fashion Weeks. More women of different sizes and backgrounds have finally graced their presence in the digital and print pages of fashion more than they ever have in the history of the fashion industry.
Also, if you pay real close attention, you can’t help but notice that the outfits that lie outside the doors of NYFW are more practical and less costumey compared to the outfits we’ve seen in last seasons.
Fashion Week started as a time for editors, stylists, and buyers to preview designs for the next season. Recently, fashion week has been bombarded with bloggers and influencers sitting in front row, only to be photographed, post and scroll on their Instagram during a show.
When street style first became a “thing”. It was my go-to source for style inspiration. A way to discover different outfit combos, innovative styling techniques, and just plain ol’ motivation to continue to be true to my own personal style. Unfortunately, it was difficult to come across women that looked like me.
Scrolling through the street style galleries, I’d find tons of photos of skinny white girls with one or two “token” black girls in the bunch—- in an attempt to even out the numbers…womp. It was disappointing to say the least.
In an article by Refinery29 discussing the lack of diversity in fashion both on and off the runway, an anonymous photographer argued why it’s rare to come across a woman of color or a plus size NYFW attendee in the street style scene.
“Additionally, as more and more photographers tend to favor models or influencers who have been invited to the shows and dressed by brands, you realize that it’s also the brands and their marketing and publicity teams who have a responsibility to invite more men and women of different backgrounds and sizes.”
Another said, “There is a trickle-down effect where, in order for street style photography to become more diverse and inclusive, there needs to be more diversity and inclusion represented on the mastheads of major publications, and with the attendees and castings of the shows. We as street photographers make it our mission to document what inspires us and what is reflective of the time, so I feel that as the industry becomes more open and accepting, the medium of street style photography will definitely evolve to capture that.”
Thank the fashion gods for photographers like Taylor of @mama.photog that make it their mission to capture fashion moments of women of color.
The fashion industry has improved with inclusivity and diversity but, is it only enough to “shut up”? It makes me wonder if inclusivity is just a trend and that’s the reason why we have suddenly become “worthy enough” to grace your runways and get a spotlight in these streets? Let us know wassup, NYFW. We’re good enough for you to appropriate our culture and our style but not good enough to grace your runways or get a spotlight in these streets? But, then again, without us, you wouldn’t be shit.
*originally published in 2018*
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Tori B. is the founder of The Stylette and Head Stylist of The Stylette Experience Co. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD the mom of 2 juggles building an empire and raising her 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter. She attended Stevenson University for Fashion Design and LIM for Fashion Merchandising and Marketing. Tori has been a style writer for WOE Magazine and has worked for companies like Kohls, H&M and Nordstrom. She believes that when you look good, you feel good, and ultimately perform better in every area of your life.