Is The Asian Models Trend Just A Trend?
It’s been a really good few days for Asian fashion models. First Louis Vuitton cast Taiwanese-Canadian actor Godfrey Gao for its spring campaign, then a gorgeous young Filipina named Danica Magpantay won the Ford Supermodel of the Year competition. And earlier today, Riccardo Tisci showed his couture collection for Givenchy with a group comprised of entirely Asian models.
Sadly, this doesn’t say that the tide of change is washing over the all-white landscape of the modeling industry. It says that modeling, like fashion, is powerfully susceptible to a good trend.
For months now fashion magazines have been featuring Asian models as though they were the only ones they could hire. First there was a spread in Vogue featuring Asian models exclusively, in response to the success of Asian-American designers like Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang and Richard Chai. But it’s 2011. That it has taken so long for this title and titles like it to feature Asian models is a little disheartening.
And despite the fact that Asian models are en vogue, they’re still not really in Vogue.There has still never been an Asian model — or an Asian woman, for that matter, on the cover of the American glossy. Unless you count the illustrated cover from December 1917. (And you shouldn’t.)
Even more telling? Magpantay’s runners up in the Ford competition were both white as snow. One was from Poland, and the other was from Lithuania.
Don’t get us wrong: any additional modicum of melanin in fashion is definitely a good thing. What we’re most concerned about is that this time next year, designers and casting agents will have fallen back into the same pattern of throwing out an all-white runway show.
But for now, congratulations to the beautiful Asian women (and men) who finally getting their due in the fashion industry. You deserve the limelight. We’re just hoping that now you’re there, you stay there.