Although people hate to say it and it’s a subject that many wish to divert from but it is true; fashion is racist. This hit the head lines in recent years with Carole White proclaim plainly “FASHION IS RACIST” and we saw the production of the all black edition of Italian Vogue and Prada use their first black girls in over half a decade in their shows but that is not enough. However, the fashion industry is just a small part of an ever-expanding world that is still covertly racist. There is still institutional racism, racial discrimination in work places with the statistics for a black person being stopped and searched much higher than it is for a white person. Then there is even shadism; racism amongst a race which divides rather than unites. So how do we expect the fashion industry not to be racist if the world surrounding it still is?
Thursday, 18 November 2010
One thing I do not condone is fake Uggs. Not sheepskin boots of another brand but IMITATION Uggs. What is the point? They may look like the real thing but the quality is so poor that you’ll be moving sideways in a matter of weeks! Not to mention what happens to them in the rain! I know someone who paid £70 for a pair of fake Uggs. However, if she had just saved up her Educational Maintenance Allowance she would’ve been able to afford the real thing so why go there? There is nothing wrong with buying a sheepskin boot that isn’t Uggs because Uggs is a brand NOT a type of boot; something people forget. But I don’t see the point in purchasing imitation Uggs; they will not get you far and will leave you looking silly when yours deteriorate and your friends are still in tacked.
As I was scoping through twitter the other day I saw a tweet reading something along the lines of “WHOEVER STILL SHOPS IN PRIMARK NEEDS TO START LIVING LIFE!” and I thought to myself “why?” why has Primark still got that stigma attached to it that it had a decade ago? I remember when I was younger how embarrassed I would be when my grandma took m e shopping and would leave with the biggest Primark bag available and then ask me to carry it! The cheek! It was already bad enough that all the clothes in there were 2 sizes too big so I could “grow into them” but the fact they were from that shop made it ten times worse! However, I don’t understand how people can say Primark is still cheap and taboo if it is now the same price as HnM and imitates its designs from other leading high street retailers. However, let me stress that I personally do not buy a lot from Primark but if you are on a tight budget, not bothered about others having it or don’t wish to pay extortionate prices for certain items then I really don’t see it as a problem.
From August the 23rd to September the 16th I went to New York for fashion week. I remember going to my agency in the morning al excited and weighing my suitcase with the other model I was flying out with. When people asked, “aren’t you excited” I would say “No.” I wasn’t excited because I knew how much work I would have to put in and that it could all be for nothing. However, I was so happy to be given this opportunity. How many other girls my age can say that they were going out to New York by themselves to try and make something of themselves? So, Happy= Yes. Excited? = No.
The idea of being by myself in a different country didn’t hit me until it came to taking my bag up the stairs of my model apartment. Yes, apartment not hotel or even motel or even bed and breakfast. When you go out to different countries for fashion week you are more than likely going to be staying in a house or flat with other girls. But yes back to the suitcase. My bag was so heavy and lifting it by myself I realised; I am by myself. My mum isn’t here. I don’t know anybody. I'm not in England anymore.
What came to me, as even more of a shock was when I got up the stairs there was about six girls gathered watching TV. I thought model flats only held about 4? No, no, not Elite Model management! They own a 3 floor redbrick house, which, in total, housed twelve girls.
Twelve teenaged girls aged from 15-19 with one kitchen, three bathrooms, three bedrooms and mice. Can you imagine my pain?! My faint delusions of a house resembling the Britain’s next top model house were instantly shattered and replaced with the reality that I would be there for a month; the only English girl in the house. Yes, I was also the only fully black girl in the house if you want to know but to be honest I really wasn’t thinking about that; I was just hoping to make some friends and I did in the form of Rebekah Jett, Maddie Kulicka and Hill Anderson.
Living in a model house can be very stressful. They steal your food. They drink your milk, they try on your clothes. And lets not even start about the chick that I lent my boots! Out of the kindness of my heart I lent her my military boots when it was pouring with rain [this girl only brought sandals] and she returned them in some creased fashion!
I walked for Marc by Marc Jacobs, Nathan Jenden both in New York, Topshop Unique and Giles Deacon in London and Ungaro and Loweve in Paris.
I would go into more detail but I really don’t want to bore you guys especially since you’ll be able to see it all in February when a Channel 4 documentary focusing on my modeling agency comes out. They followed me in New York, London and Paris fashion week so you’ll be able to glimpse what exactly I was going through (if you watch it that is).