Did Diversity on the Runway Improve a Little Last Season?

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Bethann Hardison — activist, former model, leader of the Diversity Coalition — took several designers to task last season for a lack of diversity on their runways. Now, Hardison has reassessed the sixteen designers she critiqued last fall, and, based on the number of models of color who walked in the September 2013 shows, the prognosis is: much improved, WWD reports.

In an e-mail to the CFDA, Hardison didn't offer grades — those will come after this season — but singled out Narciso Rodriguez, the Row, and Calvin Klein as designers who made an effort to increase diversity. Calvin Klein increased from zero to five models of color, while the Row cast four. On the other hand, MM6 by Maison Martin Margiela received delinquent marks as the only New York label who failed to use any models of color at all.

While Hardison acknowledged the progress (which, in our opinion, was marginal) she reminds designers and the CFDA that: "The objective is to continue this improvement across the entire industry. We look for consistency and not because of advocacy or a season lending to darker skin. We will continue to watch and reveal season to season.”