A Look at Diversity in Toronto Fashion Week

Canada is known for its multiculturalism and diversity-but apparently not in the fashion world? We look at 14 fashion designers who recently had shows for their Fall 2013 collections at Toronto Fashion Week to see how Canada’s designers are challenging or upholding the status quo.

Above: A look from Tanya Taylor’s Fall 2013 collection. Image found here.

Last week across our country was fashion week, with both Toronto and Vancouver designers sending models down the runways with their Fall 2013 collections. Something that was heavy on our minds was the diversity of models hired to show off Canada’s couture creations. After all, Canada as a country prides itself on its multiculturalism, and it is something that this country is known for. So, we were anxious to see if Canadian designers would step up to the plate and reflect our country’s racial diversity, or if they would be part of the disturbing trend that is seeing less and less models of colour on the runway…

So here’s the scoop: to be up front, we are picking on Toronto. Vancouver fashion week, though also recent, has not seemed to have produced as many complete pictures of collections as our friends back east. As such, we turned to Toronto, as many major collections were captured in full by photographers.

We based the results below exclusively on the runway collections of the 14 designers below as we saw them on Fashion Magazine‘s website. We chose to rely on Fashion Magazine‘s pictures because out of all the major Canadian fashion magazines, they seemed to have the most pictures of complete collections on their website.

Our project was simple: count how many looks were produced by designers and sent down the runways, and how many models of colour each designer used. These 14 designers were chosen because they were the only ones that Fashion Magazine had shown in full on their website. It is also possible that Fashion did not capture each look from every designer, so it is of course entirely possible that we missed a few looks and models here and there.

 Above: A dress from Pavoni Fall 2013. Image found here.

Lastly, don’t get us wrong–we saw some truly breathtaking and all-around amazing looks by these Canadian designers (like the gorgeous dress above). However, we can’t help but be disappointed that Canadian designers (at least in this small sampling) did little or nothing to challenge the status quo-see for yourself, below.

 

The Label: Chloé Comme Parris

The Designers: Chloé and Parris Gordon

Number of looks shown: 24

Number of Models of Colour in show: 2

 

The Label: Tanya Taylor

The Designer: Tanya Taylor

Number of looks shown: 29

Number of Models of Colour in show: 3

 

The Label: Jeremy Laing

The Designer: Jeremy Laing

Number of looks shown: 31

Number of Models of Colour in show: 3

 

The Label: Steven Tai

The Designer: Steven Tai

Number of looks shown: 14

Number of Models of Colour in show: 2

 

The Label: Comrags

The Designers: Judy Cornish and Joyce Gunhouse

Number of looks shown: 38

Number of Models of Colour in show: 5

The Label: Jean Pierre Braganza (above, a picture from Fall 2013 collection, found here.)

The Designer: Jean Pierre Braganza

Number of looks shown: 31

Number of Models of Colour in show: 5

 

The Label: Joe Fresh

The Designer: Joe Mimran

Number of looks shown: 48

Number of Models of Colour in show: 2

 

The Label: Pink Tartan

The Designer: Kimberly Newport Mimran

Number of looks shown: 41

Number of Models of Colour in show: 4.

The Label: Vawk

The Designer: Sunny Fong

Number of looks shown: 22

Number of Models of Colour in show: 4

BONUS: Fong gets extra credit for being the only designer used in this sample to use a “plus-size” model in his Fall 2013 collection (pictured above, image found here). She appeared on the runway only once during the show, but nevertheless, she was there!

 

The Label: Line Knitwear

The Designer: Jennifer Wells and John Muscat

Number of looks shown: 28

Number of Models of Colour in show: 4

 

The Label: DUY

The Designer: Duy Nguyen

Number of looks shown: 27

Number of Models of Colour in show: 4

 

The Label: Laura Siegel

The Designer: Laura Siegel

Number of looks shown: 15

Number of Models of Colour in show: 3

 

The Label: Lucian Matis 

The Designer: Lucian Matis

Number of looks shown: 34

Number of Models of Colour in show: 3

 

The Label: Pavoni 

The Designer: Mike Derderian and Gianni Falcone

Number of looks shown: 24

Number of Models of Colour in show: 2

 

Overall, Canadian designers: you can do better. We were especially concerned by the Joe Fresh show and Pink Tartan show. These designers (who are incidentally married, Joe Mimran designing Joe Fresh and Kimberly Newport Mimran designing Pink Tartan) showed the most looks out of every one (48 and 41 respectively), but despite this abundance, both were seriously lacking a proportionate amount of models of colour, having only 2 and 4 models respectively!

On the other hand, we applaud the Vawk collection, who, as we noted above, not only had 4 models of colour, but also one model who appeared to be above a size 0! Vawk designer Sunny Fong is known for his relatively diverse runways, here’s hoping he keeps up the good work!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

2 thoughts on “A Look at Diversity in Toronto Fashion Week

  1. It’s sad that 4/22 deserves applause. Especially when showing in a city like Toronto where half the population is people of colour. I wonder if the audience and other people attending or working at Toronto Fashion Week reflected the city’s diversity any more accurately?

    I frankly don’t understand the fashion industry’s reluctance to diversify. I’m sure they have their excuses, but there is likely a lot of internalized racism going on there too.

Comments are closed.