Chanel Iman may be one of the most sought-after models in the world, but, as a Black woman, even she is still faced with racism in the fashion industry.
The Victoria Secret model recently sat down with The Sunday Times for a chat about her career, and when asked if her race has ever posed a challenge in her career she had to come clean.
“Yeah, most definitely,” Chanel admitted. “A few times I got excused by designers who told me, ‘We already found one black girl. We don’t need you anymore.’ I felt very discouraged. When someone tells you, ‘We don’t want you because we already have one of your kind,’ it’s really sad.”
She acknowledged, though, that not all designers are so resistant to the idea of adding a little more color to the runway and fashion magazines. “I appreciate designers making a strong statement that black women are beautiful. Black women like fashion,” said Chanel. “And when there’s more diversity on the runway, it makes our world more inclusive.”
More designers may need to adopt more of an inclusive attitude when casting runway shows if 2013 Fall New York Fashion Week is any indication. According to The Huffington Post, the number of Black models declined from last year’s 8 percent down to 6 percent.