theFashionSpot’s Spring 2016 Diversity Report: New York Leads the Charge, Milan Lags Far Behind

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Data from 373 International Shows Reveals Industry Slow to Change and Major Designers that Continue to Exclude Models of Color

The numbers are in: TotallyHer Media’s theFashionSpot, the web’s largest fashion-focused community and editorial site, has released its annual Diversity Report on the Spring 2016 runway shows in New York, London, Paris, and Milan. Surveying 373 shows and 9,926 model appearances, theFashionSpot examined the race, age, size, and gender identity of runway show casts to determine how much diversity in the fashion industry has grown this year. Just over 77% of all models cast were white, and the numbers have been improving gradually—80% white models were reported for Fall 2015, and 83% for the previous spring. While the runways are becoming more racially diverse, plus-size, transgender, and models over age 50 continue to make up a tiny fraction of runway casts.

“Despite slight gains, it's clear the fashion industry has a long way to go on the road to equality,” said Jennifer Davidson, Managing Editor for, part of TotallyHer, an Evolve Media company.

“Diversity has increased across the board, but some designers are far ahead of others. While Chromat’s runway has a 70% diverse cast, plenty of brands had completely whitewashed shows, and Milan’s Fashion Week featured zero plus-size models, transgender models or models over the age of 50. We hope that by continuing to draw attention to these numbers and shine the spotlight on designers whose ideas about casting are shifting, we’ll encourage others to follow suit.”

Below are highlights from theFashionSpot’s Spring 2016 Runway Diversity Report. The entire report can be found here:


  •     Of all the shows surveyed, 77.6% of the time models were white. This is slightly better than the 80 percent reported for Fall 2015 and 83 percent from the previous spring shows.
  •     New York shows were the most racially diverse in every category, with 10.7 percent Black models, 8.7% Asian models, and 4.2% Latina models.
  •     Milan was the least diverse on all counts, with the highest rate of white models at 82.8%, and no plus-size models, transgender models, or models over the age of 50.
  •     Chromat had the most multicultural show of Fashion month, with a cast that was 70% models of color.
  •     The top model of Fashion Month was 19-year old Dominican beauty Lineisy Montero, the first model of color to rank number one by walking in 68 shows across all four Fashion Weeks.


  •     Plus-size models accounted for only .1 percent of the total model appearances.
  •     All 14 plus size models that walked this season came out of New York.


  •     Transgender models made up .06 percent of all model appearances.
  •     Half of the transgender model castings were in New York, while one transgender model each walked in the London and Paris shows.


  •     Only five models over the age of 50 appeared in any shows this season, making up .05 percent of the total. One of these appearances took place at Nehera in Paris; the rest walked in New York.

About theFashionSpot
Originating in July 2001, theFashionSpot ( made a name for itself as an invitation-only community of designers, stylists and fashionistas that dissected designer collections, celebrating some and skewering others. Building on the largest fashion-focused community on the web, has grown into a respected fashion editorial site with a strong and active community element. TheFashionSpot is part of the TotallyHer Beauty and Style Portfolio, reaching nearly 13 million unique visitors (comScore, May 2015). With close to 70,000 invitation-only members playing an active role in the site’s forum, theFashionSpot encompasses the largest community of authentic fashion influencers online. In 2015 theFashionSpot was recognized once again by MediaPost’s OMMA Awards for website excellence in fashion and beauty. Recent brand advertisers include Macy’s, Tresemme, Anne Klein, P&G, Kraft, Coach, Revlon, Weight Watchers, and more. theFashionSpot is part of TotallyHer, an Evolve Media ( company.


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Annie Carone
Evolve Media
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