theFashionSpot’s Diversity Report Analyzes Race, Age and Size of Models in Spring 2016 Fashion Print Ad Campaigns

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theFashionSpot (tFS), an Evolve Media Property, recently published its latest Diversity Report on Spring 2016 Fashion Ad Campaigns.

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“Our latest Diversity Report shows that the industry is slowly moving towards a more inclusive mindset,” said Jennifer Davidson, Managing Editor for theFashionSpot.com. “This year’s use of models of color increased 6.5 percentage points from last season’s

theFashionSpot (tFS) (http://www.thefashionspot.com), the web’s largest fashion-focused community and fashion editorial site, recently published its latest Diversity Report on Spring 2016 Fashion Ad Campaigns — an analysis intended to monitor how frequently models of color are utilized in print campaigns. After examining 236 fashion ad campaigns featuring 422 model appearances, theFashionSpot found that 21.8 percent of the models featured were women of color. A slight improvement over the Fall 2015 campaigns, the numbers prove that the needle is slowly moving toward a more inclusive fashion landscape but there’s still a long road ahead.

“Our latest Diversity Report shows that the industry is slowly moving towards a more inclusive mindset,” said Jennifer Davidson, Managing Editor for theFashionSpot.com. “This year’s use of models of color increased 6.5 percentage points from last season’s findings, meaning progress is being made when it comes to racial diversity. However, we were disappointed to find that plus-size models, women over age 50 and transgender models had far fewer appearances than Fall 2015. A confusing setback given the amount of media attention these demographics received this year.”

Below are highlights from theFashionSpot’s Diversity Report: Spring 2016 Fashion Ad Campaigns.

Race: Overall, Spring ad campaigns were significantly more diverse than previous seasons, with 21.8 percent of the models being women of color. These findings echo the diversity breakdown for the most recent runway season, during which 24.8 percent of those who walked came from non-white backgrounds. Versace, Saint Laurent, Forever 21, Miu Miu and BCBGMaxAzria cast three or more women in their campaign, however none of these brands featured women of color.

  • 78.2 percent of the models in the Spring 2016 ads were white, an encouraging 6.5 percentage point drop from Fall 2015’s numbers.
  • Black models trailed at 8.3 percent, followed by Asian models at 4 percent and Latina models at 3.8 percent. Both Black and Latina models were cast at approximately double the rate of the Fall 2015 season.
  • On the other hand, Asian models saw a slight decrease in representation from 6.2 percent.

In-Demand Models: Of the most-booked models for the Spring 2016 print campaigns, 12 out of 14 were white.

  • Lexi Boling landed the most campaigns with an impressive total of eight, followed by model of color Mica Arganaraz and Karlie Kloss with seven ads each.
  • Joining Mica on the list was fellow Latina Joan Smalls with four appearances.

Size: For a year that saw the first plus-size Sports Illustrated cover model, women over size 12 were conspicuously absent from most spring ad campaigns. Out of the 422 model appearances we examined, plus-size women were only cast six times — comprising a mere 1.4 percent.

  • Not one plus-size model of color graced the glossies or billboards this campaign season.
  • Furthermore, in all but one of the six total appearances, plus-size models were cast for mass-market plus-size labels. The exception was American Eagle Outfitters’ loungewear brand Aerie, whose “Aerie Real” campaign resolutely features unretouched models of all sizes.

Age: It appears that the trend of youth-obsessed American culture celebrating strong, accomplished women over 50 was indeed, as some analysts predicted, short-lived.

  • While older models walked the Fall 2016 runways 11 times, only five Baby Boomers turned up in this season’s ad campaigns.
  • Notably, Sharon Stone reprised her role as the face of Airfield and Pat Cleveland, who previously graced the runways at H&M Studio and Redemption, modeled for Marc Jacobs.

Transgender: Transgender models were snubbed in the Spring 2016 ad campaigns. Not a single transgender model was featured, a phenomenon we haven’t seen since Spring 2015.

"It’s a significant, and heavily disappointing, regression from the Fall 2016 runways which saw eight transgender models cast," said Jennifer Davidson, Managing Editor of theFashionSpot. "It's puzzling, given how much media attention the community has received this year thanks to Caitlyn Jenner and critically-acclaimed movies like The Danish Girl and Tangerine."

About theFashionSpot
Originating in July 2001, theFashionSpot (http://www.theFashionSpot.com) 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, theFashionSpot.com 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 14.6 million unique visitors (comScore, March 2016). 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 (http://www.evolvemediallc.com) company.

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