“Who makes up society?” – Minorities in luxury editorials

I am a sucker for visuals that are unusual and exciting on many different levels. That’s why high fashion and luxury labels bring me so much joy. They often produce amazingly creative editorials. Most of the brands who partake in the new luxury movement rely on cultural values and define themselves through knowledge – and not only price. It’s refreshing to see brands like Dior, Prada or Balenciaga creating personal stories and identities that are truly inspiring. Not only do these brands have values tied to artisanal manufacturing but also to artful ideas that are executed on a high level. – This is why the new luxury is such an impactful part of streetwear nowadays.

However, I am missing representation of more minority groups. I feel like because the majority behind the camera or inside production teams is male, or white, or both, people forget to put a vast range of individuals in front of the camera, or they are simply too scared to be that daring. It’s 2020 and there have been people who broke the mold that has been stuck together for such a long time and chose to be more transparent and diverse. Unfortunately these people mostly were only able operate on rather small scales and editorials that show minorities like Native American, Indian, Asian, African American, Muslim, Fat people or people with disabilities were only spread in ranges of certain communities and not on a mainstream level.

Even if brands are doing it, having minorities on their catwalks or included in campaigns and photoshoots, they often do it wrong. Hiring one black curvy girl does not do it justice. There are many levels to inclusivity, so that brands who want to join in on that really have to start from scratch and think about who really makes up a society. Eventually they will come to the conclusion that one “irregular” person won’t make a great campaign. Many choices of models are based on racism and body shaming and not humanity. Furthermore, there are so many people of minorities that work within the beauty and fashion industry and they all deserve to be given a platform, to be recognized and, which should be self-evident, get paid equally.

With including more ethnicities, body shapes and identities there comes great potential for our current universe of consumption. Since the old rules that distinguished fashion and streetwear had been broken in the mid ‘10s, old tropes were meant to be broken as well and I do not see why diversity can be a much bigger part of this process of deconstruction. Old luxury may have been about who belongs to which class, but the new luxury is all about contemporary and true identity. This, in my opinion, includes everyone. Let’s support and educate each other in order to create a better place for all of us.