Male supermodels Tyson Beckford and Marcus Schenkenberg stopped by HuffPost Live on Thursday to chat about their participation in the first-ever Supermodel Cycle, which benefits the Boys and Girls Club, and how they’ve managed to stay so fit and fine over the years.
However, it was Beckford’s comments about the fashion industry’s blatant lack of diversity that really grabbed our attention.
“Out of all the industries I find — me personally and I think that a lot of people will agree with me — that fashion is very racist,” Beckford said during his visit to HuffPost Live.
The 43-year-old star explained that diversity is certainly a problem when it comes to male models, however, its the women’s side of the business that have it worse.
“This past season during fashion week, you might go to a show and it’s all white girls. Not one Asian or Black or Latino girl was in it. It kind of makes that ethnic race of people feel like they’re not important or being catered to,” Beckford said. “There’s more diversity needed in it. But fashion is the most racist business out right now.”
While that’s not breaking news, Beckford has joined several other elite models of color — including Naomi Campbell, Iman, Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman — who are speaking out on the issue. And Beckford’s manager and renowned fashion activist, Bethann Hardison, has been leading the charge for change with the formation of the Diversity Coalition.
Beckford says that key players within the fashion world — such as designers, stylists, modeling agencies, and bookers — are the ones that can really help solve the problem by hiring more black models.