As the fashion industry continues to struggle with diversity, for the Spring/Summer 2017 season, women of African descent accounted for 2 of the top 5 most booked models during Fashion Month.
Newcomer and Louisiana native Selena Forrest tops the list with 52 shows booked, 4 opened, and 2 closed, while Dominican-born Lineisy Montero tops the booking list for the second year in a row, 51 shows booked 2 opened and 3 closed. Montero walked a whopping 68 shows for the Spring/Summer 2016 season.
Montero, who has also featured in a slew of fashion editorials over the past year, also made waves because of her medium-short afro. Up until recently, long straight weaves and super short crops were the standard for top black models, with little in between.
“I didn’t expect this impact, I am just Lineisy Montero, a young girl from Santo Domingo. My hair has never been a question, it’s always been natural,” said Montero. “I didn’t do anything special except walking in the shows. I see now that is a big thing for the fashion industry so I am of proud of it. If it changes the mentality in the business for models like me I would be very happy.”
Forrest also touched on the issue of diversity in a recent interview with New York Magazine’s The Cut.
“If your clothes look good on everybody and if you’re that confident about your clothes, then you should put them on everybody,” she said.
Still despite the success of Montero, Forrest and many other up-and-coming models of color, the industry still has a long way to go. Hopefully this top booking trend becomes the norm.