Comme des Garçons Hasn't Cast One Black Runway Model in More Than 10 Years

Comme des Garçons Hasn't Cast One Black Runway Model in More Than 10 Years

Each year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art honors a fashion legend, last night celebrating the work of Comme des Garçons' Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo. The star-studded fundraising gala, which drew names like Rihanna and Frank Ocean, centered on the museum's new CDG exhibit, featuring approximately 140 examples of 74-year-old Kawakubo's trailblazing designs. 

Talent and impact aside, reports surrounding Kawakubo's discriminatory casting has overshadowed the 2017 Met Gala—at least for those who're interested in full racial equality in the fashion industry. In the past, it's been pointed out by Refinery 29 that CDG hasn't used a single Black model on the runway in more than 10 years, though no follow-up reports have been conducted to support such allegations. 

Using Vogue Runway's running archive of all CDG collections, we checked every season for the last decade to see if Kawakubo had, in fact, excluded Black models from her presentations. Based on our findings, below, you'll find a full 10 years of fashion shows, or 39 productions total, and zero Black models represented on CDG's runway, underlining an age-old whites-only policy plaguing fashion. 

"Surely any modern designer with a worldview is attuned to the importance of diversity," wrote Jason Campbell in a Business of Fashion op-ed about the importance of representation in fashion. "It’s a myth that uniformed skin colour is the way to convey a cohesive, singular design idea and it is irresponsible and senseless businesswise to ignore this hot-button issue."

Spring 2007 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2007: Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2007 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2007 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2008 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2008 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2008 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2009 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models 

Spring 2010 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2010 Menswear: 0 Black Models 

Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2011 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2011 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models 

Spring 2012 Menswear: 0 Black Models 

Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2012 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2013 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models 

Fall 2013 Menswear: 0 Black Models 

Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2014 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2014 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2015 Menswear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2015 Menswear: 0 Black Models 

Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2016 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear: 0 Black Models

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