Supermodel Iman is encouraging protest in the lead up to New York Fashion Week against fashion houses that fail to use black models.

‘It feels to me like the times need a real hard line drawn like in the sixties, by saying if you don’t use black models, then we boycott,’ Iman told The New York Times. “If you engage the social media, trust me, it will hurt them in their pockets. If you take it out there, they will feel the uproar.”


The Somalian-born businesswoman and philanthropist is taking to Twitter herself to raise awareness to what she calls a racist industry:

‘Must read @nytimes  “Fashion’s Blind Spot”/pure racism! Let’s call it what it is #fashion #racism

According to The New York Times, black models accounted for only 6 per cent of the looks shown at Fashion Week in February (down from 8.1 per cent the previous season); 82.7 per cent were worn by white models.

Iman believes that the fashion industry has become increasingly racist since her career in the eighties and early nineties when designers such as Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent routinely cast black models.

‘There is something terribly wrong,’ she said. ‘We [America] have a President and a First Lady who are black. You would think things have changed, and then you realise that they have not. In fact, things have gone backwards.’

What are your thoughts? Will you be joining the Twitter verse against all-white-cast fashion houses?