It's no secret that runways are often filled with white models, but Zac Posen is looking to change that.
For his fall 2016 fashion show at New York Fashion Week, the American designer made a bold statement by casting mostly black models to walk the runway, including "Africa's Next Top Model" winner, Aamito Lagum.
According to Posen, the collection was inspired by Ugandan Princess, Elizabeth of Toro, who WWD notes was not only the first East-African female to be admitted to the English bar, but was also a model who appeared on the covers of many fashion magazines in the late '60s.
What makes the model casting even more interesting, however, is the agency who was responsible for choosing the models: Maida & Rami. Fashionista notes the agency has been criticized in the past for its lack of diversity, especially on big runways such as Christian Dior and Jil Sander.
And while Posen somewhat alluded to his models in the days leading up to the show on Instagram, Fashionista says there was "no mention of the casting decision" in the show notes, "just an explanation of the "study of couture geometrics of the 1930's" that was Posen's starting point for the clothes."
Posen's show marks one of the few that embraced diversity on the runway at New York Fashion Week; Kanye West hired almost all models of colour for his Yeezy Season 3 show, while David Hart used exclusively black models for his Jazz-era inspired collection.
But Zac's casting decision is particularly important, considering he is a red carpet favourite among Hollywood A-listers (and especially in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite).
Clearly, Posen realizes that diversity and Black models matter, and for that we praise him.
Check out Zac Posen's fall 2016 runway show below:
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