Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ethnically Ambiguous is the New Black

According to top model booker Daniel Peddle, two "looks" will rule the runway during Fashion Week -- the tomboy look and ethnically ambiguous models. 

I guess that's the industry's way of getting around casting models who actually look unmistakably Black, Asian, or Hispanic. He mentioned Dominican newcomer Arlenis Sosa (pictured) as one of his new favorites.

"...Another thing this season is trying to discern from all the girls out there the ones that are ethnically ambiguous. Girls and boys that have faces that you can’t just put in a certain place or race or geography. I think it’s very helpful to see those types of faces in our conflicted world because you can see that we’re still evolving as humans and they are the results of people willing to go beyond the socially constructed notions around race. I think that’s really important and were going to see even more of those as the population changes."

Umm, okay. While I personally am for models of all background being represented on the catwalk there is something in his statement that rubs me the wrong way. Yep, we're still evolving as human beings but guess what? In spite of race mixing there are still plenty of "mono"-racial people on the planet and only casting models who appear to be mixed race isn't my idea of modernism. He continues,

With the Internet and the way that everyone is so connected now it’s not something you can overlook anymore. I don’t think its possible to do a modern show and have it be all blondes. I understand that sometimes a designer has an aesthetic that dictates something like that and of course we’re going to work with them to achieve their goals but personally I don’t find that to be a very modern statement.

So that's what we can expect next season. The new "aspirational model" is a woman who is vaguely ethnic but not enough to offend or stand out too much. Forgive me if I'm not doing cartwheels.

Photo: Bianca/TFS


sdg1844 said...

This should be interesting to see. I honestly don't get why a diversity of races and ehtnicities is a a pblm. What's wrong w/being "visibly" Black, Asian, Latino?

I don't get it. This isn't a slap @ my mixed brethren, merely a question as to why the pblm with inclusion and diversity?

uglyblackjohn said...

Mixed is the new Vanilla.
Not that vanilla is so much a flavor as it is a non-flavor. When most people can't decide, vanilla is the answer.
It's just an easy sell.

Ariel said...

Agreed. You hit the nail on the head.

Ebony Intuition said...

People are scared when they see a visible African face, or Asian, etc. So instead they rather see a mixed person because they have a touch of ethnicity, a touch of culture, just a "touch" but not too much because too much would then cross the line.

"merely a question as to why the pblm with inclusion and diversity?"

Exactly everyone claims they want diversity but diversity means putting people who are mixed to represent a group that isn't mixed which makes no sense and only shows how Europeans continue to f*&k with our intelligence.

Bonifant said...


This world and its issues are so tiring sometimes.