BcB Presents “Model Minorities”: Asian Models and Why It Matters

BcB is starting a new series titled “Model Minorities” where we bring up topics related to Asian/Asian American models. Is this a way of me ogling looking up Asian models online and making up a lame excuse for it (ditto for CBruhs)? I’ll be honest. Yes. But will we enlighten you with some good topics about the Asian American image in American mainstream society while doing it? Sure, why not. Let’s begin enlightening:

The last thing you need to hear about (I’m sure) is about the unfortunate plight of the Asian model. Boo Hoo, I’m tall (5’10”), beautiful, and skinny (3 digit weight? You wanna model for the Dress Barn?). But it does matter. Cause what you see on the runway during NYC’s Fashion Week will show up in the high end Milan, Paris and NY boutiques within the year, then the boutiques in LA and Tokyo a week later, then Barney’s, then Nordstrom’s, then Banana Republic, then Hollister, then TJ Maxx and finally the LBC swap meet. And its all about IMAGE people. You know that!

So I had always thought Asian American models were in high demand. And when I mean models, I mean female models. I read this article a while back that broke it down in a pie chart, using data from the races of models at Fashion Week 2009 in NYC:

41% Asian, 36% Black, 22% Latino, 1% Other

So I’m a little puzzled when I took a look at this article from NY Magazine, via Cbruhs via Char Char, that detailed the difficulty of finding Asian female models for a show that up-and-coming designer Daniel Vosovic was putting on. According to Vosovic:

Wanting to cast only Asian models, the lack of diversity made things a tad difficult. “When we started to request show packages, honestly, I was appalled by the lack of options”.

So the fact that its THIS difficult to find Asian runway models coupled with the fact that the most people of color used as models for shows is Asian means its pretty bad out there for Black and Latina runway models I’m guessing. Let’s not forget that these shows only use the emaciated, bony cheeked, 5’11” eastern euro type models, so forget about any junk in the trunk/front.

So take a look at his collection below and tell me if Vosovic was being very specific about the Asian models he wanted? or its an industry wide problem. My guess is its both.

click for full Vosovic line.

Click for the full Vosovic line showing all the Asian models he selected.


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