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Op-Ed | Diversity In Fashion Advertising Does Sell

by Ben Barry

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The fashion industry explains away the lack of diversity, using the bottom line — the “black models don’t sell covers” excuse. Fashion creatives suggest that corporate powers discourage them from hiring racially diverse models because white consumers don’t perceive them as aspirational. Although today’s fashion brands draw from a diverse global consumer base, marketers explain that non-Caucasian consumers — whether they are living in Western or non-Western countries — look up to a white ideal and want only to associate with brands that sell this image. Even for those creatives who want to cast diverse models, budgets only enable the execution of one global campaign — and white models, supposedly proven to attract consumers, reduce risk.

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