Howard’s ‘Black Mirror’ reflects diversity problem in fashion industry

The fashion industry is slowly becoming more diverse; according to theFashionSpot‘s biannual diversity report,  25.4 percent of all models cast in New York, London, Paris and Milan fashion shows were models of color. Yet, despite an increase in more diverse models, the numbers show that the rate of transforming fashion into a more inclusive space is moving at a glacial pace: this recent percentage only increased by 3 percent.

That’s why Los-Angeles based model Deddeh Howard decided to take matters into her own hands. According to Yahoo Canada Style, the model is taking the industry to task in a new photo series entitled, “Black Mirror,” in which Howard recreates “major fashion campaigns that feature white models like Gigi Hadid, Gisele Bundchen and Kendall Jenner.”

Working with photographer Raffael Dickreuter, Yahoo says Howard explained on her site that she decided to tackle the lack of diversity head-on as a result of her personal experiences in the industry.

“Not too long ago it happened to me that I would walk into various fashion model agencies and I would immediately be compared to that one or two black model that they had on the roster. Even though I was told by those agencies that I have an amazing look and wish they could represent me, they already have a black model,” she wrote. “It seemed as if one or two black models on the roster are enough to represent us all.”

Stepping into the place of Kate Moss, Michelle Williams and Candice Swanepoel, Howard proves that she is just as stunning as her fellow models — and her Instagram followers certainly reinforced the meaning of her project. After releasing a few of the photos on her account, Yahoo says Howard has received praise and support in the form of “thousands of likes and comments.”

Writing on the importance of her photos, Yahoo reports that Howard expressed her hope that the photos are — at least — a first step in all women being seen.

“The visibility on these commercials and billboards matter as much as having elected a first black President. The next generation can only get inspired and reach for the stars themselves if they believe they can do it too…With this Black Mirror project I hope to show the world that it is time for all of us being seen.”

To see Howard’s gorgeous photos, click here.

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