Is The Fashion Industry Racist – Catching Up On The Fashion Debates

Regular readers will recall that recently I went to see former FW site star Stella Heng from Sports Philosophy appear on the panel at the first ever Fashion Debates. The evening had three speakers, Stella, Carry Sommers and Clare Lissaman and was really thought provoking (you can see some of those thoughts in my follow up piece).

So with the following one just a few days away I thought I’d let you know what the next one is about. My expanding team here at FW are all about a better industry and supporting both change and people trying to do something to make that change happen.


Spring/summer 16: only 22.4% of catwalk models used were non-white and cultural appropriation allegations flew at Valentino and Junya Watanabe. Is the fashion industry racist?

Join The Fashion Debates, a series of events held at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design in London designed to inspire people to tackle ethical issues in the fashion industry, for an evening exploring the opinions and experiences of those working in the fashion industry.

Anna-Mari Almila

Confirmed on the panel so far are Naomi Mdudu, former Fashion Editor of The Metro and Editor of The Lifestyle Edit, Jody Furlong, Founder of The Eye Casting and Trustee for All Walks Beyond the Catwalk and Anna-Mari Almila, Research Fellow in Sociology of Fashion at London College of Fashion.

The evening promises to challenge our use of language, use of models, use of design, accepted beauty standards and how we can all speak up to promote a more diverse, inclusive industry.

Jody with quote

The Fashion Debates takes place on 14th July at 7pm at the Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design. The event is open to all and tickets can be purchased for £10 at

16-17 Greek Street, London, W1D 4DR from 7PM – 9PM

Naomi with quote

About Ross Pollard

Since starting writing on my 31st birthday in 2011 I have held a number of positions at magazines and websites as well as regularly producing articles for numerous publications alongside contributing to TV & radio shows as a freelance fashion journalist including Hoxton Radio & Fashion One TV. Alongside writing, I have worked in other industries helping to design & grow digital platforms, develop businesses and support operations practices. This experience has proved invaluable in building an understanding of how businesses work, and the landscape in which retail, B2B commerce and other commercial operations develop. Knowledge of commercial interests has helped shape my fashion industry insights beyond critiquing of garments

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