Models, models, models. Yes, the fashion industry is opening-up more to diverse models and other forms of beauty. However, the industry still has a long way to go before it can be considered completely inclusive or an honest representation of society. Regardless of the barriers standing in their way, this group of talented, stunning women are on course to defy the odds, prove the naysayers wrong and conquer the industry – one catwalk at a time.
Impressively bursting onto the scene with a Calvin Klein campaign, followed swiftly after, with L’Oréal, Ebonee Davis’ unwavering determination and self-confidence has seen her blossom and shine brightly in the industry. However, Davis isn’t just a pretty face; she’s an activist and thinker too. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities for black models, and even some agent’s aversion to taking them on in the first place, in 2016 she penned an open, honest and biting letter to the fashion industry, blatantly calling them out on their biases and prejudices. Politics aside, this year also saw Davis also kill it on her debut catwalk for Yeezy spring/summer 17. In a few years’ time, this girl will definitely be on the lips of every big-time designer.
One minute Lameka Fox is just your average girl training horses in her spare time, then next, she’s plucked from obscurity and signed to one of the biggest modelling agencies in the world – IMG Models and storming down the catwalks of Burberry and Valentino. Casual. With cheek bones chiselled by Michelangelo himself and eyes big enough to fall into, there is no telling where Fox’s career could end up – front cover of Vogue, anybody?
If you haven’t heard of the incredible Neelam Gill yet, girl where have you been? In an industry desperately lacking in South Asian representation, Gill still finds a way to shine bright and strut her stuff with pride. Originally bursting on to the scene in 2014 with a ground-breaking Burberry campaign – the first British Asian woman to do so, Gill has gone from strength to strength. Most recently, Neelam Gill has been named the new face of the beauty brand, L’Oreal Paris – a great achievement regardless of ethnicity. Gill, get ready for world domination.
Officially the first ever Black model to represent Victoria Secret’s PINK label, Zuri Tibby joins the ranks of Naomi Campbell and Iman as a ground breaker. With a permanent slot on the Victoria Secret runway, long been fashion’s best-kept secret, it’s only a matter of time until Zuri Tibby skyrockets into the mainstream and has as much name recognition as the likes of Cara Delevingne and Bella Hadid.
Announcing herself to the world via a Louis Vuitton catwalk, rocking her signature large, natural, and luscious afro-hair with pride, Hayes from day one has been unapologetic of her features or heritage. Her refusal to compromise to Eurocentric beauty standards by sparing herself the torture of chemicals and straightening in pursuit of ‘good hair,’ has been both brave and inspiring, and will do a lot to ensure the next generation of young Black women will see their hair with pride, rather than frustration or even disdain. With contagious energy, charisma, and beauty in abundance, for Hayes, world domination is a mere stone’s throw away.