Were ethnic models getting the preparation they needed backstage at Fashion Week?
Great news as the Spring 2018 shows at New York Fashion Week were considered to be the most ethnically diverse ever. This year, approximately 36.9 percent of models were ethnic. And at the shows at New York Fashion Week, you could see many models of color being worked on backstage by stylists and makeup artists.
But many are saying that the beauty professionals that were working backstage have yet to learn the skills to work with ethnic hair textures and different skin tones. Even last year, model Londone Myers said on her social media, “I don’t need special treatment from anyone. What I need is for hairstylists to learn how to do black hair. I’m so tired of people avoiding doing my hair at shows. How dare you try to send me down the runway with a linty busted Afro. We all know if you tried that on a white model you’d be #canceled. If one doesn’t stand, we all fall. If it isn’t my fro, it’ll probably be yours.”
As fashion becomes ever increasingly diverse, the makeup and hair teams that work backstage need to learn how to work on ethnic models with the same skill level as they do Caucasian models. As it stands, some ethnic models don’t get the proper preparation needed because the backstage teams don’t have the proper makeup colors, foundations, and hair care products to use on models of color. In fact, some African American models found that their hair was left untouched by the hair stylists backstage because they were not equipped to deal with their hair.
At some shows, there seems to be a dearth of knowledge when it comes to dealing with ethnic hair on the whole. In addition, hair stylists don’t come prepared with the proper tools for working with ethnic hair. Hairstylist, Lacy Redway said, “My advice to all hairstylists, no matter what level they’re at, is to never stop learning. You can learn from anyone at any level because techniques advance overtime. I can learn things from my assistants just as they learn from me.”
This need for knowledge also applies to the makeup artists that work backstage. They should come prepared for all skin tones and types, not just one. Being better equipped is the key to creating the correct look. Makeup artists now should have an abundance of products for every skin type and skin tone.
The fashion industry is finally becoming more diverse and it’s a positive push forward. But now the beauty teams that work behind the scenes need to grow just as fast and learn how take care of models of all skin color and hair type.
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