Just like spring 2021 the fashion month of autumn 2021 was also heavily affected by the pandemic. Obviously there were security measures in place where designers preferred everything from public-free runway shows to lookbooks and videos. As in the previous season, the pandemic had an impact on diversity – not that it was used as an excuse to let representation slip. Despite the challenges, autumn 2021 still made history.
We have found the totals in New York, London, Milan and Paris. So read on to see how the Fall 2021 Fashion Month played out.
Fall 2021 is officially the most racially diverse season of all time. Fashion Month Fall 2021 had 1,641 model castings in 168 shows. This resulted in just over 43 percent of castings using color models. That is almost 2 percent more than last season. The spring of 2021 already recorded a slight increase compared to the autumn 2020 with the former delivering 41.3 percent non-white models on a total of 2,293 model castings in 180 presentations.
Spring 2020 was previously the most varied season of all time with 41.5 percent color models made from 7,390 model castings at 215 major exhibitions. Given that the fall of 2021 featured fewer shows and auditions, it is all the more encouraging to see racial diversity reach a new milestone.
London had the highest percentage of diversity with 53.3 percent non-white models. An interesting development, as New York is almost always the most diverse city. The number in London actually rose from the 52 percent color models of spring 2021. New York ranks second at 50.7 percent color models, a staggering decrease from 57.1 percent last season. Paris threw 43.8 percent color models (a sizable jump compared to 38.9 percent last season) and Milan had just 37.6 percent. Milan rose slightly from 35.6 percent in spring 2021.
Seven of the top 11 models were women in color. The most booked model was France's own Loli Bahia with 14 castings that run for many big names such as Chanel, Givenchy and Valentino. She even opened Ports in 1961 and closed Fendi.
Mika Schneider was just behind at the age of 13. The Franco-Japanese model was chosen by Louis Vuitton, Alberta Ferretti and Etro, to name but a few.
The androgynous model Miriam Sanchez appeared in 12 shows, both Etro and Sportmax open and Alberta Ferretti close. Barbara Valente, Yilan Hua and Awar Odhiang also had 12 auditions each. While Sora Choi, Cyrielle Lalande and Kayako Higuchi went away with 11 of them. Akon Changkou and Steinberg round off the list with 10 appearances each.
As in the previous season, most of the top models have accumulated most of their runway miles in Milan and Paris.
While racial diversity increased, size diversity was hit hard. For fall 2021 there were only 19 oversized model castings, what makes up only 1.16 percent of the castings. All the more exciting since last season were 34 appearances. Not to mention the 46 in autumn 2020 and 86 in spring 2020, the highest value ever recorded.
New York booked six on most, followed by Milan and Paris with five each, with London finishing last with just three.
New York's six appearances featured in five shows: Jason Wu, Gabriela Hearst, Collina Strada, Christian Cowan and Tanya Taylor. In Paris we met Jill Kortleve (Copern i and Chanel) and Paloma Elsesser (Chloe and Lanvin). Milan saw Precious Lee representing Versace and Moschino, Elsesser at Marni, Alva Claire at GCDS and Kortleve at Salvatore Ferragamo. Mark Fast booked two plus-size models (Ariish Wol and Taylah Kereama) in London while the disabled Shawanda Corbett performed for JW Anderson.
On the positive side, it should be noted that all but one of the cast parts used color models.
TRANSGENDER / NON-BINARY
Autumn 2021 showed a significant decline in gender diversity. There were 12 castings, or only 0.73 percent of all castings. This number has decreased significantly compared to 20 in spring 2021. In the fall of 2020 it was 21, but in the past few seasons the number has been well over twice as high. For example, spring 2020 had 46 and the highest ever was spring 2019 with 91.
New York was the most gender-specific city with half of the castings. Christian Cowan discontinued the non-binary models Parker Kit Hill and Richie Shazam. Transgender model Dara Allen performed with Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung. Transgender model Ariel Nicholson went for Gabriela Hearst. And Aaron Philip, who is transgender and disabled, was booked by Collina Strada.
Chloe selected Nicholson and the non-binary model Kilian Smits. While transgender model Venus Liuzzo performed for Koché. In Milan, Nicholson was booked for Moschino and transgender model Daniela Santiago was selected by Roberto Cavalli. London only had a single booking courtesy of Osman, who chose the transgender model Sakeema Crook.
A little more than half of the appearances went to color models.
Age diversity also decreased. In autumn 2021 there were 16 over 50 model appearances or 0.98 percent. This is a 50 percent decrease from the 32 castings in spring 2021. Paris had the most with six, followed by Milan with four and New York and London with three each.
Marine Serre occupied Amalia Vairelli and Kristina de Coninck. Dries Van Noten went with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Suzi de Givenchy. Marie Beltrami was introduced by Alexis Mabille and Vivienne Westwood attended the showcase of her namesake collection.
Milan brought Maye Musk for Moschino, Elisabetta Dessy for Roberto Cavalli, Benedetta Barzini for Daniela Gregis and Julia Villahermosa for Antonio Marras. In New York, Amy Fine Collins modeled for Batsheva, Dorinda Medley for Christian Cowan and Kathleen Engman for Collina Strada. Erdem had two of London's old model castings (Elizabeth McGorian and Marguerite Porter). JW Anderson had the other with Magdalene Odundo.
Only three castings went to color models: Vairelli, de Givenchy and Odundo.
Most and Least Different Shows
With different showcase formats, it is not so easy to get an impression of the most varied and least different shows. Many presentations hit the 100 percent mark or the 0 percent mark because designers only hired one or two models. That is why we have taken this into account.
Brands that hit 100 percent include Kim Shui in New York (four out of four color models), JW Anderson in London (three out of three) and Alaïa in Paris (three out of three) out of three). New Yorker Elizabeth Kennedy was also 100 percent diverse with two out of two non-white models. So also 3.1 Phillip Lim and Adam Lippes, who each employed a non-white model.
London's Preen by Thornton Bregazzi (two of two), Roksanda (one of one), and Halpern (one of one) had 100 percent diversity. Just like Bally (one of one), Dundas (one of one) and Stella Jean (two of two) in Milan. Paris saw A.P.C. (one of one), Barbara Bui (one of one) and Maison Rabih Kayrouz (one of one) achieve 100 percent diversity.
When it came to more traditional runway shows there was a decent variety. Chloe had 63 percent color models (17 out of 27). Lorenzo Serafini's philosophy had 61 percent non-white models (11 out of 18) while Mark Fast had 56 percent non-white models (9 out of 16). Ulla Johnson and Gabriela Hearst both scored 50 percent with shows with a total of 22 and 20 models, respectively.
For the least diverse shows, Valentin Yudashkin had 0 percent diversity with zero in five. Elisabetta Franchi had only 16 percent color models with only 5 out of 31. Antonio Marras had the same percentage with only 4 out of 25. Emporio Armani was at the bottom with 20 percent with only 5 out of 25 color models.  Dolce & Gabbana was one of the largest shows with 59 model castings, but only 20 were color models, or 34 percent. Hermes only had 14 out of 46 color models for a total of 30 percent. Chanel booked 7 of 21 color models for 33 percent. Both Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana fared much better than they did in spring 2021, when both had 19 percent with significantly larger lineups. The Italian brand occupied a total of 98 models, only 19 of which were non-white, while Chanel had 13 out of 70.
Finally, the pandemic definitely continues to affect the industry. However, it should not be used as a justification for brands to hire less diverse casts. While it's incredible that the fall of 2021 is now the most racially diverse, we can't ignore the losses in the height, age, and gender categories. We hope for significant improvements in all areas in the future.
Additional reporting by Mark E.
Only women and non-binary models are included in this data. Color models are classified as those that are not white or have a mixed background.
The article Report: The fashion month autumn 2021 is the racially most diverse season that has ever been recorded, but the representation of size, age and gender is crashing first appeared on theFashionSpot .