Diversity in the Modelling Industry
A well-known fact is that the modelling industry of today is completely overrun and overflowing with predominantly Anglo-Saxon, white young men and women. It is a rare find to come across Aboriginal/Dutch descent 16 year old Lilla Conradsen and those like her. Although there are so many indigenous youth that would fit into the industry so nicely, it remains predominantly white. The hope is that things will change with the launch of the Indigenous Model Search on Monday. The focus of this search is to increase diversity in the industry while also working to change the perception of fashion. Many of the indigenous don’t consider the fashion/modelling industry as a career option for them, which is something that truly needs to change.
Successfully selected entrants, both male and female, will be treated to a week-long training program to really introduce them to what modelling is all about, and to help them break in to the industry. Walking on the catwalk, grooming and other business-relevant topics will all be covered in individual workshops all aimed at preparing them for each aspect of fashion and to ensure this is truly a career path they are interested in (now that they have more insight).
At the end of the one-week training, sixteen fresh, indigenous faces will be selected by Chic Management director, Kathy Ward, among others. These lucky sixteen will then grace the catwalks of the first ever Australian Indigenous Fashion Week (AIFW) beginning April 11 next year, showing off the beautiful diversity of fashion.
The AIFW, organised by All The Perks (an indigenous-owned and run events company), will showcase fashion designed by 30 different designers. The focus of the show will be to showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers. This is meant not only to help promote these incredible designers (and their fashions), but also to help these designers build important relationships and increase their economic statuses. Ethical standards and fair trade will also be promoted and practiced between indigenous artists and the buyers present at AIFW.
The hope is by promoting the creative fashion industry amongst the indigenous youth, that in the future they might consider a career field such as this rather than the sporting or government fields that are so prevalent among the indigenous.
According to Conradsen, who followed her dreams of modeling like her idols, the Victoria Secret Angels, overcoming shyness is a major stepping stone in breaking into modelling. She feels that often the talents of indigenous youth are overshadowed because they are too shy to share them. Her hopes are that the AIFW will help indigenous people get excited about seeing more diverse, beautiful, different faces in the fashion industry to encourage them to get out and give it a try too. Let’s drive the unique and beautiful indigenous models-to-be out into the open and encourage them to share their talents with the world. Conradsen is also working with the AIFW, hoping to become one of their beautiful, new faces.