Until 1974 all you saw on the cover of fashion magazines was stick-thin Caucasian women. That was what the industry thought, at the time, was the “ideal beauty”.
Then Beverly Johnson broke the barrier, becoming the first woman of color to appear on the cover of American Vogue.
Johnson and Condé Nast didn’t change everyone’s idea of what beauty was, but it was a start.
More and more models appeared in magazines and on runways that didn’t all look like Twiggy. There were many models of color on European catwalks but none became international superstars like Iman.
Again, fashion was still in a box and even with the diversity that you now see on the most famous publications and ads, it still is in many ways.
Ashley Graham is credited for the body-positive movement in the industry over the last few years; a champion of the “not everyone is a size 0” mentality. Graham is a size 16, much closer to the actual body standard women who are buying prêt-à-porter garments.
Graham is widely popular and undoubtedly gorgeous but there are many other beautiful women who are not being represented in fashion.
Head to the next page to see how Katie Meade is changing the fashion game!