Zac Posen Hired Mostly Black Models For His NYFW Runway Show

Black models matter, Posen proclaimed.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Fashion designer Zac Posen just made a huge statement with his latest runway show. For his fall 2016 show at New York Fashion Week, the noted designer hired primarily black models. Considering that the world of high fashion has long struggled with diversity, it's kind of a big deal.

His inspiration? Princess Elizabeth of Toro, a Ugandan royal who rocked the fashion world in the '60s and who made history as the first East African woman to be admitted to the English bar. The princess/lawyer/model was also the foreign minister of Uganda for a hot minute in the 1970s - no big deal or anything.

Interestingly enough, as Fashionista pointed out, the casting agency behind the show - Maida & Rami - hasn't performed too well on the diversity front in the past. Still, this doesn't really reek of a publicity stunt to me; Posen hasn't made a huge ruckus about his casting decisions, and I want to believe that his efforts are as earnest as they seem. It's refreshing to see established designers draw inspiration from oft-ignored places. Let's just hope that this inspires others to do the same, and we start seeing more diversity throughout the fashion industry as a whole.

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