Kanye West has sent out a casting call for his forthcoming Yeezy Season 4 fashion show, which is set to be a centrepiece of New York fashion week. “Multiracial women only. No makeup please come as you are,” read the sheet, posted on Twitter. Accordingly, it caused controversy.
The replies attempted to read between the lines. “So no black women??”, “no white women either?”, was the tone of the dialogue. “It’s art. It’s a casting call. Absolutely allowed. That’s how casting works,” read one.
In Hollywood and on stage, the controversy surrounding certain casting decisions (such as that of Noma Dumezweni to play Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, for example) have only shown up the rigid attitudes that congregate around those worlds.
Fashion’s young attitude and the seasonal nature in which it operates means it is a quicker reflection of societal changes. Take, for example, the rise of the so-called Instagram “It girls”, such as the Hadid sisters and Kendall Jenner, as well as Vine star Cameron Dallas replacing Justin Bieber in the Calvin Klein ads. This has shone a light on the importance of an online personality bringing her or his personal brand and fan base to a fashion brand. The rise of transgender models like Hari Nef modelling for Gucci, and Andrej Pejic starring in adverts for Marc Jacobs and Gaultier, meanwhile, suggests both acceptance and an awareness of the column inches created by such casting.
Get the entire story on THE GUARDIAN