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Racism In The Australian Fashion Industry Makes Black Models Boycott Melbourne Fashion Week

Amidst the fashion world trying to be more inclusive, a disturbing piece of news comes from the Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW).

Over a dozen black models boycott Melbourne Fashion Week this year and highlight how racism prevails in the Australian fashion industry.

The models boycotting the event say that they have seen the staff of the MFW using racing comments in front of them but unclearly.

Also, they have faced unpleasant comments on their hair from the hairdressers. In addition, there has been an allegation against pay disparity among white and black models.

In this context, Jeffrey Kissubi, a model, said that Melbourne Fashion Week was

“one of the fashion bodies within the industry”

That they will be boycotting because of instances of racism. He also opined that their boycott of the MFW will raise questions and draw attention to the racism practiced within the Australian fashion industry.

Thus, it will improve the conditions of the colored models who have been working in the Australian fashion industry and facing racism. 

The 29-year-old model said,

I worked with someone on set, and they used a racial slur in my presence thinking it was okay. That racial slur had to do with the oppression of black people, and I’m not sure if they understood that you can’t use that kind of language. We’ve come forward, we’ve broken this story not because it’s something we wanted to do – we had to do it because it can’t keep happening.”

As black models boycott Melbourne Fashion Week, questions arise about the inclusive image of the event. The Fashion Week has always projected itself as an event celebrating inclusivity.

It included people from different ethnicities, disabilities, and even individuals from the LGBTQ+ community.

About the incident of black models boycotting the MFW and examples of racism, a spokesperson from the City of Melbourne said,

“We were not aware of any concerns relating to diversity or race involving Melbourne Fashion Week. Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated.”

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