These past few days have had us feeling like the fashion industry is finally waking up. Designers like Zac Posen were taking huge strides and showing the world that diversity and inclusion are not only important but should be prioritized. Voices like Ashley B. Chew's were finally being heard, and the presence of black models was actually mattering. The other day, Victoria's Secret model Leomie Anderson had some hot tea to spill about her experience behind-the-scenes at NYFW.
The British beauty went off on Twitter about how frustrated she was of having to deal with makeup artists and hair stylists that were not prepared to work on someone like her—a woman of color. Anderson even photographed all of the foundations that a stylist came equipped with—of the twelve shades on the table, only one was dark enough for her skin tone. "Here are her foundations, yet she confidentially put her hand up to take me in her chair," she tweeted. (Anderson confessed that she often comes prepared with her own makeup.)
From there, she complained about how hair stylists never know how to do her hair, something that she has brought up before. Anderson pointed out how ironic it is that black artists know how to do everyone's makeup and hair, but are nowhere to be found backstage. "We need more makeup artists and hair [stylists] who are competent with all races backstage at shows," she tweeted in all caps.
Not too long ago, Jourdan Dunn openly criticized the appraisal of designers casting the bare minimum amount of minority models, and expressed how she refuses to be a token black girl for hire. It's already hard enough for models of color to get booked for shows, but for the crew on set to not be prepared to style them is almost as unsettling.
Clearly, every single area of the fashion industry needs to do better. Now that more people are addressing these issues head-on, we hope to see improvements made sooner.
Read the series of Anderson's tweets, below.
of course I get given to the makeup artist who had ONE brown foundation she was trying to mix with white on a sly because she's not equipped— Leomie Anderson (@LeLeValentine) February 17, 2016
Had to ask her straight "do you have foundation for my skin tone orrrr?" My girl started sweating and said "I like to mix brands"— Leomie Anderson (@LeLeValentine) February 17, 2016
Why is it that the black makeup artists are busy with blonde white girls and slaying their makeup and I have to supply my own foundation— Leomie Anderson (@LeLeValentine) February 17, 2016
Why is there more white makeup artists backstage than black when when black ones can do ALL races makeup?— Leomie Anderson (@LeLeValentine) February 17, 2016
Why is there only ever one black hairdresser backstage yet they need four hairdressers to inspect my weave?— Leomie Anderson (@LeLeValentine) February 17, 2016
Why can a white model confidentially sit in anyone's chair and feel confident they'll look okay but black models have to worry?— Leomie Anderson (@LeLeValentine) February 17, 2016
WE NEED MORE MAKEUP ARTISTS AND HAIR WHO ARE COMPETENT WITH ALL RACES BACKSTAGE AT SHOWS.— Leomie Anderson (@LeLeValentine) February 17, 2016