The Daily Grind Video

Pop quiz: How many fashion magazine covers featured models of color this year? That’s the question The Fashion Spot set out to answer with its 2014 Diversity Report, and the answer is unsurprisingly disappointing.

According to the report, there were an incredibly disproportionate number of models of color on the front page of our favorite fashion glossies compared to white ones. And in other news, water is wet.

We looked at 44 major print magazines from around the world to see just how big the disparity was in terms of racial representation in 2014. Out of 611 total covers (this includes issues that had multiple covers), white models appeared 567 times, while people of color* made 119 appearances. That’s almost five times more covers for white models. (By model we mean anyone who appears on a cover, even if they’re not an actual model.)

If you do your maths, 119 appearances out of a total of 686 magazine covers equals 17.3 percent. That’s an F. Fashion magazines have failed.

The most notable offenders include Harper’s Bazaar U.S. and U.K., British VogueTeen VogueLOVE, and Porter magazine. Out of all their covers, none of them featured a single model of color this year.

Vogue India and Italia, on the other hand, both used more women of color than ever before.

This data is especially interesting when you consider Merriam-Webster recently named “culture” the word of the year, and the amount of it in fashion in magazines and on the runways this year. Not culture in the sense of the presence of more people of color, but in the sense of cultural appropriation, which there was a whole lot of. See: here, here, and here.

Hey, fashion? We feel like a broken record saying this, but let’s do better next year, please and thanks.


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