Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Written by Nael Ameen.
It’s 2021 and nearly all fashion spreads, major magazines and creative industries have actively taken a stance that is pro-diversity. But how much of this is truly authentic? Time and time again faces of color are celebrated in front of the camera, but not behind the lens. Despite 40.2% of Londoners belonging to BAME backgrounds (UK Census, 2021), it is shocking how few people of color are given to fill creative positions.
Anecdotal reports from young creatives of color sadly convey a pattern - which is that for the
majority, the creative world fronts a façade of inclusivity but in reality, BAME creatives are exploited. Institutions and companies continually perpetuate opportunities for wealthy white young people, as often internships are full-time and unpaid. However it is undeniable that the high fashion world borrows, or should we say steals from minority ethnic cultures, without proper credit or more importantly - collaboration.
The motif of cherry picking simply for aesthetic is becoming unnervingly prominent in today’s creative landscape. But we’re fighting back. Collectives such as AZEEMA, Gal-Dem and Hungama are consciously carving comfortable spaces for young creatives to thrive in. We are no longer asking for respect in the creative community, we aren’t even demanding it - because we are establishing it for ourselves.