anger after bella hadid leads catwalk of all-white models to beyoncé’s formation

The social super’s star turn on an Australian runway has turned to controversy over the use of the black pride anthem on a white-out catwalk.

by Charlotte Gush
17 May 2016, 3:55pm

Bella Hadid's star turn during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia has turned to controversy after the social super lead a troupe of all-white models down the runway to Beyoncé's black pride anthem Formation.

The LA native was flown out to Australia for an exclusive appearance on the Mischa Gold catwalk -- with tabloid headlines focusing on the apparent 'scandal' of her moving hotels, but when her agency IMG posted a video to Instagram, fans were rather more concerned about the mismatch between the casting of the show and the soundtrack chosen.

"How you gonna use black songs but not black people smh," one person commented on the video, with another adding "vomit white people belittling the meaning behind formation" and another noting, "This song is an ode to powerful black women around the world, so where are the black women???".

Protests soon spread from Instagram around the internet -- anywhere that the image of Bella stood at the apex of a group of all-white models was shown. "Love the collection, but music?," a follower has written on the brand's Facebook page, continuing: "Formation played & no black models? That's okay my family went through 300 years slavery for nothing for the current generation to appropriate our history as a people. So disappointed. #educationdontdiscriminate".

The incident adds insult to the continued injury of white-out runways around the world. Although catwalk diversity is ever so slowly increasing, the spring/summer 16 shows in New York were still 71.6% white according to the Fashion Spot's seasonal reporting, with the corresponding ad campaigns presenting 78.2% white models. There is clearly still a very, very long way to go.


Text Charlotte Gush
Photography via Mischa Collection Facebook

Bella Hadid
mischa gold