leomie anderson says fashion still doesn’t “accept black girls”
The British model thinks things are getting better, but is concerned in particular with discrimination against darker black skin tones and casting practices in Milan.
British model Leomie Anderson, who became almost a household name as an emerging talent and breakout star of the Channel 4 series The Model Agency, has spoken out about the treatment of black models, particularly those with darker skin tones, in the fashion industry.
"I definitely feel that there has been a lot of improvement in the industry with [the] use of black models, but I would definitely say that it has a long way to go especially with regards to shade," Anderson told the BBC, explaining that, "Lighter skinned girls get more work than darker skinned girls".
Though she says she has never had issues in London or New York as a black model, she has had problems at castings in Milan and Paris. "Milan's still very behind when it comes to using a lot more diversity in their shows," she says, adding that "Sometimes they say stuff like 'Oh, you know, we're not using any Africans in our shows this season', and I'm like 'Eh? What do you mean?'. But the thing is it's because they actually just don't know. They're just so behind, it's appalling, yes, but it happens and it's one of those things that you can't hold on to it for too long. I can't just hold the anger in for too long or else you know I'd be angry all the time".
Though Anderson says that she has been rejected from jobs because of the shade of her skin, she does think progress is being made: "My friend Maria [Borges], who's walking in the Victoria's Secret show, she's walking with her natural hair. So there [are] definitely things that are happening that are positive".