African print fashion illustration about Laura Volpintesta

Fashion Runway Diversity

Fashion Runway Diversity

(and education diversity, and media diversity,…)

I started my business years ago

and became a designer LONG BEFORE THAT.

Not only that, but before I even went to Parsons School of Design to become a designer, I had a vision.

And it was very personal, and super-strong.

I wanted diversity.

I WANTED MORE.

I LOVED diversity.

In 1990 when I graduated from high school, and the years leading up to that,I didn’t watch runway shows.  They weren’t that accessible at all.

BUT I DEVOURED MAGAZINES.

And the magazines were showing such a diverse world.  There were so many “supermodels” of so many ethnicities and styles.   There is no small or simple way to describe how excited I felt, how peaceful, how happy, how right it felt to see women or different cultural backgrounds, bloodlines, nations and body types come together. Even adrogynous style was coming to the front, side-by-side with voluptuous glamour.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED

but it stopped. Things got really pale and thin and depressed for a long stretch after that.

But I never stopped remembering how I felt, how good and excited and happy I felt to see beauty in all shapes and races. It made me realize that I actually felt closer to people of “other” races and cultures as I read about them, admired them, and saw them celebrated.

Deep down,

I know that’s what I want, and I can’t help think that’ s what everyone wants,

When I went into fashion, I had the vision that if I was one of those people designing those clothes, I could be creating the ads that were influencing people to see “other” people  a certain way.

I wanted to harness the power of the media to change the way people saw EACH OTHER

Whether it’s Fashion Runway Diversity, or Fashion Magazine Diversity.

Whether it’s Age, Race, Size, or Style diversity, I just know one thing.

IT FEELS GOOD.

Diverse classrooms, diverse images, diverse perspectives.

Contrast is the juice of life.

How do YOU feel about this topic?

I can’t say I’ve acheived my goal that was born when I was about 17 years old, but guess what?

I’m not going anywhere and I’ve still got time.

If you want to join me

as we flood the interwebs with images of ourselves, beautiful women of the world as we are, I welcome you with open arms. Let’s do it.

A few years ago my research led me to  learn about the Diversity Coalition that Naomi Campbell, Bethann Hardison, and Iman (all prominent fashion models) started to call out major fashion labels for their lack of diversity. I applaud them.

Especially here in the United States

I feel we need this so bad. As a collective, we all have so much healing to do  around race and culture, to come together and learn about each other, acknowledge our histories and embrace our futures.

But as a globe too.

I was so excited when African- American Designer Tracey Reese shared my fashion illustration on her instagram page last year. I was so called to sketch it because she made it a point to make fashion runway diversity MATTER in her marketing.

I applaud her (and it just so happens she is one of the 25 fashion designers featured in my book the Language of Fashion Design. – check it out on Google play for the digital ebook edition so you can read right away,  or click here to order the real paper deal.

Here are the covers of the different language editions: Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French… talk about diversity!

I’m so excited about that because I made a point of using

diverse images and designers

throughout the book.

Please leave a review if you check out the book!!!!!

Love Laura

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