Fashion Month Fall 2022 felt like a return to form. Not only did we witness an uptick when it came to street style, the number of in-person shows jumped. Although the face masks spotted in the front rows remind us that the pandemic is still impacting the industry.
With the return of more live presentations, diversity was up across almost all categories. We’re talking race, size and gender. (The former two experienced significant improvement.) In fact, the only area where it faltered was the booking of models over 50. Which proves there’s still work to do.
Keep reading to see how Fashion Month Fall 2022 fared.
Fall 2022 is the most racially diverse season ever. Well, barely. We examined 4,409 model appearances across 193 major presentations and discovered a slight increase from Spring 2022’s 48 percent models of color to 48.6 percent. It’s progress, but we were hoping for a bigger bump.
Not surprisingly, New York was the most racially diverse city with 54.9 percent nonwhite models. London followed at 50.9 percent. Paris just edged out Milan with 46.3 percent and 45.2 percent models of color, respectively.
While Paris and Milan were at the bottom this season, they actually showed a marked improvement from Spring 2022. The City of Light rose from 43.9 percent in Spring 2022 and Italy’s fashion capital climbed from 43.3 percent nonwhite models. Interestingly, both New York and London’s numbers were down. For Spring 2022, the Big Apple rang in at 55.5 percent, while they reached 52.4 percent models of color across the pond.
We’re pleased to report that more than half of the top 12 models of Fashion Month Fall 2022 were women of color. Venezuelan beauty América González earned the top spot with an impressive 29 appearances. The United States’ own Sherry Shi followed close behind with 28.
Nigerian stunner Victoria Fawole was next with 26, while Chinese model Yilan Hua had 25. Both Russian beauty Tanya Churbanova and Kenyan Caren Jepkemei racked up 23. Canadian model Awar Odhiang had 22 under her belt. French beauty Loli Bahia and Senegalese/Italian stunner Maty Fall followed with 21 apiece. South Korean model Sora Choi, Belgium’s Louise Robert and androgynous model Miriam Sanchez round out the list with 20 each.
The Fall 2022 season saw an improvement when it comes to size diversity with a record 103 plus-size appearances or 2.34 percent of total castings. (A good portion went to models of color.) Compare that to Spring 2022’s 81 which accounted for only 1.81 percent of all castings, although it was enough to give it the number three spot. The second highest season was actually Spring 2020 with 86 plus-size castings.
New York was responsible for a majority of the castings with 51. Milan brought 20, Paris 17 and London 15.
There were many familiar faces. Paloma Elsesser was the most booked plus-size model in New York walking in six shows. She added to her tally with three London appearances, two in Milan and three in Paris. Precious Lee racked up four in New York, one in Milan and one in Paris. Jill Kortleve boasted two in New York, two in Milan and one in Paris. Sabina Karlsson spread her appearances across three cities: London (two), Milan (two) and Paris (one).
We hope the number of plus-size model appearances for Spring 2023 breaks this season’s record. Stay tuned.
While far from a record, Fall 2022 saw a jump in gender representation. Last season there were only 41 transgender and non-binary model appearances. This season that number increased to 59 or 1.34 percent of total castings. Although Spring 2019 still reigns supreme thanks to its 91 appearances.
Once again, New York led the charge with 24 appearances. Paris had 13, London 12 and Milan only 10. The latter only booked one nonwhite model, indigenous non-binary model Valentine Alvarez, who also appeared over in Paris.
Sadly, size and age representation weren’t represented in the transgender and non-binary appearances.
Age representation took a tumble this season. Spring 2022 brought us 35 over-50 model appearances or 0.78 percent of total castings. But for Fall 2022, there were only 23 or 0.52 percent of total castings. That’s way down from Fall 2020’s high of 44.
Paris made up the majority with 15 aged castings. New York had four, Milan three and London only one (Elisabetta Dessy walking for Act N.1). The return of 90s supermodels was a big reason Paris led the way. Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Helena Christensen appeared in Off-White’s tribute show to Virgil Abloh.
MOST AND LEAST DIVERSE SHOWS
Although in-person shows dominated, lookbooks still had an impact on diversity for Fall 2022. When it came to actual runway presentations, Victor Glemaud came out on top with 100 percent racial diversity. All 27 models who walked the runway were models of color. Bibhu Mohapatra also rang in at 100 percent with all 17 models being women of color.
The least diverse list is where the lookbooks and digital offerings come into play. Technically, Valentin Yudashkin topped this list with zero models of color out of nine. Then there was Vivetta with zero out of three.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi had just 13 percent with 2 out of 15. Elisabetta Franchi and Daniela Gregis both came in at 18 percent with 10 of 56 and 3 of 17, respectively.
Fashion Month Fall 2022 certainly had its ups and downs. Happy to see racial diversity inch upward, albeit at a less-than-desirable pace. The upticks in size and gender were also great. Of course, we also wish those numbers were higher. The decline in over-50 models is definitely cause for concern. We don’t think it’s too much to ask that notable increases cross all categories. We just hope we have better news for Spring 2023.
Additional reporting by Mark E.
Only women and non-binary models are included in this data. Models of color are categorized as those who are nonwhite or of mixed backgrounds.