US Modeling Agency Steps Toward Diversity in Fashion
Over the past few decades modeling has expanded to include people of different ages races and sizes
but for Brianna Mariah founder of We Speak Model Agency agencies still do not embrace enough diversity
so in 2012 she opened her own agency despite some skepticism.
When I started we speak I remember a very distinct meeting where I had feedback from up here
and she was like yeah that's not gonna work.
Your board is too all over the place
there's already plus size agencies like that's already a thing.
And I kept doing what I was doing and I was like this isn't a plus size agency
this is where we all come together and celebrate each other.
Today she works with over 130 models of different builds heights genders and races.
There are models with Down syndrome and with skin conditions
and they have all found their way to magazine covers, ads and catwalks,
making a statement about equality and body positivity.
Washington DC based model Daniel Sauder says it's a good time to build diversity in the fashion industry.
Having more diverse models of all heights of all sizes of all shapes of all genders of all races is you know very
it's really starting to flourish more than it has ever been.
Sauder says social networks have helped recruiters find new and diverse models for AD campaigns.
She credits her instagram blog for helping to launch her career in 2014
when she joined a washington DC modeling agency.
But some more conventional models say
they are now being criticized and accused of promoting unrealistic expectations.
Vladislikova is one of the most popular Russian models in the west.
There is a new imbalance taking place, I am the way I am
and people are now criticizing me for making others feel uncomfortable in their own bodies.
So I am to blame for simply being me, it is a complex and loaded issue
and of course I'd love to have some balance.
Some say one example is the decision by popular lingerie brand Victoria's Secret to stop working with long time models known as angels.
I don't think that they should have canceled the angels
I think that they should have made them more inclusive.
I think that they should have kept the program and you know when you look at Victoria's Secret has always been very like sexy.
Why can't all people be sexy? Look at Fenty for example Rihanna's line
they've done a fantastic job of all sizes all genders.
Victoria's Secret models now range from actress Priyanka Chopra to professional soccer player Megan Rapino.
I like the tendency to take interest in the personality of the model.
It's not a pretty picture anymore.
Now people want to know more about the model and it's awesome.
A changing industry for changing times.
Karina Befriending for VOA news Washington.