Indian models rare in UK industry

Updated on Feb 16, 2008 06:34 PM IST
Even as Indian models are making waves abroad, Britain's fashion industry finds it difficult to recruit models from the Indian community. Read on for more.
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PTI | By, London

Britain's fashion industry finds it difficult to recruit models from the Indian community because parents of Indian-origin do not approve of their children entering the glamour industry. Carole White, co-founder of a model management agency, said on the last day of the London Fashion week yesterday that parental disapproval affected recruiting models from the Indian and Pakistan communities in Britain.

White also regretted that clients such as magazines and fashion designers were reluctant to use models of Asian or Afro-Caribbean origin because of their non-white colour.

It was difficult to find work in the fashion industry for non-white models, White added. "Sadly we are in the business where you stock your shelves with what sells. According to magazines, black models don't sell. People don't tend to talk about it," White said.

Model management companies here have been reportedly told by clients that they did not want any "ethnic minority" models to work on their projects. White's comments are expected to reopen one of the most sensitive debates within the fashion industry, where the presence of racism has been a cause of fierce resentment in the past,

The Independent

reported today.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said it was a misconception that black models were less versatile. Nick Knight, a fashion photographer, said the lack of non-white girls in the British fashion industry was "a pitiful reflection on the industry. But it's not just fashion, I work in film and advertising and it's the same level of racism".

Knight said that he had heard of editors not using black models on their covers because they believed they did not meet readers' expectations.

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