Models Candice Huffine and Precious Lee were recently asked to sit down in conversation for Harper’s Bazaar‘s new #WomenWhoDare series, to discuss the fashion industry’s continued diversity problems. In addition to touching upon how they continue to face adversity — from being told to loose weight, to makeup artists not knowing how to do Black hair — despite their success, the duo agreed on a very specific problem that can easily be fixed: That it shouldn’t be up to groundbreaking models to answer for the industry’s problems. Editors should turn those hard questions back on the industry itself.
“People ask me questions like, “Precious, what is it that you think can change the industry?” stated Lee. “I actually think a better question would be, why don’t you ask that designer why they aren’t making clothes for me? Why is the camera not turned around on the industry? Why is it on the models?”
“Who sometimes have so little say,” added Huffine. “I’m almost two decades in this career and I only just feel like I have a voice that’s being heard, only in the past few years, and that’s probably because of social media.”
New York fashion week continues to become more diverse season after season, which can in part be attributed to the power of social media pushing for more inclusion. But Lee and Huffine both understand that for real change take place the industry needs to be held accountable through real discussion.
“You see editors have conversations with designers all the time, but then the question never comes up: ‘why did you decide to exclude this large population of women that make up the average population in the entire United States of America?'” Lee continued. “Those are the questions and the boundaries that need to be pushed to really, really start to make a change. We’ve been throwing our hips and tits around for years and I am very grateful for my career being where it is in this short amount of time…but I feel like with the way things are progressing, there’s no excuse for it to be at this pace where we have wait and see each season what [the brands] are going to do.”