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    The fashion industry is known to be homogenous with most of models being skinny and white. However, each year and especially in 2016 new models break through to represent the set standards of beauty. Sputnik takes a look at some of these unconventional models.

    Based on the analysis of the annual Fashion Spot in 2016, some 29 per cent of glossy magazine covers were filled with dark-skinned girls. This is a record.

    In October, Fashion Spot also analyzed shows such as Fashion Week in New York, Milan, Paris and London and among those models on the catwalks, 25.4 percent were dark skinned. This is the highest figure in the history of fashion.

    Dark Skinned Beauties

    Similarly, in May 2016 the winner of the contest “Woman of the Year” according to Playboy magazine was an African-American, 31-year-old model Eugena Washington.

    Dark-skinned women have rarely before achieved such a success as it is well known that the magazine’s founder Hugh Hefner preferred to select fair-skinned blondes.



    Despite this tendency, dark skinned girls still make the cover of glossy magazines much less than their white colleagues. For example, dark skinned actress Lupita Nyong'o was on magazine covers five times in 2016.

    On the other hand, the white model named Gigi Hadid was on the cover 14 times, whereas her sister Bella, eight times.

    Similarly, fashion publications such as the Harper's Bazaar, Love, Marie Claire UK, Porter, Vogue Germany, French and Dutch versions of Vogue have not represented any dark-skinned models on their covers in 2016.

    Plus-Sized Models

    In 2016, American model Ashley Graham became the first fashion model with “curves” to be selected for the cover page of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine.

    Editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman said that it is a mystery why despite the fact that the world is desperately asking for acceptance of various definitions of physical beauty, some well-known brands are dictating a reversing trend.

    According to the editor, the fashion world should take in a variety of different types of models for photo shoots and advertising campaigns. “We need more opportunities for plus-sized women and not just a corner with larger sized clothes in shopping centers.”


    This is lingerie that’s meant to be seen. My new #AshleyGraham Seductive collection NOW available at @dillards! #sexystateofmind

    Фото опубликовано A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@theashleygraham) Ноя 8 2016 в 4:00 PST


    Albino Model

    Beauty comes in different sizes and colors. Diandra Forrest who is 27 and an albino created a storm with her arrival into the fashion industry. She is always a favorite now for photo shoots of major brands, catwalks and leading American publications.

    She has starred in music videos for Kanye West and Beyoncé as well. It is possible that soon Forrest will be seen in a movie.


    Feeling Royal in last nights runway show for @lanyucoutureofficial 👑

    Фото опубликовано Diandra Forrest (@diandraforrest) Сен 14 2016 в 12:20 PDT


    Model with Vitiligo Skin Condition

    A 22-year-old model, Winnie Harlow [nee Chantel Brown-Young] suffers from a rare disease — vitiligo, a violation of skin pigmentation. Her body is covered in large white spots and it is not possible to hide the spots with any clothing or cosmetics.

    Harlow was born in Canada and her childhood was a tough one because she was teased and called names because of her skin condition. She has admitted to repeatedly have considered committing suicide but somehow she found the strength to overcome her circumstances.

    She decided that her vocation was to become a model. However, no matter how much she sent her photos to various agencies, she faced failures. The conservative fashion world could not accept her as she did not “fit into the standards.”

    Nonetheless, her luck changed when she got noticed by a famous fashion show “America's Next Top Model” and from that moment her life transformed.


    ❤️Love you!! In case nobody told you today!

    Фото опубликовано ♔Don Pablo♔ (@winnieharlow) Дек 14 2016 в 11:09 PST


    The late king of pop, Michael Jackson also suffered from vitiligo. In his youth his skin was dark but in the 1980s it began to lighten. Many people thought that he bleached his skin on purpose to look like a European. However, in 1986 the actor was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus. To hide the pigmentation on his skin, Jackson used a lot of cosmetics.

    Transgender Model

    Ashley Leith, 26-year-old is a muscular brunette now but earlier he used to be a girl. He was born into a very religious family but that did not stop him from acquiring a sex change when he was 19.

    Following his surgery, Leith started actively engaging in sports and taking hormones. He was quickly noticed by modeling agencies and took part in Fashion Week in New York and also did many photo-shoots for big fashion houses.

    #flashback to walking in the men's fashion show at #Amfar2016, thanks to @trewproductions and @tomleonardis.

    Фото опубликовано Laith Ashley [De La Cruz]🇩🇴 (@laith_ashley) Дек 9 2016 в 12:55 PST

    Model with Down-Syndrome

    Madeleine Stewart from Australia is only 19 years old but she has repeatedly appeared on various fashion catwalks and recently she finished her first advertising contract.

    She was born with the Downs syndrome but Stewart never doubted herself and her abilities.

    The model was actively engaged in sports, she then joined Instagram and now she has 133 thousand followers. She participates in various photo shoots and has said that her inspiration is the actress, Jamie Bruyere, who also has down-syndrome and became famous for her role in the famous TV series American Horror Story.




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