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8 Fashion Photographers On Why Diversity Is Harder Than It Looks

8 Fashion Photographers On Why Diversity Is Harder Than It Looks

At every turn, the fashion industry's key players are using their social platforms to call out its biggest issues — racism, sexual harassment, body diversity — both on and off the catwalk. But as brought up most recently by editors at The Cut and Fashionista, the streets are still a popularity contest: those in the photos are thin, white, and famous. On top of ebbing interest in street style as an outlet for inspiration, it'd seem the art of documenting current trends, and the people who wear them, feels more dated than ever. But it's going to take more than outrage to fix them, because diversity in street style is much more complicated to achieve than diversity on the runways. But don't take our word for it.

After asking a group of street style photographers, from Tommy Ton

to Melodie Jeng, a series of questions on the state of diversity in the industry, the imbalance between diversity on the runway and the streets, and just why we're all so angry, their answers highlight a problem that inspires a lot of tweets, but no real solutions. Not everyone agreed to comment, with a few of them not even allowed to by the publications that employ them.

In the beginning, we liked street style because it wasn't about celebrities — it was about real people. But then real people became celebrities and iPhones replaced a craft that, like most things in fashion, was forced to evolve. Because of this, we're seeing the unconscious bias play out in street style as it did with runway, and the focus of the industry's criticism has shifted. Not until now are people starting to notice the real trends — and we're not talking about clothes.

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