British fashion model Jourdan Dunn poses on the red carpet arriving at the BRIT Awards 2013 in London on February 20, 2013.   AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIE        (Photo credit should read ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)



Jourdan Dunn & Malaika Firth For Model Of The Year: Diversity On The Rise?

The 2015 British Fashion Award Nominees are here. As expected, Tom Ford and J.W. Anderson are topping the lists, as is Victoria Beckham. But the real news comes in the “Model of the Year” Category. Jourdan Dunn, Malaika Firth, and Georgia May Jagger were all nominated, and it’s the most diverse the category has ever been.

In case you needed more reason to turn up.

This is because not one but two models of color are nominated this year, something which has never happened in the category’s fourteen year history.

We can’t believe it either, Malaika.

Pop quiz time: The British Fashion Awards since been a thing since 1989, but their Model of the Year category didn’t show up until 2001. Alek Wek was nominated in 2006, and Jourdan Dunn was first nominated in 2008, where she became the first Model of Color to win the award. If a MoC is nominated every two years and that MoC is always Jourdan Dunn, how many have been nominated in total? Take into account that three models are nominated each year.

That’s right, kids. That means that Malaika Firth is only the third model of color to be nominated in fourteen years.


As strange as it may sound, this is yet another quietly optimistic sign of the changing times. As we’ve seen from various reports, diversity in the fashion industry is on the up and up. This year has seen models like Aya Jones and Lineisy Montero walk on every catwalk from here to Paris. Dior is only just now straying from the white zone by casting Rihanna as a campaign model, and Jourdan Dunn and Malaika Firth themselves seemed to have popped up on every billboard London had to offer. Firth has become the face of Burberry, Marc Jacobs, and Prada, while Jourdan became an official super model.  There is a change happening, even if we’ve never seen something move so slowly in our entire lives.

Jourdan knows.

Model diversity is especially important. We shouldn’t have to tell you this, but we’re going to anyway. We know and are insanely attracted to Tom Ford and Riccardo Tisci’s faces, but they aren’t what we think of when we see their names. Instead, we see Lineisy, Agyness Deyn, and more recently Lady Gaga. Models are meant to embody the highest form of beauty, and so to see someone who looks like you (okay, maybe a much better version of you) receive such admiration is profoundly important. So while we do love Georgia May Jagger, we’re hoping for just a little bit more color in the winner pool.

Photos via Tumblr and Inspiration By Color.

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