Transgender models have recently been getting lots of media attention. From Whoopi Goldberg’s reality TV show “Strut,” to H&M’s recent fall 2016 campaign featuring transgender models to Francisco Terra, creative director of Neith Nyer, sending four transgender models down the runway during the recent Paris Fashion Week, transgender models are gaining industry traction. But, this inclusion and industry traction did not only happen in Paris.
During New York Fashion Week: The Shows spring 2017 season Gypsy Sport had six transgender models in their show. And Hood by Air, Telfar, Chromat, Kim Shui, and Eckhaus Latta peppered their shows and presentations with transgenders. There are even two model management companies, Slay Models and Trans Models that cater exclusively to transgender models. And the embrace does not seem to slowing down.
“Absolutely, it’s growing,” Pamela Tapper, the casting agent for this season’s Gypsy Sport show, told Teen Vogue.“I think anybody that can wear these clothes should be represented on the runway.”
And represented they are. Since Andre Pejic, now Andreja Pejic, made headlines closing Jean-Paul Gaultier’s show in a wedding gown and having just as many fashion covers as both a woman and man, the industry has started making room for this burgeoning force in the industry.
As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battle it out in the run up to the Presidential Election, issues of race, gender quality and a living wage are front and center. Still, very few fashion pundits comment on the fact that when it come to models income equality is reversed. Male models make substantially less then female models. “The top 10 female models all make millions,” detailed Elizabeth Rose, Head of the Men’s Board at Premier Model Management. “Only the top three male models make over a million.”
Female supermodels can earn up to $50, 000 dollars walking in top designer’s runway show, while a male supermodel might earn comparatively a paltry $13,000. Not a small check by any stretch, but when compared to a female supermodel, the male supermodel makes three times less.
However, things are looking up. Because of social media, male supermodels like Lucky Blue Smith, Chad White, Sean O’Pry and Adonis Bosso are demanding larger fees. And they are getting it!!
Second time around for Ivy Park
The second collection for Beyoncé’s active wear brand, Ivy Park, has hit retail stores. The first collection that launched last April was a big success.
Following on the heels of its inaugural success, the fall 2016 collection includes active wear pieces such as cut-away tank tops, boxy shaped hoodies and t-shirts, oversized sweats, puffa jackets, bodysuits and crop tops. The collection draws inspiration from menswear items with a heavy nod toward layering and bold color blocking.
Prices range from $11 for accessories to $38 dollars for joggers. Ivy Park can be found in Topshop, Zalando, Selfridges, Net-A-Porter, JD Sports, Nordstrom, Hudson’s Bay, Zalora, Namshi, The Iconic Glue Store and Myer, as well as online.
Shame, shame, shame
Garment workers in Southern India are being forced into crippling debt due to starvation wages imposed by Dutch retailers. Workers are paid an average of 90 euros a month according to a survey done of 10 garment factories in and around Bengaluru in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
Surprisingly many of the Dutch retailers that are paying such abominably low wages have acknowledged the importance of a living wage. The Dutch retailers in question include Coolcat, G-Star, The Sting, MEXX Europe, McGregor Fashions, Scotch & Soda, Suitsupply, WE Fashion and C&A.
“Workers cannot properly support their families with this wage,” said the report, “Doing Dutch”, co-authored by Clean Clothes Campaign, the India Committee of the Netherlands, Asia Floor Wage Alliance and Cividep India in a Reuters article.
“Food and housing, usually a one-room apartment without a water tap and with a shared toilet outdoors, are the biggest expenses. Almost everyone would like to buy healthier and more varied food, but is unable to do that because of low wages.”
The textile industry in India is a $40 billion dollar a year industry with most of its workers coming from Southern India. The Indian textile industry employs over $45 million workers.
“We expect garment companies to make a concrete plan for a living wage for all workers and to make sure that their procurement price enables the suppliers to pay a living wage,” Gerard Oonk, director of the India Committee of the Netherlands, said in a statement.
—William S. Gooch