The British Fashion Council is under fire this week due to racism claims issued in an anonymous letter by The Diversity Coalition, a political activism group lead by former model Bethann Hardison.
The letter primarily expresses consternation over the perception that designers in London do not employ an adequate number of black models to reflect the multicultural demographic of the British populace.
In response, a spokesperson for the British Fashion Council stated that they do "not organize model castings for London Fashion Week although, as its governing body, strongly asserts that all participating designers should recognize that London is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world and should consider reflecting this demographic at their shows and presentations."
The spokesperson continued by adding that the "the BFC is committed to model welfare and is more than happy to engage in tackling any issues regarding best practice and diversity at London Fashion Week."
The accusatory letter maligned the industry for excluding black models from its shows, stating that "Whether it's the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models reveals a trait that is unbecoming to modern society. It can no longer be accepted, nor confused by the use of the Asian model."
Stephen Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers for America (CFDA), told WWD that the CFDA had sent out a number of emails to participants of NYFW encouraging them to employ diversity.
Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture president Didier Grumbach, the president of the Chambre Syndicale in France, feels the accusations are "unreasonable" and stated that the Paris shows will feature designers from 22 nationalities.
Whether or not the accusations are truthful, the industry will be paying attention to who is walking the runway at the New York shows, and whether this latest accusation will cause a change in the level of diversity on the runways.