Indya Moore got creative. The model and Pose star turned laundry bins, chairs and pieces of styrofoam into improvised camera stands for filming socially remote countryside. Moore is just one of many models who became their own photographer, stylist and / or glamor team during the lockdown. Moore appreciated the creative freedom, but also felt a sudden pressure to present a backdrop for the brand, insisting not to be “in an aesthetically trendy quarantine space.”
It’s easy to romanticize modeling as a career, but many models live salary to salary just like all other gig workers. Sara Ziff, Founder and Executive Director of Model Alliance, is helping them through these strange times, whether it’s to make sure they get adequate compensation for the many new skills they’ve had to master, or to help them learn. declare themselves unemployed. . A survey the group conducted with Cornell’s Worker Institute earlier this year revealed major financial gaps between respondents of color and their white peers. “Black respondents, in particular, were much more likely to say that they would not be able to meet their basic needs without [new] income, ”Ziff says.
The issue of inclusion also arises when it comes to parades and photoshoots, whenever these return in their non-socially distant form. It’s just as crucial for those working behind the camera as it is for those in front, says Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models & Fashion. “When a model is on set, I think it’s important for them to see people with shared experiences, to see each other. Our role is to sign the black talent, [promote] visibility, and absolutely focus on pay equity. ”
Says Moore: “I hope fashion designers and designers take the time right now to educate themselves on the real situation of people, so that they understand why it is so important to represent these people on their catwalks and in their brands. Fashion can change in so many ways, but one of the ways it hasn’t changed is its representation; it’s always one or two blacks. Not seeing me on a track for so many years, not seeing me in the media, not seeing me anywhere? It really makes you question your self-esteem. “
This article appears in the September 2020 issue of ELLE.
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