Jourdan Dunn Tweets That Stylists ‘Need To Learn How To Do Black Hair/Skin’

On Monday afternoon 21-year old British Supermodel Jourdan Dunn, apparently fed up with some unnamed stylist at Paris fashion week tweeted “I swear some people need to learn how to do black hair/skin”. While the tweet itself was born more out of frustration then a need to raise industry awareness on the issue it has done just that with multiple fashion news outlets seizing on the statement as an example of how much further diversity needs to go in the fashion industry.

Ms. Dunn, who three years ago was the first Black model to walk a Prada runway in over a decade and has since been the face of Burberry and a Victoria’s Secret Angel, walked in both the Emanuel Ungaro and Giambattista Valli shows. While she looked absolutely stunning on both runways, her tweet makes it obvious that her prep was not a smooth process and highlights an issue that many recent campaigners for runway diversity may have overlooked. While it is encouraging to see more and more non-Caucasian models walking the runways with each passing year, complaints that hair stylists and makeup artists don’t have the proper materials or experience to accommodate black models has been an issue since Naomi Campbell, the first black supermodel, hit the cover of British Elle back in 1986.

While there are celebrated black hair stylists and makeup artists such as Pat McGrath, they are a very small portion of the massive ranks of stylists, artists and other support staff whose behind the scenes work keeps the fashion industry’s runway shows humming. Perhaps Ms. Dunn’s tweet will raise awareness of the fact that while there are more non-white faces coming down the runways with each passing year, the fashion industry will not be truly diverse until ethnic diversity becomes widespread on both sides of the runway curtain.

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