The fashion industry contributes a large part to the economic welfare of society by bringing fulfillment of the standards of clothing and opportunities for trade and jobs. As the fashion industry is considered to be one of the fastest-growing and most influential industries globally, the fashion industry still needs some progress regarding cultural diversity. Recently, the fashion industry has been scrutinized by fashion journalists for its racial inequality, structural racism, and lacking representation of people of color (POC). This lack of representation is of great influence as the fashion industry is considered to be a figurehead of what is seen as beautiful, attractive, or acceptable. Therefore, this racial issue deserves to be explored further. This study aims to explore the perception of fashion journalists on cultural diversity within the Dutch fashion industry to create a better understanding of why the fashion industry lacks cultural diversity. Therefore, it presents the following research question: ‘’How do fashion journalists perceive cultural diversity within the fashion industry?’’ Various studies show that the lack of representation of POC is due to the structural racism that exists within fashion. Various studies have been conducted on racial inequality, cultural diversity, and representation of POC in the fashion industry of the US, but less attention is paid to how Dutch fashion journalists perceive this in The Netherlands. The Dutch fashion industry is also considered to have a lack of cultural diversity and therefore could be explored further. Based on in-depth interviews with twelve fashion journalists and the use of thematic analysis, the findings show the demand for representation of POC within fashion. Moreover, the results have shown that cultural diversity is not considered to be the end goal, but rather a constant development that needs to be attained. It explains how the lack of diversity is still present within the fashion industry as organizations either consider cultural diversity as not a priority, not beneficial, or simply do not know to be culturally diverse. This caused them to apply unethical efforts to become culturally diverse by only doing superficial work rather than looking internally. Fashion journalists believe that cultural diversity has no finish line and requires a continuous effort of development from all players within the industry.

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Rian Koreman
Media & Creative Industries
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Naomi Soryah Suryanti Martosoewondo. (2022, June 27). The Race to Cultural Diversity A qualitative study on journalists' perception of cultural diversity in fashion. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from