Models Praise 'Obama Effect'

"Oh, it's totally about Obama," Marcus Lloyd, a 22-year-old African American model told the New York Times of the recent influx of ethnically diverse models on New York Fashion Week runways. While change may not yet have to come to certain catwalks in Europe ("some casting sheets actually said 'No Blacks'," a model told the Times of men's shows in Milan this year), New York has seen an increasingly diverse mix of models on both men's and women's runways. As New York's The Cut points out, "Senegalese model Aminata Niaria closed for Charlotte Ronson and her fellow countrywoman Kinee Diouf closed Abaeté, Jason Wu picked Jourdan Dunn to open his show, which was perhaps a not-so-subtle tribute to his biggest fan, Michelle Obama."