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Modeling Agency Targets Non-White Models For Representation




By Dana C. Ayres

In a world where the standards of beauty often involve the likes of the tall, blond and blue-eyed, it is quite refreshing to know there is an alternative for the beautiful people of color. tells an inspiring story about a London modeling agency that caters, exclusively to people of color.  Lorde, Inc. modeling agency is just over a year old and takes great pride in being a stalwart in the fashion world for non-white symbols of beauty.

“There’s still not a massive demand because this is still a radical idea and people in fashion are not really ready for it.” These are the words spoken by the founder of Lorde, Inc., Nafisa Kaptownwala.  The Canadian art history graduate started the agency in May 2014 with a friend.  It was revolutionary; being the first of its kind and created by a person with no modeling industry experience. Kaptownwala understands the great value of her creation, often realizing that, even if models of color are more visible in 2015, there’s still not enough to fill the great void that exists on the catwalks and in photo shoots.  “How does that make me feel? In general I think, as a person of colour, you internalize. Creating this agency is a way to channel those feelings,” she says. Despite, Lorde, Inc. working with magazines such as Dazed & Confused and i-D, and collaborations with London streetwear brand Cassette Playa, Kaptownwala is still pessimistic about diversity in modelling in 2015.

Perhaps the greatest asset Kaptownwala has in the creation of Lorde, Inc. is her bravery and fortitude amid greater demands for “White” faces…

Kaptownwala stated in the article that her agency serves a particularly “exotic” interest within the fashion industry by fulfilling niches.  While agencies that deal mostly with White models get plenty of demands.  She also stated that, strangely, there were more models on the catwalks in the 90’s then there are now.  Where are the Naomi Campbells and the Tyson Beckfords when you need them?

It appears that just like anywhere else in life, people of color, especially those of African descent within the fashion industry, have to be twice and stunning and work a little bit harder to get regular work.  To this fact, Lorde, Inc. stands as a lighthouse at the shores of a turbulent and highly-competitive fashion industry…

Nafisa…girl, you bettah werk!   Share your thoughts.


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