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As 2015 draws to a close, Fashionista analyzed 136 covers published by 10 leading U.S. fashion magazines to see how the fashion industry is doing in terms of diversity. It turns out 2015 looks a lot like 2014, in terms of fashion magazine covers overwhelmingly featuring white models and stars.
In 2015, 27 of 136 magazine issues featured women of color on the cover, while in 2014, 27 of 137 covers featured models of color. The count went from 19.7% cover stars of color last year to 19.8% this year, according to Fashionista. For this study, Fashionista defined non-white to include those of mixed race and of Latino or Hispanic descent.
The magazine with the most diversity in terms of covers went to InStyle, which ran issues covered by Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana, Eva Longoria, Sofia Vergara, and Mindy Kaling this year. Last year, InStyle's cover stars were all white except for one cover. Teen Vogue had four covers with women of color in 2015, as opposed to one last year.
Meanwhile, both Harper's Bazaar and Nylon showcased only one woman of color this year on their covers. That's the same as last year for Harper's, while Nylon feature four non-white cover stars last year. Fashionista has it that Cosmo only had two women of cover on its magazine this year (Nicki Minaj and Demi Lovato), an improvement over last year where Chrissy Teigen was the only non-white face. But no matter who is on the cover, magazine sales are on a downward trajectory, even as editors return to the same pool of cover candidates. See more statistics on individual magazines over at Fashionista.