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Net-A-Porter opened up its invitation-only social shopping app, the Net Set, to the public yesterday and it's coming under fire for the lack of diversity featured in the app's Style Council. The Council is a selection of 16 women that app users can follow and see what products they are recommending; right now, the lineup includes Natalie Joos, Julia Sarr-Jamois, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Jennifer Fisher, Giovanna Battaglia, Quentin Jones, Sarah Rutson, Erin Wasson, Poppy Delevingne, Hanneli Mustaparta, Elin Kling, Liberty Ross, Chloe Norgaard, Nicole Warne, Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea, and Laura Bailey.
The lack of diversity is painfully obvious especially in the promo shots for the app, which Net-A-Porter shared on the app's Instagram account yesterday. Shiona Turini, a well-known fashion consultant in the industry, commented on the photo, saying: "The lack of diversity is appalling, but certainly not surprising. I checked out the app and out of the 16 Style Council members, one was black. Maybe there are more and I didn't go too deep into the app, but sadly that's all I saw. In fact, even in the 'style tribes' area there were tons of inspiring fashion focused images of which NONE included diverse faces. In 2015 it's just unacceptable."
Others chimed in: "I completely agree with @shionat of course this is shocking, but definitely not surprising," @chimmylawyer commented. "Through years of both working in and researching the fashion industry, I can only describe cases like this as a complete ignorance for the purchasing power of ethnic minorities."
Net-A-Porter only responded once in the comment section. When @designerpatience asked, "No Black Females??" (the promo shot on Instagram only includes Nicole Warne, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Laura Bailey, Poppy Delevingne, and Chloe Norgaard), the retailer responded by saying, "Unfortunately not all 16 of our Style Council members were available for this particular cover shoot, however you can meet them on The NET SET app. We'd also love to hear your suggestions for who else you would like to see on the Style Council in future."