Why model Leomie Anderson is saying 'NO'

Story highlights

  • Lack of diversity is widely accepted to be a key issue in the fashion industry
  • Model Leomie Anderson has often voiced the challenges she faces as a black model

(CNN)Lack of diversity is arguably one of the biggest issues facing the fashion industry.

British model Leomie Anderson is more vocal than most on the subject.
    Earlier this year, during New York Fashion Week, she took to Twitter to voice her outrage on the subject when she was paired with an ill-equipped make-up artist who was unable to work with her skin tone.
    "Why is it that the black make-up artists are busy with blonde, white girls and slaying their make-up and I have to supply my own foundation?" she tweeted.
    She's by no means the first to speak out on the issue.
    Most recently Naomie Campbell, who set up the initiative Balance Diversity with activist Bethan Hardisson and ex-supermodel Iman, echoed Leomie's concerns in an interview with Teen Vogue: "When I was younger, I encountered this same issue. I would be backstage at shows and there would be stylists who didn't have any experience working with black models."
    Leomie walked for Victoria Secret for the first time last year.
    In the premier episode of CNN Style's "Soapbox" series -- where key creative and industry figures speak passionately about an issue of their choosing -- Leomie expands upon her previous comments.
    "When black models do speak out I feel like the first thing people say is, 'oh she's fierce, oh she's a diva.' It's nothing to do with me being a diva it's just that I want to feel as comfortable as a white model when I go out on the runway."
    Signed to Premier Model Management in London, she first came to the public's attention in 2011 through Channel 4's fly-on-the-wall documentary series, The Model Agency.
    In "Soapbox" video above, Anderson dishes on the challenges of being a black model.
    Leomie has walked for the likes of Jeremy Scott, Ashish and Kanye West, and made her Victoria Secret debut last year.
    In addition to her successful modeling career she launched her own blog in 2012, which often describes her experiences in the industry.