Lais Ribeiro refuses to walk in Milan Fashion Week due to two instances of discrimination.
The Brazilian model has worked for Victoria’s Secret since 2010 but really shot to fame when she was chosen to wear the Fantasy Bra at the lingerie giant’s fashion extravaganza held in Shanghai, China last November (17).
Lais has also walked the runway for the likes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs but has now shared that she has no interest in returning to Italy’s main fashion event after encountering two instances of racism.
“Of course (representation) has to be better every year, but it still has a way to go,” she told Coveteur.com. “For example, I don’t go to Milan anymore. I used to love Milan, and they’re just like, ‘Oh, we have enough black girls here, you don’t need to come.’ There were two times that they said that, and I was like, ‘Is this for real?’ It has to be better, but it’s a little bit more open for us.”
Lais did not name any specific designers in her interview. But the brunette beauty, who has been focused on her commitments with Victoria’s Secret of late, is certain that many people in the industry are making strides when it comes to inclusivity and diversity.
One person she singled out was British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, who cast her in the Black Issue of Vogue Italia in 2008 alongside the likes of Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn.
“Edward was always a supporter since I started my career, so it’s exciting to see him being so successful. I did Italian Vogue with all the black girls. I loved that editorial. It was really beautiful, and he was just so nice,” the 27-year-old recalled. “I didn’t speak English yet at that time, and there were a couple girls I already knew at the job speaking Spanish with me. I think Arlenis (Sosa) was there and Ajak (Deng), Iman. He’s always trying to represent and to help push through because it’s a little hard to be out there.”
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