Luka Sabbat Details His Experience With “Whitewashing” in the Fashion Industry

Luka Sabbat explained why there's a lot of "whitewashing" within the fashion industry and how certain designers are helping to change beauty standards for the next generation.

By Lindsay Weinberg Feb 10, 2021 4:00 PMTags
Watch: Luka Sabbat on Why Representation Matters: Ones to Watch

Luka Sabbat has seen firsthand how the fashion industry is being changed for the better. 

The 23-year-old model told E! News that when he first began walking the runway 10 years ago, he was one of the only Black models getting cast in fashion shows. "They told my mom, 'It's just not what the market's looking for right now,'" he shared during our "Ones to Watch" series for Black History Month.

He feels there's a lot of "whitewashing" in the fashion world, though he noted, "What people used to call beautiful and pretty 10 years ago doesn't really necessarily stand now... There's a new standard of beauty."

Luka said modern shows and fashion campaigns feature "more interesting" models in terms of varying facial structures and races. 

The Grown-ish actor said, "Every year there's more representation of people like us... There's so much more to go, but I'm just so happy to know that my kid wouldn't have to deal with the same thing."

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He also feels that the Black Lives Matter movement has pushed the envelope and opened the door for people in Hollywood, with platforms like his, to ask, "How do we take the conversation forward?" 

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The self-described "Creative Entrepreneur" knows there is a lot of "drama, animosity and beef" in the entertainment industry, but he found it enlightening to see who has come together to support the cause of equality in recent months.

Luka went on to offer his advice to up-and-coming Black stars. "Black people are very fetishized," he said. "A lot of people want us to be a lot of things, but don't ever be something you don't want to be."

Watch his full interview above.

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