Back in 2012, Vogue Italia recognized a hot trend of natural hair on the runway during the Fall 2012 fashion shows. Some of the brave models that unapologetically showed off their natural manes in the Fall 2012 shows were Herieth Paul, Ajak Deng, Akuol de Mabior, Flaviana Mataka, Nana Keita, and Elyce Cole . Vogue Italia was in awe of this display of kinks, coils, and curls on black models while they strutted their stuff in high fashion: “it is uplifting then to see the newest pack of Black models storming the catwalks in full embrace of their natural hairstyles… in turn being embraced by industry that has typically approached Black hair with skepticism and harsh critique.” In the article, Vogue Italia shares that the increasing visibility of black hair care and the celebration of natural hair fashion divas such as Solange and Alek Wek would pave the way for more natural hairstyles on the runway. Natural hair on the runway coincided with the surge of the natural hair movement off the runway. At the end of the article, Vogue wondered whether or not this is an indication of what will continue on ALL runways. The article also discussed how natural hair products have now “cornered” the beauty sector. In addition to natural hair products being easily accessible, the information surrounding black hair care was (and still is) anywhere and everywhere you looked. If that’s the case, then why would a professional hairstylist be unable to care or style natural black hair on a fashion model? Why have veterans like Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell suffered horrible hair experiences in the fashion industry? Even British fashion model Jourdan Dunn expressed random annoyance with the lack of knowledge on black hair via Twitter, “I swear some people need to learn how to do black hair/skin.” Vogue Italia’s discussion drew the attention of the U.S. publication Ebony. In their response piece on the topic, Ebony echoed the same sentiments that Vogue Italia shared on how natural hair is taking over the Internet and street runways across the globe. Celebrities such as Viola Davis and Solange transitioning to natural in the spotlight highlighted the natural hair movement. One thing that Ebony pointed out is the “shelf life” of the fascination of natural hair. This shelf life concerns most of us in the community because like many styles on the runway, it can be the hottest trend only for a season. The writer of the Ebony article, along with the readers, voiced how they hoped this trend continues to grow and doesn’t “fall by the wayside”. Unfortunately, it appears to be a glimpse of a distant dream. As I really reviewed the article a little closer, I noticed that most of the models showcased had low cuts. There was only one model with noticeable kinky hair WITH LENGTH and her name is Elyse Cole. Akuol De Mablor was a close second to Elyse with her beautiful brown TWA. With that being said, perhaps Vogue Italia’s article was a bit premature and Ebony’s “shelf life” concern is a reality. Since both pieces were published in 2012, we really haven’t seen many natural hair styles on the very few black top models. Even the natural hair that was featured on the actual runway was nothing like the featured photo of the magazine article. The natural hairstyles on the runway that are often seen are LOW cuts. So low that you barely can see the kinks, coils, and curls. Hmph. Is the major fashion industry ready for black models showcasing their hair on the runway? I mean, Braids and Twists are the hottest trends in Fall 2014, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Even Style.com shouted out cornrows being a serious trend that “shows no sign of stopping”. Cornrows?! (shrugs) And even Kendall Jenner received a shout out from Marie Claire for some “New Epic” braids. *raises eyebrow* A real showstopper, huh? So it seems like these “natural hairstyles” are ready for their debut on the runway on models that are… non-black. Hmmmm. As uncomfortable as that may sound, perhaps that’s the name of the game. When speaking to other bloggers about this, someone brought up a really good point. She mentioned that we should have white models as our allies in order for us to see change take place. I actually agree with that idea, but it scares me at the same time. It makes it so easy for people of color to be overlooked as the originators of creative style and ideas. It’s a weird dichotomy. It feels like you have to pick your poison, the blue or red pill? We want the change, but do we want to sacrifice naming rights? As much as I would love to fight the battle for more natural hair being welcomed on the runway, I feel the more important battle is for the presence of more black designers and models on the runway. We can’t expect more natural hair to be represented if our presence is few and far between, especially in the creative direction of a runway production. Of course, there are many factors that play into the lack of representation. I’m not ignoring that fact. But only people within the community will see the importance of sharing our “style story” on the major runway. Similar to the conversations surrounding SNL’s lack of black female cast members, we have to continue to make our voices heard until the powers that be listen. In the meantime, when you hear of a person of African descent coming out with a fashion collection in your major retailers, support them! You can support them through purchase, highlighting on your blog, and/or hyping it up on your social media. Here’s a list of 10 black fashion designers who showed during New York’s Fashion Week this September. When you see a flyer of a black up and coming designer hosting a fashion show, support them. The support we show will translate into them having staying power in the fashion industry. Just look at how cornrows that we’ve been rocking are now the talk of the fashion town. Change is possible.