Updated: Monday, 20th January 2020 @ 2:08pm

Mixed heritage models set to face off

Mixed heritage models set to face off

By Natasha Carter

Models will take to the catwalk in the UKs first mixed-race model contest held by a Manchester-based social enterprise tomorrow.

Twenty finalists, all of mixed heritage, will go head to head on October 30th for the title of the Face of Mix-d 2010 and a 12 month modeling contract with Boss Model Management.

Mix-d, formed in 2006, is a social enterprise aiming to help people explore contemporary mixed-race identity.

Bradley Lincoln, founder of Mix-d, said: “The fashion industry will admit that they tend to go for people who are single heritage. With mixed-race people being the fastest growing ethnic minority group, at some point we’ve got to have some form of competition to show that this proportion of society needs representing on the catwalk.

He added: “It’s quite pioneering, the first mixed-race competition in the UK, in history actually, and I want Manchester to be proud that we were the first city to host this idea.

“It’s not about separating people, it’s about showing them they actually share more in common than people realise.”

Despite being the fastest emerging ethnic minority group in the country, the identity of being mixed-race is still subject to prejudices and uncertain terminology.

“All the time I get ‘You're black! You're white! You're confused!’, I always have to correct people and say ‘No! I'm mixed-race!’” said finalist Zachary Watson.

“Taking part in the next mixed-race face of the UK is a fantastic opportunity to give people that understanding that we're more than the stereotypes they label us with!”

The 2001 National Census showed that 50% of mixed-race people are under 16 and the census also predicted mixed-race people to be the UK’s largest minority group by 2020, although this isn’t reflected in the fashion world.

“The mixed race population are under-represented in the fashion industry.” said Lauren Mellor, senior model booker at Boss Model Management in Manchester.

“There needs to be an increase in the numbers of mixed raced models selected for jobs on photographic shoots and fashion shows. Things are starting to move in this direction, but only very slowly, the fashion and advertising industries must represent ethnic diversity.

“We are delighted to be involved in the event and are always looking for new talent in any area, regardless of ethnicity or back ground.”

Bradley added: “The model contest is only 10% of the work Mix-d does. 90% of our work involves resourcing in schools, training teachers and working with parents and carers, so I hope to raise the profile of our work and hopefully generate more interest, making platforms for mixed-race discussion.”

Money raised from the contest will be used to help Mix-d fund a new education pack aimed at increasing understanding of mixed-race issues among secondary school pupils.

To buy tickets for the event or vote for a finalist, visit http://www.mix-d.org