Black Models Claim They Were Turned Away At Miami Swim Week

“The reason why I spoke out about this was because this [casting] went over the top and overboard to let us know that we were not welcome due to our skin.”

Two African-American models claim they were reportedly turned away from casting during Miami Swim Week because of the color of their skin.

Models Joia Talbott and Kacey Leggett took to Instagram to share their story where they said they were discriminated against because of their race.

Talbott said she and Kacey along with 10 to 15 other black models were waiting in the casting line during the swim week when they were told that casting was closed. However, when they came out of the line, they saw the line was open for casting again.

The model further said in the video that she was told by the agency that “Afros were a no-no.”

“They [were] definitely not feeling my Afro at all, so I didn’t stand a chance, right?” Talbott continued in the Facebook video. “Wow. We’re ready to go back to L.A. where we’re appreciated, and we book.”

The model then turned the camera to Leggett who said, “Somebody tell Miami that there’s no such thing as too much brown skin.”

Another black model, Kate Citrone said she was also turned away at the casting line. She told Fashion Week Online that she saw designers were picking up models with fairer skin color but rejected her.

It was later identified that the brand in question is California-based label KYA Swim. The label released a statement following the allegations.

“Everyone at KYA Swim is deeply disturbed by the allegations brought by Joia Talbott and other models about the casting event at Miami Swim Week. KYA Swim is proud of its record of diversity and we are the midst of looking into the events of last Thursday to review the actions of the production company in charge of the casting call,” read the statement.

The incident didn’t succeed in discouraging the women of color and didn’t stop them from pursuing their dreams. The black models, who were rejected at the swim week, got together and posed together for a photo to put across their message that they were comfortable and proud of who they are.


When a casting director tells you they don’t want any Afros or women of STILL show them just how powerful you are. YOU. CANT. BREAK. US!! ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #naturalhairdaily #luvyourmane #teamnatural #blackgirlsrock #brownskinbeauty #queen #blackqueen #4cnaturalhair #4bhair #melaninpoppin #MelaninSummer #flawless #darkskin #Darkskinwomen #blackgirlsrock #womanism #blackwomen #essence #instafashion #melanin #darkskinblackgirls #blackqueen #thedarkerthebetter #blackwomenbelike #curls #Afro #brownskingirls @blackwomenarepoppin @blackslayingit @darkskin.blackgirls #swimsuit #sunkissed #kinkycurly #swimsuit #swimwear #miamiswimweek

A post shared by JOIA TALBOTT ?? (@joiajohn) on

“The reason why I spoke out about this was because this [casting] went over the top and overboard to let us know that we were not welcome due to our skin. We get chosen over every day that just comes with the territory—either they like you or they don’t. That’s not what it is. I have very thick skin,” said Talbott.

The model also added that most of the women in the picture were turned away at the swim week casting line but some of them were not in the line.

The incident gathered a lot criticism for the label and immense support for the models.

“They look unreal. Like they look like they’re ready for a magazine always. So pretty,” wrote a
Facebook user.

Another one wrote, “Because you ladies are over qualified!! F them. Now the world will see how beautiful all of you are! For those saying its anything other than what it is I bet you won’t hear those agencies saying that they got enough blonde models. It is what it is.”

“Girl you guys file discrimination. But you all are beautiful. Colored people we have so many shades of beauty. I love my skin. Just because they don’t accept you all they don’t know what they are truly missing. Stay up,” another one wrote.

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