Why aren’t men of color in the fashion industry winning? Does Marvin Cortes have next up?

Off the first ever Girls and Guys season of America’s Next Top Model, runner up Marvin Cortes has not stop working to achieve his goal. The prizes for the 20th season of America’s Next Top Model were a modeling contract with NEXT Model Management, a spread in Nylon magazine, and a $100,000 ad campaign with Guess. Jourdan Miller ended up winning all of these prizes. However, her win did spark a debate about the quintessential blonde female being picked yet again as a top model. Many wanted Marvin Cortes to win because he represented something that the high-fashion industry does not have much of, men of color. Besides the fashion industry lacking in this area, men are at a severe loss in this industry in another way. Men have struggled to earn as much as women in the fashion industry for as long as many can remember. Monetarily, women are surpassing men with no comparison. According to Forbes, highest paid female model Gisele Bundchen raked in 42 million dollars in 2013 while highest paid male model Sean O’Pry earned a substantially lower 1.5 million in the year of 2013. Why are men losing? Is the fashion industry only for women? Is the system made up so men do not make as much as women? These are questions that we do not have an answer to right now. However, Marvin Cortes is offering a different product in the modeling industry. As the son of Latino immigrants and growing up on his father’s janitorial income, Marvin has become focused on his modeling career and looks forward to being a positive role model for those in the younger generation. The men’s fashion industry needs more models like Marvin Cortes because of the positivity he promotes and his look as a model of color. If one was to glance at the top 10 paid male models of 2013, they would notice that there is not one male model of color on that list. Stylish teenagers and young adults of color could use more role models in fashion brands like Urban Outfitters, H&M, American Eagle, and Zara. That does not mean that models of color should not push for the more high-end fashion brands like Dolce & Gabanna, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Versace. With Men’s fashion at such a financial standstill, Marvin Cortes is here to push it to the next level with his different look, hard work, and story of adversity.

He was previously signed to TWO Model Management, but is now signed to DT Model Management. Cortes can be seen on Twitter and Instagram at @MarvinCortes1

Words by: Frank Tolbert (@OfficialAfrican)