Riley Montana is thankful Givenchy's creative director ''took a chance'' and decided to cast her for the French label's Spring 2014 campaign, because she feels ethnic minority models are still under-represented.
Riley Montana has praised Riccardo Tisci for championing diversity.
The 22-year-old African-American model is thankful Givenchy's creative director ''took a chance'' and decided to cast her for the French label's Spring 2014 campaign, because she feels ethnic minority models are still under-represented in the fashion industry.
Riley told WWD.com: ''Riccardo [Tisci] took a chance on me. I was brand new. He supports diversity and I love that about him. He doesn't care about what people think.''
Riley claims she ''literally cried and fell on the floor'' when she was told she landed the campaign just two-weeks after moving to New York from her hometown of Detroit, and while she has graced the catwalks for Oscar de la Renta, Balmain and Bottega Veneta, she admits the lack of black models can make competition fierce.
She explained: ''There aren't a lot of African-American girls at each show, so it probably is a little competitive - 45 looks and there aren't that many black girls. But I don't like to look at it as competition.
''At the end of the day, we don't make the decision. I do my part, you do your part. They're gonna pick who they want, regardless. Some girls probably do look at it as competition, but I think you have to support one another because at the end of the day, it's hard for all of us. ''