This has been an on going issue in the fashion community…the lack of color.
Last October, I had the opportunity to attend a discussion held by legendary Bethann Hardison (former model and model agent) about the absence of color in fashion. It was one of the most memorable events I had ever attended (not to mention that Miss Iman was there and I stood thisclose to her). There were protests and letters and even CFDA prez herself Diane von Furstenberg had heard our cries.
But come the Fall shows came and went and the runways were as bland as ever.
Heck the June/July issue of French Vogue features the beautiful Noémie Lenoir on the cover (well one of two covers).
However she is featured alongside Laetitia Casta in an editorial called “French Touch” (shot by Mario Testino). Want to hear the fun part? Lenoir gets only one photo compared to Casta’s five and even that one is just a mirror image of one of Casta’s shots
Well, it seems now that someone is taking action. The July issue of Vogue Italia is titled “Black is Beautiful” (ain’t it)… I’ve heard rumours these past couple of months but it is now been confirmed that it IS true. The July issue will feature black models, almost exclusively, shot by the photographer Steven Meisel.
A very risqué move for Italian Vogue. “According to magazines, black models don’t sell.” So I’m somewhat shocked at this move. Now I only hope that there are still ADVERTISEMENTS in this mag and that they wouldn’t pull out. Asked why she [Vogue Italia Editor in Chief Franca Sozzani] had decided to do this, she said: “Because nobody is using black girls. I see so many beautiful girls and they were complaining that they are not used enough.”
Also risky as this IS Italy. Now I may not have been to Italy before and my interaction is only with students and fellow classmates I’ve met in high school and now in college, but I don’t think this idea will be welcomed with open arms abroad. Hell in high school, the crush/ love of my life found out that I liked and told me that I was pretty but his mom would “kill him” if he ever brought a black girl home.
That was 2 years ago dolls…And if that’s what Italian Americans are thinking I could only imagine what the natives thought.
But what did Sozzani say in response to that: “Maybe in our country it is not the best idea. But I don’t care. I think it is not my problem if they don’t like it – it’s their problem.”
Now on to our cover Ms. Dunn. I’ve seen her face before but she really caught my attention when I saw her in the Prada show this past Fashion Week. There hasn’t been a black model on the Prada catwalk since 1997 (and that was Ms. Campbell). 17 year old Jourdan lives in Greenford, West London was “discovered” by agency Storm while trying on sunglasses in the Hammersmith Primark. She is the current face of Gap. This 5ft 10in teenager was picked by Kate Moss to launch her Christmas Topshop collection last year and has appeared on New York catwalks and the pages of US Vogue. ***some girls have on all the luck…I try on sunglasses ALL THE TIME and I have yet to be “discovered”…lol***
Hmm…did anyone even realize that Prada hasn’t had a black girl grace their catwalk in, what, NINE YEARS!!!???!?!?
Anyways. Here are a few pictures that managed to creep its way on the internet.
While this is all fine and dandy now, I want to see if the August issue will feature black models as well as their white counterparts or is this just for show…and I’ll get even more excited when my own COUNTRY (that’s you Anna Wintour) starts putting faces who look like me in your $3.99 mag…
but for now..I’m taking what I can get.
I can’t speak a lick of Italian but you best believe I will be purchasing this issue (and it’s expensive price tag..damn rate of conversion). The Vogue Italia July 2008 issue hits newsstands next week.
What do we think? Is this a step in the right direction? Do we care? Do you think this is a trend to stay or just a passing fad?