Vogue Italia's "Black" Out
Feb 07, 2011 - by Lester Brathwaite
Nearly three years after its iconic "Black Issue", Vogue Italia is at it again with the stunning editorial "BlackAllure" featuring nearly every working model of color...working it: Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, Sessilee Lopez, Joan Smalls, Ajak Deng,Arlenis Sosa Peña, Melodie Monrose, Kinee Diouf, Lais Ribeiro, Rose Cordero, Mia Aminata Niaria and Georgie Baddiel.
"We continue to give it [diversity] more space in the magazine and website. The truth is that real beauty doesn't care for skin color or nationality."
For Sozzani there is no issue of race, no issue of discrimination and she wonders why readers think it's "such an issue to choose black models?"
Well, the answer is simple. For so long, beauty was defined by a specific type of girl; designers and magazines only chose skinny, non-distinct Eastern European girls which became the industry standard.
The trend is slowly shifting, but it's difficult to change the perception of fashion being particularly racist when the industry itself is responsible for the proliferation of that perception.
So in reaction to this homogeneity, any time there is an editorial exclusively featuring black models the inevitable debate begins anew: is this a matter of progress or exploitation?
I'd like to think it's progress. It's incredibly important and inspiring to see beauty represented in all forms and all colors, for society and for the fashion industry. Everyone needs to see themselves reflected in ads and editorials in order to feel beautiful and to feel that they too are respected consumers.
And furthermore, after looking at pale, emaciated human hangers for all those seasons, I think we could all use an injection of, dare I say, color.
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Photos: Vogue.it / Link Love: Style House Files