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The Most Influential

Italian Vogue, one of the most influential fashion magazines in the world, has chosen to feature only black female models in its next issue, as well as focusing all its features on black women from the worlds of art and entertainment. The issue will feature a host of highly successful and beautiful black models such as Iman, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Jourdan Dunn, Liya Kebede, Alek Wek, Pat Cleveland and Karen Alexander, all captured by uber-photographer Steven Meisel.


The cover. From L-R: The ever elegant Ms. Liya Kebede, Newcomer Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn (18 years old and she's from London! Get 'em girl!) and, of course, Naomi 'The Ageless Wonder' Campbell.

Undoubtedly this issue will cause some controversy, but I think as a concept it's long overdue. The fashion industry's reluctance to use black or other 'minority' models is well-documented and ridiculously outdated...So when such a major publication takes such a clear anti-discrimination stance it can surely only be a good thing?


Being stupendously beautiful is clearly quite exhausting.


Remember, kids: Smoking is NOT sexy. Except, erm, when it looks like this.


The adorable Chanel Iman


Tyra: Has she still got it? I think so.

One of the most interesting aspects of this issue is its inspiration: Editor Franca Sozzani has cited Barack Obama and the Presidential Race as providing the catalyst for the initial idea which, when you think about it, is kind of mindblowing. An American Senator who has the ability to inspire an Italian fashion magazine to want to challenge racial stereotypes? Imagine what this man is going to do when he becomes President! And yes, I did use 'when' and not 'if'. 'Cause let's face it, who can really bear to consider the alternative?


Phoebe

14 comments:

Shenanigan said...

BIG POST!

Let yest forget the amazing Donyale Luna. The first black woman to grace the Vogue covers

blog coming soon...

Anonymous said...

I agree it's long overdue! But what I don't understand is the Editor in Chief in American Vogue is André Leon Talley so surely he has the most influence of all Vogues? It makes me really upset that the fashion world has one vision of beauty and it's only now Italian Vogue has stepped up

queen b said...

http://fashionista.com/2008/06/vogueitalia_thanks_cathy.php#more

it has more of the images

Phoebe said...

Thanks for that queen b!

I'll add them to the post now...

queen b said...

Tyra looks so different without the big drag queen hair

Booga said...

Yeah dat! I'm glad Vogue is finally doing this. Trace magazine has been having an annual "black girls rule" issue (same concept) at least 5 years (I actually wanna say more like 8, but I'm not sure). The more the merrier, and since vogue will def get more exposure, I'm def about it.
Anon- not really surprising. Ironically, (or actually, not so ironic, considering our history) Americans seem to worship Euro/Anglo beauty standards whilst Europeans have always been intrigued by the Black aesthetic. From Manet to Picasso, and right through contemporary artists, nearly every notable European painter has done a portrait of a Black women as the exotic other.
Italy in particular has always had a love/hate relationship with Black people

Phoebe said...

Good point, Booga- TRACE was definitely years ahead of its time with the Black Girls Rule concept. And I think the whole 'Transcultural' ethos of the magazine is something that still hasn't been given proper attention or respect. I'm sure in a couple of years the entire publishing industry will be jumping on that bandwagon, too...

MR W said...

huuuuge post!

Shenanigan said...

..lets hope everyone does get on that wagon! I'm waiting for my chance to get on there!

lol

Booga said...

P.S. Bringing perhaps a dead horse to the table... but I came across a pretty good article that reminded me of the whole LeBron/Giselle cover contraversy with the American Vogue...
http://www.cracked.com/blog/2008/04/01/black-men-are-after-our-women-vogue/
Don't expect an all Black issue with them anytime soon (well, tastefully done, anyhow)

Miz Nats said...

Long overdue, I am looking forward to getting my hands on that issue...Italian Vogue is (along with French Vogue) the most 'experimental' of the Vogue magazines, which is ironic considering Italy is one of the most racist countries in Europe and their ruling political party has facist ideologies.

The problem is the US and UK titles are still scared to put a black person on their cover 'alone' - yh, they've had Naomi, Alek etc. but it is always tends to be the summer or Jan/Feb issues, which has fewer pages, ad spaces etc ...when they do put a black person, they do tend to pair them up, UK Vogue had Diddy and Naomi Aug'2001 (she was draped over him topless) and then that all important US Vogue cover with LeBron and Giselle...

Yh Booga, Trace has been doing those BGR issues for around 8-9 years now...I remember as a fresh-faced 1st year Fashion Journo degree student buying those issues back in 2000 - oh the memories...

Miz Nats said...

Long overdue, I am looking forward to getting my hands on that issue...Italian Vogue is (along with French Vogue) the most 'experimental' of the Vogue magazines, which is ironic considering Italy is one of the most racist countries in Europe and their ruling political party has facist ideologies.

The problem is the US and UK titles are still scared to put a black person on their cover 'alone' - yh, they've had Naomi, Alek etc. but it is always tends to be the summer or Jan/Feb issues, which has fewer pages, ad spaces etc ...when they do put a black person, they do tend to pair them up, UK Vogue had Diddy and Naomi Aug'2001 (she was draped over him topless) and then that all important US Vogue cover with LeBron and Giselle...

Yh Booga, Trace has been doing those BGR issues for around 8-9 years now...I remember as a fresh-faced 1st year Fashion Journo degree student buying those issues back in 2000 - oh the memories...

Anonymous said...

WOW

MASSIVE POST!!!!!!

ILL BE READING AGAIN TOMORROW

Anonymous said...

Crap!

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