Franca Sozzani Editor in Chief of Italian Vogue wrote a post about the issues of skin color within the fashion industry stating “Iman, Naomi, Liya Kebede, Alec Wek and many others are a proof” and “The truth is that real beauty doesn’t care for skin color or nationality.”
Is there racism in the fashion industry no, but is there still an issue of race yes. We live in a world where people of various ethnic backgrounds support and purchase items from major fashion houses and it’s time that these houses bring something new to the table by adding new faces to their fashion show line ups and campaigns. The most recent company to add a new dimension to their campaign is Burberry, Jourdan Dunn and Sacha M’Baye were featured in the Spring 2011 Campaign. Creative director Christopher Bailey stated ” We wanted to create a dynamic, evolving campaign that reflects the diversity of our broad global consumer, revealing new British cast members each month, all with their own identity, embodying the different attitudes of the Burberry guy and girl.”
This is what I would love to see more of which is taking place but in small steps i.e Joan Smalls (Puerto Rican) is the face of Estee Lauder along side Liu Wen (Chinese). Joan also landed a Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and Stella McCartneycampaign this season. Arlenis Sosa is a spokes model for Lancome and many more non European models are making their mark in fashion world.
Europeans and people of European descent are the dominant force within the fashion industry so it’s logical that they will choose women from their ethnic/national backgrounds to model and be in editorial/fashion shows/campaigns. More black women and men need to become involved in fashion in terms of designing clothing, photography, makeup artist etc and create companies so that they can employee black models which will create a demand for more models of non European backgrounds. Iman is a perfect example because her cosmetics company Iman Cosmetics employs women of various ethnic backgrounds.
Ultimately we all play a part at contributing to the diversity of fashion by investing and creating new fashion magazines, fashion houses, fashion events so that fashion spectators can view the beauty of women from all corners of the globe.
View Fanca Sozzani’s original post “Is the color of skin still an issue in fashion” here.
Image credit all photos on Beauty Is Diverse