In July Vogue Italia presents the “Black Issue”, where black super models Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede, Jourdan Dunn and Sessilee Lopez all grace individual covers. Due to a lack of ethnic models on the catwalk, Vogue Italia proves that being prejudice when it comes to racial matters in this industry is absurd.
“We already have our black girl,” says a designer to a fashion-show casting agent, declining to see others. Or: “She doesn’t have the right look.” Laziness, paranoia and pedantry may also have something to do with the failure to hire black models for shows and magazine features in any meaningful number, but, hey, that’s just a guess.
For the July Issue of Vogue Italia, photographer Steven Meisel has only photographed black models he personally chose. Featuring the best and most influential models of color, from the past and present, such as Iman, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Alek Wek, Chanel Iman, Pat Cleveland, Karen Alexander, Liya Kebede, Jourdan Dunn, Sessilee Lopez, Veronica Webb and former America’s Next Top Model contestant Toccara Jones, a full-figure model. Meisel about Toccara:
“I wanted to say something about weight, and I’m never allowed to do that,” he said. “I met Toccara and thought, she’s beautiful. What’s the deal with her? She’s great and she’s sexy.”
Yves Saint Laurent with his favourite model Mounia.
Chanel Iman / Tyra Banks
The “Black Issue” of Vogue Italia will debut on European stands next Thursday and in The United States later this month. (Picture via New York Times)