Saturday, July 23, 2011

Colour Blind

Editorials featuring all-Black or all-Asian model casts have been all the rage since Vogue Italia's Black Issue hit newsstands in July 2008. US Vogue, US Harpers Bazaar, Allure, Interview, i-D Magazine, Vogue Italia, Vogue China and Russian Vogue have all since featured editorials with models grouped according to ethnicity. Whilst it is commendable to see a broader cross-section of racial groups represented in fashion publications, I am not convinced that editorials which segregate models based on their skin pigmentation is the solution to the on-going debate over the lack of diversity in fashion.

Is the singling out of a particular racial group in editorials a mere gimmick or does it signify real progress in the move towards a fashion industry that is more inclusive? If Chanel's recent Resort show is any indication, I would hazard a guess that the fashion industry has a long way to go towards understanding and embracing the concept of diversity. Out of the 74 looks featured in Chanel's Cruise collection, not a single black model was featured in the line-up. I look forward to the day when it is the norm to see fashion editorials and runway shows in which multiple ethnics groups are represented rather than just the odd token Asian or Black model amongst a cast of Caucasians.

Jeneil Williams & Aminata Niaria

Sedene Blake

Aminata Niaria & Jeneil Williams

Sedene Blake, Aminata Niaria & Reina Montero

Reina Montero, Jeneil Williams & Sedene Blake

Sedene Blake & Jeneil Williams

Shena Moulton, Jeneil Williams & Aminata Niaria
Vogue Russia - July 2010
Photographer - Terry Tsiolis
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