Friday, July 25, 2008

Viva Vogue Italia

All I can say is it's about time. Someone's finally been bold enough to stand up against the whole 'white is the right' mentality in the fashion industry. This is an excpetional moment in time, a milestone in not just fashion alone, or popular culture but in our collective quest to birthing a world perhaps not free entirely but a lot free-er of racial prejudice and inequality.
I'm black. Just like models I am a black person supposedly out of my rightful place in light of my chosen career path. The original standard was always white and it remained so until only four decades ago with the emergence of such legendary beauties as the beloved Bev Johson and Iman, Africa's Gem the later on with Naomi and Tyra and it just got better and better after that now it seems to have collapsed again.
You'll watch NY Fashion Week and count ONE black girl; the most prominent fashion mags Vogue, Elle mostly if not only feature whites...not even Asians get a chance and I know there are some stunning Asian mama's out there that can rock it like the best so what's the excuse. SALES! Bullshit, the latest issue of Italian Vogue, the Black Issue is selling like hot cakes. Perhaps designers and fashion editors have just been in fear of a fictive repurcussion spawned from their assumptions on what the public wants. It's been long assumed that black doesn't sell because it's not relatable enough to the masses with money well that myth has here forth been dispelled and I'm hoping it will mean from here on now I'm gonna see more sistah's of colour on the catwalk...or maybe that's just wishful thinking.
I say BIG UPS to Vogue Italia for not just featuring black models in their mag as a protest statement but also for not BAMBOOZLING the models in the magazine like some white photographers like to do. ALL the models in the issue look draw droppingly stunning. The themes chosen were clever, witty and just straight up amazing. It's real photographic art conveying the beauty of the black female form in a way that is classy and tasteful. Now on the topic of bamboozling, I'm referring to the business of making subtle mockery of African features in a way reminiscent of none other than Jim Crow. Red lips for instance which I have seen all too often on the Sudanese Goddess Alek Wek, I mean why they gotta do that sometimes. Is it playing on the stereotype of the black woman as a hypersexual, lascivious and loose creature from the deep jungles of Africa. Cause let's be honest, we all know that is what whites and the like think of us sisters. It's the kind of stereotype that is historically based. Anyway, I'm kind of running off topic now, but all in all, the issue is extraordinary. Loved it, gonna keep it as a memento. Maybe, just maybe my gran kids will look at it and wonder why such lengths had to be taken to make statements about racial injustice cause things will be so much more different for them.
That would just be wonderful!