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January 23, 2009

Meet New York's Next Top Model: Chanel Iman on PageSix Mag

"It’s not just black girls. It’s ethnic girls in general: Brazilian girls, Hispanic. You really don’t see a lot of Asians either. A lot of designers think that if every girl on the runway looks exactly alike, then people will come to the shows and buy the clothes because they won’t be focusing on the models….It’s not even just runway either… us ethnic girls should be getting a lot of the covers too!" source

I personally have worked in the fashion industry and the only way to solve this problem is for us to own modelling agencies , support designers from varies ethnic backgrounds , and develop our own industries that develop a healthy image of women.


Fly Girl said...

Hmmm. This is such an on-going issue that deals with much more than appearance. Western culture's beauty standards have always focused on tall, thin and light. Most ethnicities outside of Europe don't have these features. Even Chanel is light by Black standards and she'd have a harder time if she weren't. It's the instituationalized racism and steretotypes that have to be addressed. I think some of it was with the Italian Vogue Black issue and the discussion it inspired. But I think that people of color need to become more aware of supporting labels and companies that do not reflect or support them. Gucci? Prada? Chanel? Look at their ads and their runway shows. How many faces of color? Why spend thousands on brands that show no interest in you when their are those that do? Besides women of color like Tracy Reese, Vivienne Tam and Isabel Toldeo, I make a point of buying labels that make an effort to present diverse images.

Ebony Intuition said...

That's exactly it, I don't understand why people continue to support brands that don't reflect them our give back to their communities. Even magazines, I don't buy vogue, elle, non of those magazines. There's lots of magazine's out there that reflect our image and I support those. And designers like you mentioned.

Until people make a choice to buy and invest in their own people then nothing will change.

Divalocity said...

Yes we do need to have our own modeling agencies. If I had the money my agency would consist of every ethnicity in this country because all women are beautiful and I'd have all kinds of body types also. I know it would be hard to get them work but I would not give up.

I don't know why Bethann Hardison left the fashion industry? She still gets props from me for bringing the exclusion of models of color to the front and not dropping the issue. Andre Leon Talley has power but he didn’t use his power to his advantage, he shunned the issue until Bethann and other's said something about this.

I do my best to not have images of racial beauty superiority in my home. I find a lot of fashion magazines directed toward women of color by the many blogs I visit.

Since ‘Black is the new Black’ now, do you think there will be a re-emergence of black models? Chanel Iman is part Korean but she still identifies as a black woman.

Tell me one high end design firm that uses a model of color, except for the YSL ads with Naomi? The last time King Karl has used a black model was in the late 70's to early 80's. The European labels are all about exclusiveness and they market to a certain demographic.

There are many well known European designers who do use black models in their ad campaigns in Europe and Asia but these designers may be hot in those countries and not the USA so if people don't have internet access or read international fashion magazines they'll never know.

Don’t forget FENDI either, Lagerfeld is also their head designer. We sing the praises of all of these material possessions and we are being pimped by them. We are some of the biggest consumers of the best clothing and we ignore the fact that they don’t even market to us, many times they don’t even want us in their stores. Sure we may have the money to purchase these items but why spend where our dollar is not respected? There are many people, including celebrities who are walking advertisements that are not getting paid!

Ebony Intuition said...

"Andre Leon Talley has power but he didn’t use his power to his advantage, he shunned the issue until Bethann and other's said something about this. "

Dido I've always said that about Leon he has such a powerful position but doesn't do anything with it.
I do think there will be a re-emergence of black models, but at the end of the day I do not want whites controlling our images period. We have to control our own. So even if they do it will only be a fad and then go back to white models only.

I saw an ad today with liya kebede in

Natasha said...

I read Latina magazine and they tend to do a good job with their fashion spreads about including women of various skin colors and hair textures. Suede, before it folded, was also good.

Ebony Intuition said...

I owned all 4 issues of Suede that came out. I loved that magazine.


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