Tag Archives: black models

Who Cares If Teen Vogue’s Cover Model Is Pregnant?

Oh my God, look! Models—not celebrities—on the cover of a fashion magazine! And they’re black! November’s Teen Vogue published a fantastic cover story about models Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn, who spoke candidly about the racism in the modeling industry and the competition that results when black models feel there can only be “one black girl.” (Chanel is actually black and Korean—damn, she should have been in our biracial hotties slideshow!) The pair dished to Teen Vogue about the fashion industry’s flat-out racism:

Iman: “You’re being told, ‘So and so is only booking one black girl. It’s either you or Jourdan,’ So we’ll be sitting in the lobby looking at each other like, ‘Okay, I want this job, and she wants it too. Which one of us is going to get it?’”

Dunn: “I remember last season, I was about to go into a casting, and my agent phoned and said, ‘Turn back. They decided they don’t want any black models.’ I was like, ‘They’re actually telling you that’s the reason? Are you serious?!’”

It’d be really cool if this piece got Teen Vogue some attention. But there’s just one teeny-weeny little problem for some folks: 19-year-old Dunn is pregnant with a baby boy, due in December.
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Brazil Fashion Week Mandates Shows Cast Black Models

Complaints about under representation of African-American models in the fashion world isn’t just limited to the United States: Sao Paulo Fashion Week has been involved in a squabble regarding race after an investigation found that last year’s event showcased only eight black models among a total of 344. (FYI—Brazil has more people of African descent than anywhere outside of Africa, with almost half of the population either black or of mixed race.)

An agreement has been reached just in time for Brazil Fashion Week —which starts next month—mandating that fashion companies use 10 percent of models of African or indigenous descent. It’s a serious measure for designers, especially smaller companies, who would have to ante up as much as $120,000 if found not in compliance. [BBC] Keep reading »

Men’s Magazines Prefer Black Models With Lighter Skin

Last week, Tyra Banks said she’s trying to expand the idea of what the fashion industry considers beautiful. According to her, black models with lighter skin are deemed more commercial, whereas darker-skinnned black models are considered more high fashion. We’ve noticed this phenomenon holds true when a woman’s “hotness” is being judged, too. Keep reading »

Tyra Banks Wants To Expand The Idea Of Beauty

Over the weekend, Tyra Banks took part in The New York Times‘ “Times Talks.” Besides demonstrating to the audience how to do a few of her 275 smiles, Tyra said she wakes up every day to “expand the idea of beauty,” which encompasses trying to change people’s views of what is beautiful. “In the high-fashion world, darker black skin is considered beautiful,” Tyra said. “But on the commercial side, you have girls like myself, Beyoncé, and Halle Berry, with light black skin. I make a point to have beautiful chocolate girls on ‘Top Model’ who are also girls next door.” But this isn’t entirely true. For the most part, black models tend to have lighter skin, whether they appear in advertisements (Beyonce, Selita Ebanks) or walk the runway (Arlenis Sosa, Chanel Iman). There aren’t many darker black women appearing in magazines these days. For years, Alek Wek represented on the pages of Vogue, on runways, and in ads for Clinique and other brands, but even her presence has dwindled. Tyra is trying her best to shift things, at least on “America’s Next Top Model.” Of the four remaining women in this season’s running, two (Teyona and Aminat) are black. While Tyra can’t change the world, she’s doing what she can through ANTM — even if the show’s winners tend not to make much of a mark on the modeling world after their season ends. [NYMag.com, Cutblog/Twitter] Keep reading »

Fashion Week: Where Are The Black Models?

The lack of black models on fashion runways and in ad campaigns has become a persistent issue in the fashion industry. The issue was most recently highlighted by Vogue Italia’s “Black Issue,” which featured only black models on its pages. Some, including editor Amelia, saw the magazine as a gimmick, but it nonetheless got people talking about the issue of race in fashion. Unfortunately, all they did was talk. Keep reading »

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