Fei Fei Sun, a strikingly beautiful Chinese model who has appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton, made history this week when she became the first Asian model to appear alone on the cover of Vogue Italia. To Fei Fei, I say “Congratulations!” To Vogue Italia, I say, “About damn time!” Click on the gallery to check out some more photos from Sun’s gorgeous spread, shot by Steven Meisel. [Vogue Italia via People]
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Vogue Italia may be on the cutting edge of couture fashion, but cultural politics, not so much. Which is why the fashion mag’s website is catching flak for posting a fashion editorial on earrings with the caption “Slave Earrings.” Slavery! So hot right now! After consumers lobbed protests, the site took down the offending label and replaced it with “Ethnic Earrings,” which is almost a double affront. After all, to be ethnic and to be a slave must be somewhat interchangeable then. The massively ignorant editors failed to change the original copy in the piece, which notes that “If the [Slave Earrings] bring to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern Unites States during the late 18th century, the latest interpretation is pure freedom.” Are Vogue’s editors so out of the loop/out of their minds, that they have no conception of how utterly offensive and ignorant ascribing “slave” as an adjective is? If so, we think they should spend a little less time in the Fashion Week tents and a bit more time with their noses in a history book. [Fashionista] Keep reading »
This month’s Italian Vogue came out emblazoned with an all-caps rallying cry for all the “individuals” out there. Oddball models Jamie Bochert and Agyness Deyn pose poutily on either side of crazy-dressing heiress Daphne Guinness and for a second we were a bit heartened. Daphne isn’t even a model! There’s a cowboy hat involved! Yes, we see some thigh and midriff, but everyone’s relatively clothed! Oh, but wait: all three have matching dark brown hair and are roughly the size of a twig. Couple this new, pseudo-unique Italian Vogue cover with the naked LOVE mag images — which claimed to be all about showing different sized beautiful people but featured only tall, thin models — floating around the net lately and it looks like we have an icky trend on our hands: Magazines are simply jumping on the individuality bandwagon without actually committing to the ideology.
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What is going on with all this dirty chic nonsense? Craig McDean shot a huge spread for the September 2009 issue of W magazine highlighting the stylish side of homelessness (yeah, wtf), and now legendary photographer Steven Meisel has carried the theme over to Italian Vogue. In fact, Meisel shot not one, not two, but three covers featuring Anna Jagodzinska, Will Lewis, Ash Stymest, Jamie Bochert and, of course, Sasha Pivovarova. (Pivovarova had a starring role as the Dior tissue paper-clad bag lady in McDean’s W shoot.) On each cover, the models pose in pairs or trios clad in luxurious clothes that are made to look worn and makeup that makes them look like a troupe of dusty, thirsty vagabonds. Beyond being perhaps the dirtiest cover to date, this triple issue is also distinct for using male models on the front, a rare practice for Italian Vogue. [Design Scene] Keep reading »
Vogue Italia certainly knows how to increase sales:
- Drum up media coverage by launching an all black issue that features only African-American models.
- Follow up a year later, only replace the models with inanimate black objects and simply drum up controversy.
In its second go-around, the magazine has named Barbie its cover girl of the now annual Black issue. Says editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, “Barbie has been an icon for whole generations which is why I really wanted to give a strong sign in step with the times, and dedicate the anniversary issue to Black Barbie.” Huh. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Keep reading »
Ever since Barack Obama began campaigning for the presidency, designers of a wide range of products have latched on to his marketability. And, at last, good old American pride seems to have gotten high fashion cred. Photographer Bruce Weber shot two models wearing Obama shirts with designer skirts and head pieces for Italian Vogue, and Elle‘s Kate Lanphear showed her presidential approval on Inauguration Day by sporting an “Obama Mama” tee. But Obama-fever isn’t relegated to T-shirts. A model who looks a little bit like our president closed Lanvin’s Fall 2009 show in Sunday. Hooray for the U.S.A.!
While all the techies were clamoring for the new iPhone last Friday, fashionistas were trying to secure Vogue Italia‘s monumental “Black Issue” — all of the featured models are Black and all the featured content addresses Black women. But don’t fret if you haven’t gotten your copy yet. Conde Nast has increased distribution by 40 percent in the U.S. and Italian copies earmarked for return will be sent to the U.S. The company will also print an additional 10,000 copies to keep up with demand for the issue. Cheers to Vogue Italia for taking this giant leap toward diversity. Now let’s hope special issues like this won’t be necessary in the future. And we’ll be watching the runways in September to see diversity in practice. [WWD] Keep reading »