As a former magazine girl, I go gaga for fashion editorials – not only ones that are breathtaking in beauty and styling but also ones that create talking points. I wrote a piece last year for Marie Claire magazine about whether luxury fashion shoots in poor locales is creative positioning or just in bad taste?
And then this morning I see this editorial.
On first sight, I thought how striking – how beautiful! And yes, they could have used a black model. There are so many beautiful black models who don’t get the opportunity to showcase their talent, who don’t get booked – from catwalks to campaigns. And just by Numéro magazine making the decision to use a blackened model draws attention to the fashion industry’s continued disregard for black beauty other than for the exotic. Huffington Post Black Voices tells us that Jezebel found that 82% of the models used in New York Fashion week were white! Still. Why?
But let’s be honest, would we have paid much attention to this shoot had it not been photographed in this way? There’s a bigger problem here than a magazine darkening the skin of a white model for a controversial fashion editorial.
If little else, at least we’re having this conversation. Again.