In this month’s issue of American Vogue, an article asks “Is Fashion Racist?”. Since Vogue editors didn’t believe that this article deserved a coverline and placed it in the back of the book, it was a bit hard to find.
The article, a recycled version of the many previous pieces that have been written on the subject (the casting director that says “its all about the clothes”, the booking agent that can’t book more than one job per girl, etc) features three fresh faces of color: Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn and newbie Arlenis Sosa all giving their semi – PC – I – need – to – keep – this – job viewpoints on the subject. Black and ethnic models have it rough yet out perform many of the blonde robotic looking girls on the ramp, and yes, it is all of the fashion communities fault….which leads me to Vogue-American aka Anna Wintour Vogue to be exact. Funny that this article should run in the July issue, traditionally the thinest (ie. little ad support, smaller number of editorials, aka the “vacation issue”) and most overlooked issue by the fashion community which is basically on holiday this time of year. Maybe they feel like they need to respond to Vogue Italia…which debuts it’s all Black issue this month.
Since I don’t have Anna’s number and felt stupid asking an actual magazine if it was a racist, I broke out my calculator and decided to do some math to determine Vogue’s “diversity level”:
Total Number of Pages (including covers and ads): 166
Total Number of Pages that feature
– Black Models & Women: 11 (including the article, featuring Black models)
– Hispanic Models & Women: 1 (I am giving Latina’s Jessica Alba)
[yes, we know Arlenis is Hispanic, but we jumbled her in with the ‘black’ category since she is a Black Dominican]
– Asian Models & Women: 0
We do manage to have a few pages dedicated to the cast of HAIR, featuring a black man with an Afro…and an Aboriginal boy and man for Nicole Kidman’s new movie…hey, I’m trying here! Even Andre Leon Talley’s column is one page instead of his usual three to six!!
Basically, about 7% of this entire issue features ethnic faces of any color. Well Vogue, you may not be racist…but these numbers are a little lightâ€“and I’m not just talking about skin complexion.
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