Winter Issue Dec/Jan 2012 2nd Year Anniversary Our latest issue featuring art by Eve Harlowe, Special Music Insert illuminating local artists Planet B. Fashion editorial of West Coast Leather, designs by Emporium Armani, Kairon John Rise of the Phoenix, a Bi-Monthly publication illuminating people of color, from different backgrounds in four (4) areas, including fashion, lifestyle, culture and music. We feel there is a need for our publication f…
PARIS (AFP) — Though America stands poised for its first black
president in history, the fashion world descending on Paris for this
week's couture-show summit will be treated yet again to a "white-out"
on the catwalks. After the emergence 30 years back of black faces
on catwalks -- thanks largely to recently demised French couture giant
Yves Saint Laurent -- fashion in the first decade of the 21st century
has turned relentlessly white."I asked the modelling agency for
black girls for our next show but there simply aren't any," said Mario
Lefranc, half of the Lefranc-Ferrant designer duo, one of 40-odd labels
presenting couture collections in Paris over the coming week."I'm sick of blonde Russian girls," he told AFP. "Clearly the trend now is all for blue-eyed blondes."And
at Jean-Paul Gaultier's, a designer renowned for using models of all
ages, sizes, and origins, one assistant said: "It's really very
difficult at the moment. There are no black models on the market, the
agencies have none."In the last few years, she added, "there's been an invasion of girls from Eastern Europe, of their type of beauty."Former
model Mounia, now 40-something and born on the French Caribbean island
of Martinique, was one of the first top black models to hit high
fashion those few decades ago, along with by Iman, Katousha, Naomi
Campbell, Jourdan Dunn, Alek Wek and Pat Cleveland.Bound to make waves in the weeks and months to come, July's issue of
Vogue Italia is to feature more than 100 pages, including the cover, of
images of black women -- models as well as successful black women in
arts and entertainment. The pictures were taken by influential US
photographer Steven Meisel, known for his 1992 volume with Madonna.SOURCE: AFP
RACIAL prejudice in the fashion industry has long persisted because of
tokenism and lookism. “We already have our black girl,” says a designer
to a fashion-show casting agent, declining to see others. Or: “She
doesn’t have the right look.” Laziness, paranoia and pedantry may also
have something to do with the failure to hire black models for shows
and magazine features in any meaningful number, but, hey, that’s just a
guess.A decade ago the thing to deplore was the stereotyping of black
models by dressing them in African-inspired clothes (or the Asian girls
in kimonos). This at least gave work to minority models, but it also
encouraged a Western view of African culture of the
many-bangles-many-beads variety.O.K., so fashion ain’t deep. It looks into a mirror and sees ... itself.
The irony in fashion is that it loves change but it can’t actually
change anything. It can only reflect a change in the air. But what
changes fashion? What would finally move American designers to include
more black models on their runways? That 30 percent of the country is
nonwhite? That black women spend $20 billion a year on clothes? That an
African-American is the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party?The answer is the individual eye.In fashion, one of the most influential eyes belongs to the
photographer Steven Meisel. His pictures have caught an America basking
in the earnest, self-reflected glow of celebrity and money. He has
taken innumerable risks, especially with “Sex,” the 1992 volume he did
with Madonna, that have paid off with a career that allows him to do whatever he wants.And
he has almost lovingly photographed some of the world’s beautiful
women, tapping into their psyches, connecting with them on a human
level, while transforming them into fashion deities.As the
model Veronica Webb, who first worked with Mr. Meisel 20 years ago,
said: “Steven knows every single tic, every talent that every girl has.
He just pulls it out of them.”For the July issue of Italian
Vogue, Mr. Meisel has photographed only black models. In a reverse of
the general pattern of fashion magazines, all the faces are black, and
all the feature topics are related to black women in the arts and
entertainment. Mr. Meisel was given roughly 100 pages for his pictures.
The issue will be on European newsstands next Thursday and in the
United States soon after.SOURCE:NYTIMES.COM
"What happened to all the black people on the runway?"
asked model Tyson Beckford, who attended several shows at New York
Fashion Week. "There are no blacks on the cats." Naomi Campbell put it another way: "Women of color are not a trend.
That's the bottom line." And while Campbell wasn't invited to the shows
this week and didn't attend, the supermodel may have been on to
something. It seems that while the fashion industry was worrying about
how skinny models were, it was neglecting another problem: how white
they were. There were drops of color here and there, but with the
exception of a couple of shows, the runways were lined with pallid,
"There used to be myself, Naomi Campbell, Veronica Webb, Tyra Banks,"
Beckford said. "There used to be a lot of us out there, but today a lot
of the designers just aren't catering to black people."
In truth, this Fashion Week looked like about as diverse — or
homogenous — as many before it. But if ever there should have been more
people of color on the runway, the time was now. The issue has been the
topic of three panel discussions since September held by former model
and agent Bethann Hardison. Diane von Furstenberg, president of the
Council of Fashion Designers of America, sent a memo to its members
encouraging them to create fashion shows "that are truly
multicultural." The media has focused on the issue.
"I do believe it did have an effect on the shows," says Kyle Hagler,
manager at IMG Models, adding that there were a couple of new, diverse
faces. "Obviously there is still more that needs to be done." Casting
director Jennifer Venditti, owner of JV8Inc, says more ethnic models
were used, but they were the same ethnic models as always. She says she
only recognized a couple of new models.
"With the white girls, there's like a huge influx of people that you
never saw before," says Venditti, who did castings for several shows,
including Doo.Ri, Peter Som, BCBG and Rodarte. "I feel like it's always
the same ethnic people."
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