Where is the Representation of Black Women in Fashion?

Last week ,we were just congratulating our girl Rihanna for her second upcoming US Vogue magazine cover. Yesterday, the announcement of Brides magazine’s newly appointed Editor-in-Chief Keija Minor also garnered a round of applause. These are huge feats for Black woman in the industry. However, such achievements are seen in a sea of vanilla bean ice cream, unfortunately, just speckles of black.

For instance, Minor is the first Black EIC of Condé Nast’s 18 publications and 103-year existence. It’s problematic that women of color are rarely recognized or granted the opportunity to occupy positions of leadership or publicly represent new standards of beauty and success. It was only in 1974 that African American supermodel Beverly Johnson served as the first Black model to grace the cover of US Vogue, albeit to much controversy. Black women constitute the readership of many of Condé Nast’s publications. This is particularly evident in the unprecedented popularity in the United States and Great Britain of the special issue of Italian Vogue’s July 2008 “Black Issue” that featured all Black models.   Due to demand, the special issue was reprinted, a historical first for any Condé Nast publication and was noted as the highest selling issue of Italian Vogue, according to UK publication The Guardian.

Black women buy and have the ability to encourage sales as do their white counterparts, but why are there less of us seen on the scene? The knee-jerk reaction is not simply creating a separate but equal space for Black women to be seen and heard but the just response is to inclusively and regularly represent women of color in larger strata of society.–Rachel Francois

Vixens, share your thoughts!