The ethical stance of the continent’s creatives is helping to drive a renaissance in African fashion with Michelle Obama wearing bold prints in the White House and the likes of Heidi Klum on the red carpet, African fashion is making its mark. From designer, with Vivienne Westwood’s Ethical Africa collection, which blends the Kings Road with Kenya, to online with ASOS AFRICA, produced in collaboration with a rural Kenyan community north of Mombasa, to high street, with African prints from Zara to Topshop, there’s a renaissance in African fashion.
It’s always been an influence on the western catwalk…
On the cover of Out magazine’s annual May Power Issue (on newsstands April 22) is one of the most powerful women in music: Beyoncé Knowles.
The singer, who defied traditional marketing tactics late last year when she released her surprise self-titled video album, is the perfect representation of what it means to be powerful. She’s poised, she’s commanding, and she does it all at her own pace.
“People with not just albinism but all sorts of different people in general exist on an everyday level. We have people in this world who are transsexual, we have people who are gay, we have people who are lesbian.”
Not Your Average Male Model: Shaun Ross Talks Beyoncé and Bullying
Shaun Ross is not lacking in the self-confidence department. “I always knew that I was going to be something great.” the model/actor told ELLE.com on a recent afternoon. And why wouldn’t he be? Ross has walked the runway for Givenchy and Alexander McQueen; he considers Beyoncé “something like family”; and he’s starred in highly artistic music videos opposite bigwig pop stars including Katy Perry (“E.T.”) and Lana Del Rey (the recently released short film, “Tropico”). Added Ross, “I’m thankful but I’m not surprised.”
Fair enough. Still, the 22-year-old is the first to cop to the fact that this exact form of success—namely a meteoric ascension in the notoriously fickle high-fashion universe—is nothing short of miraculous. Not to mention unprecedented: Ross has albinism, a congenital disorder that results in the production of little to no pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes. He’s also African American. To say his look is unique among male models would be an understatement.
In June, Prada made a splash, casting its first African American model in a campaign in 19 years. Then-newcomer 19-year-old Malaika Firth fronted the brand’s Fall/Winter 2013 campaign alongside major industry names including Christy Turlington and Freja Beha, making her the first African American face of Prada since Naomi Campbell in 1994. Now, for its Spring/Summer 2014 campaign, the brand has continued its path towards greater diversity…
With grace and her signature wit, Jourdan Dunn has risen through the ranks to become one of the most wanted models in the business. Whether she’s posing for a portrait or unleashing an anecdote on her hilarious personal twitter, Ms. Dunn is an essential player within the world of fashion. During her career progression…
"All White Everything." Social Media Activists Target Fashion Week Shows With No Black Models
Five years ago, Vogue published an article whose headline asked a stark question: “Is Fashion Racist?” It was hard not to answer yes, when models of color — particularly African Americans — were nearly impossible to come by on New York, Milan, London and Paris runways.
Not much has changed since 2008 — in part because there is no institution to hold designers accountable to represent their diverse customer base.
Until now, that is. A former fashion model is launching a social media campaign to bring public scrutiny to designers and brands who do not use black models.
Bethann Hardison, a former model and agent, is organizing a campaign that will launch during Fashion Week next month to shame the designers that don’t include black models.
SAY YES explores the power of the affirmative, and the beauty that blossoms from embracing life. Inspired by the Fashion Fair lip color, Say Yes, Sundance award-winning filmmaker, Ava DuVernay created this vision of what happens when you welcome the unexpected.