In the latest Vogue news, Diddy and Chanel Iman star in fab Fashion spreads in American and Spanish Vogue, respectively.
With New York Fashion Week days away, the discussion about African-American visibility in Fashion has resurfaced—thanks to Bethann Hardison. The former model and agent, who also happens to be my hero, hosted an informal meet-and-greet with models and casting directors last night called the Paradigm Shift. Held at the Deitch projects, the meeting is the latest effort in Hardison’s crusade to give models of colors a significant presence on the runway.
The mother of actor, Kadeem Hardison, Bethann is responsible for initiating the discussion with industry heavyweights about diversity in Fashion, which indirectly led to the wildly-popular Vogue Italia issue and the i-D magazine September cover that features four rising supermodels, Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, Sessilee Lopez and Arlenis Sosa. Hardison acknowledged how her efforts made the i-D magazine cover a possibility: “…the fact that they can find four girls is genius. That means something,” she told Modelinia.com. “It’s much improved from 2007. i-D’s always been cutting-edge. But the fact that you can find four girls? That’s a tribute to the work we do.”
Bethann Hardison’s own career is just as groundbreaking: a successful model in her own right, she’s guided the careers of such prominent African-American faces as Tyson Beckford and Veronica Webb. Though her strides toward diversity in Fashion should be heralded, she acknowledges that racism on the runways persists. For example, Naomi Campbell made headlines recently by asserting that ad execs, in fear of losing consumers during a recession, refrain from using black models for their campaigns: “I don’t see any black woman, or of any other race, in big advertising campaigns,” said Naomi. “People, in the panic of the recession, don’t dare to put a girl of colour in their campaign, full stop. Nor of any other race. It’s a shame. It’s very sad.”
Why aren’t designers using black models for campaigns or runway shows? Do you think it’s a product of racism, because they want uniformity or because they fear that they’ll lose consumers? Do you think diversity in Fashion increased after the Vogue Italia issue proved that black magazine covers sell? Do you anticipate that more designers will use black models this Fashion Week? Discuss.
The Fashion industry knows when to party. In a glorious attempt to revive the industry in a recession, Vogue, NYC & Company and CFDA are hosting a series of star-studded events called Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) on September 10th. The idea started as a celebration where shoppers can interact with the famous faces behind their brand of choice. FNO has since become the largest shopping event in NYC’s history with hundreds of stores offering discounts, parties and celeb-driven fetes. Vogue’s EIC, Anna Wintour, shared her excitement about the host of retailers, style icons and celebrities (including Diddy and the Olsen twins) that are participating in the event:
“Little did I think when the idea of Fashion’s Night Out was first dreamed up this past March during the Paris collections that we would have over 700 and counting retailers, designers, and brands joining us on the night of September 10,” she shared. “Of course, I’ve always known the New York fashion industry to rise brilliantly to a challenge, but I am absolutely thrilled, awed, and more than a little proud that it has reacted so brilliantly to this initiative. There is so much planned that we could shop till dawn and still not see and do everything.”
FNO’s extravagant retail events are sure to revitalize consumerism as shoppers will be more likely to buy a Billionaire Boy’s Club shirt if Pharrell is working the register (seriously, he will be ringing up clothes that night!) or a Chanel handbag that they can…gasp…custom-design! To help navigate the long list of participating stores, Racked.com came up with a top-ten list. Check it out (below) and hit Fashion Night’s Out facebook and twitter page (@FNOnyc) for updates. And you know the Glamazons will be on hand to cover the celebration! See you at H&M or Juicy or Barney’s or Chanel (ahhh…too many places to go in just one night!).
Top Ten Events During Fashion’s Night Out On September 10 (via Racked.com):
10. Rag & Bone
Guys, this is for you: Rag & Bone will turn their Christopher Street store into an Irish Pub, complete with free beer, a sawdust floor, and a live Irish band. We might just end up calling it a night here. 100 Christopher Street.
9. Adam Lippes
Not content to party until 11pm, Adam’s Meatpacking store will stay open until 1am with free cocktails. He’ll also have special edition personalized T-shirts for sale, and in case you’ve missed them thus far—the Havaianas customizing crew! All proceeds from the sale of the Havaianas will go to the 9/11 fund. 678 Hudson Street.
Even though all area H&Ms will stay open late, it’s the Herald Square store that’ll celebrate the most. Surrender yourself to their stylist and then pose for their “celebrity photographer.” Your photo will then be projected onto their big billboard overlooking the Meatpacking District. 1328 Broadway.
7. Kirna Zabete
It’s Kirna’s 10th anniversary, so they’ll be celebrating double-time by bringing in Narciso Rodriguez, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Thakoon Panichgul, Jason Wu, and Peter Som to debut their exclusive items for Kirna. Want to snap up a Wu sketch or a Proenza Schouler tote bag? This is the place to do it. 96 Greene Street.
6. Juicy Couture
With Anna at Macy’s, it’s only proper that Hamish Bowles be at Juicy, right? He’ll be at their Fifth Avenue flagship to read from the works of Noel Coward as shoppers lounge in a “gentleman’s club, reminiscent of founder Gela Nash-Taylor’s eccentric English manor (featured in Vogue’s September issue).” 650 Fifth Avenue.
Actually hosting two large events at different stores, Chanel will cater to both the rich and the poor. At 139 Spring Street, they’ll debut the jade nail polish with free mini-manicures and a DJ set by Alexa Chung. Meanwhile at 15 East 57th Street, for the first time ever, Chanel will have a create-your-own-handbag studio. “Choose your favorite lambskin color, lining, hardware, and chain—and be among the first in the United States to own a customized, monogrammed Chanel classic bag.” Oh yes, and there will be champagne of course.
4. Bergdorf Goodman
If this doesn’t get you to BG, then nothing will: Andre Leon Talley hosting a fashion game show with “teams led by Donna Karan, Linda Fargo, and Robert Verdi.” Also, Annie Leibovitz will be around, Padma Lakshmi will host a cook-off with Cynthia Rowley and Peter Som, Zac Posen will be selling his paintings, Alexander Wang will drop in and Isaac Mizrahi will hold a talk. This is some crazy shiz right here; make sure to jot down the exact times for the event you most want to see. 754 Fifth Avenue.
3. Alice + Olivia
Right alongside the Fashion Week tents in Bryant Park, the Alice + Olivia boutique will become a photo studio, with auditions to be a model in the Alice + Olivia presentation the following week. Hopefuls won’t be left to their own devices either; they’ll get pro hairstyling, makeup and wardrobe styling before stepping in front of the camera. Here’s something for the resume. 80 West 40th Street
2. Opening Ceremony
In the spirit of Chinatown, OC will take their celebration to the streets, with special-edition items sold out of the backs of vintage automobiles (example: a Thai truck sporting Band of Outsiders gear). In addition, you’ll able to meet and greet with the designers behind Rodarte, Band of Outsiders, Proenza Schoulder, Fendi, and of course Alexander Wang. Munch on food from neighborhood restaurants and enjoy DJ sets by “friends” of Opening Ceremony. 35 Howard Street.
As expected, Barneys will be killing it during Fashion’s Night Out, hosting such famous faces as the Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen bartending, Isabel Toledo, Alexander Wang for runway lessons, Juan Carlos Obando teaching salsa and more. Oh yea, and they’ll be teaching knitting and hosting a fashion green market curated by Vogue editor Tonne Goodman. There’s too much to list here; click above for all the details. 660 Madison Avenue.
Just in time for Fashion Week, The September Issue, premiered last night at the MOMA museum in NYC. The documentary followed Vogue for nine months as they created the September 2007 issue, which sold 13 million copies and weighed in at 2 kilograms. Whoa. As every magazine junkie knows, the September issue is the single, most important issue of the year for fashion books. And as fashion books go, Vogue is the bible.
I’m always curious to compare the behind-the-scenes chaos at other magazines to ours as the closing of any issue—especially September—finds me sleep-deprived, depressed, hungry, drained and lifeless. I’m sure they’ll be plenty of insider magazine moments that relate to my everyday existence from nerve-racking, finger-biting meetings with the editor-in-chief to celebrity tantrums and breakdowns on photo shoots. Rumor has it there’s a lot of tension between Anna Wintour and Vogue stylist and former model, Grace Coddington (who reportedly argue about whether the photographer’s stomach (below) needs retouching; aren’t the sickly thin models enough?!).
Critics promise that’s it’s filled with more drama and controversy than “The Devil Wears Prada.” Can’t wait to see it! A who’s who of the fashion industry saw the film yesterday at the star-studded premiere and naturally, they were dressed to the nines. On the guestlist? Fashion royalty Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Phillip Lim, Rachel Roy, Tory Burch, Zac Posen, Jason Wu and Vera Wang. Celebs Chanel Iman (and boo), Renée Zellweger, Sienna Miller, Cassie, Diddy and Diddy’s car.
Check out the red carpet pics below and let me know if you’re planning to see the film when it opens in NYC on August 28th and everywhere else September 11th.
Photos: Vogue.com. Concreteloop.com.
My Managing Editor just got her copy of July’s Vogue Italia supplement featuring the Black Barbie – AMAZING! I was in Europe when news hit that the EIC, Franca Sozzani, was dedicating the July issue to the iconic Black Barbie, so I saw all the pictures for the very first time in person. I have to say I was blown away.
Sozzani is the genius behind the Vogue Italia All Black Issue in July 2008, which produced groundbreaking sales and energized the discussion about diversity in the fashion world. Sozzani chose to follow up the All Black issue with the Barbie issue, as an homage to Barbie’s timeless, iconic status: “Barbie has been an icon for whole generations which is why I really wanted to give a strong sign in step with the times, and dedicate the anniversary issue to Black Barbie,” Sozzani said.
Not to complain – I love the tribute – but I’ll always wish Barbie could be a bit more shapely. Barbie is an ubiquitous part of popular culture and her influence on body image is immeasurable, thereby making her perpetuation of unattainable standards of beauty & booty even more damaging.
Mattel Designer, Stacey McBride-Irby, echoed my sentiments. After watching her five-year-old daughter play, Stacey was determined to create dolls that her daughter can be inspired by—dolls that truly celebrate cultural diversity through authentic details.
Introducing So In Style fashion dolls. Coming a long way from the inception of the first Black Barbie doll in 1980, the So In Style (S.I.S.) fashion doll boasts fuller lips, wider nose, defined cheekbones, curvy hips and curly hair you can actually style (seriously, Ferocia spent 15 minutes curling and spritzing the doll’s hair).
Stacey, who is also responsible for creating the AKA barbie doll, came to visit our office and hooked us each up with a doll. I kept mine for myself instead of giving it to my niece – I know, I’m wrong (I’ll buy her one, promise!). Mattel is officially launching the S.I.S. dolls this Fall – see the dolls below.
You may not be able to tell how shapely the S.I.S. dolls are in pictures but after seeing them up close, I can definitely attest to their hips being wider and bottoms fuller.
Still, despite the impossibly thin physique of the traditional Black Barbie in Vogue, I find the supplement adorable and charming. What do you think? Will you pick up a July Vogue Italia issue? Do you think there’s a need for dolls like the S.I.S. Fashion Dolls? Would you buy one for the little girl in your life? Do you think the hair and look of the S.I.S. dolls truly represent black women? If not, what would you change to make them look more authentic? Discuss.
Franca Sozzani who created July’s “all-black” issue of Vogue Italia, which addressed the lack of black models in fashion has another groundbreaking idea for the November issue of L’Uomo Vogue, of which she is also the editor: The magazine will be dedicated to Africa , and half of the advertising revenue will be donated to Africa-related charities, reports Robin Givhan for the Washington Post.