Monday, November 19, 2007

There's Nothing Like a Dame

This info was first posted @ Gawker and is a few weeks old but I thought it was kind of interesting.

Black Models In Advertisements, October 2007:
Marie Claire: 10, 1 of whom is a celebrity: Walgreens (3), Olay (1), Johnson's Soft Lotion (1), Diesel (1), CoverGirl (1), Puma (2), JCPenney (1).
W: 3, 1 of whom is a celebrity: Target (1), L'Oreal (1), Turks & Caicos tourism board (1).
Vogue: 6, 4 of whom are celebrities: Revlon (1), American Express (1), Diesel (1), JCPenney (1), Vaseline (1), Avon (1).
Harper's Bazaar: 2, 1 of whom is a celebrity: Make-A-Wish Foundation (1), CoverGirl (1).
Glamour: 3, none of whom are celebrities : Aquafresh White Trays (1), Liz Clairborne (1), Lee Jeans (1).
Cosmopolitan: 0.
Allure: 8, 4 of whom are celebrities: Diesel (1), Revlon (1), Sephora (1), L'Oreal (1), Revlon (1), Aquafresh White Trays (1), CoverGirl (1), Olay (1),
Lucky: 9, 4 of whom are celebrities: CoverGirl (1), Target (1), American Express (1), MAC Cosmetics (1), Dillard's (1), Puma (2), Sephora (1), Avon (1)
Elle: 13, 3 of whom are celebrities: Target (1), MAC Cosmetics (1), Diesel (1), Puma (2), Benetton (1), Avon Foundation (1), House of Dereon (4), Secret (1), Botox* (1).

Black Models In Fashion Editorial, October 2007:
Marie Claire: 1, starring solo in a 6-page fashion editorial
W: 1, appearing on 1 page of a 20-page fashion editorial
Vogue: 0
Harper's Bazaar: 0
Glamour: 0
Cosmopolitan: 0
Allure: 0
Lucky: 0
Elle: 0

Models Of Color In Advertisements, November 2007:
Lucky: 15, 3 of whom are celebrities: L'Oréal (1) American Express (1), Olay (1), Dillard's (1) Lucky Jeans (3, including an Asian baby and a black kid), Macy's (1), Liz Claiborne (1), Lord & Taylor (1), M By Mariah Carey (1), Lucky subscription ad (1), (3).
Elle: 12, 2 of whom are celebrities, 1 of whom is Asian: Liz Claiborne (1), CoverGirl (1), Emporio Armani (1), Puma (1), Lucky Jeans (3), (2), Johnson's (1), Secret (1), Natrelle (1).
Allure: 3, 1 of whom is a celebrity: Revlon (1), Olay (1), Johnson's.
Harper's Bazaar: 7, 2 of whom are celebrities, 2 of whom are Asian: Diesel (1), Gucci (1), Dior (2), CoverGirl (1), M By Mariah Carey (1), Gottex (1).
Glamour: 10, 2 of whom are celebrities, 1 of whom is Asian: Ann Taylor (1), Redken (1), Dillard's (1), Olay (1), M By Mariah Carey (1), Revlon (1), Liz Claiborne (1), Aquafresh (1), Alli (1), Lee Jeans (1).
Marie Claire: 9, one of whom is a celebrity: CoverGirl (1), Liz Clairborne (1), Lucky Jeans (3), Aquafresh (1), Grand Marnier (1), Levi's (1), Johnson's (1).
Vogue: 14, 5 of whom are celebrities, 2 of whom are Asian: Tommy Hilfiger (1), Movado (1), Dillard's (1), Jaguar (1), Redken (1), Liz Claiborne (1), Grey Goose (2), Revlon (1), Lexus (1), Citi (1), Avon (1), M By Mariah Carey (1), Natrelle (1), L'Oréal (1).

Models Of Color In Fashion Editorial, November 2007:
Lucky: 0 (But an Asian "real woman" and 2 black "real women" are used as models.)
Elle: 1 (One black model in an 18 page fashion feature.)
Allure: 1 (Jennifer Lopez is the cover story and feature shoot.)
Harper's Bazaar: 4 (Chanel Iman posed with children dressed as designers; Asian model in accessories shoot; 1 of 10 models in Ralph Lauren story is black; Naomi Campbell has an 8 page solo fashion editorial. As this is the issue celebrating the history of Bazaar, there are several small shots sprinkled throughout mag of Naomi, Diana Ross, Oprah, Maggie Cheung and Rachel Roy which we noted but did not count.)
Glamour: 2 (Mariah Carey, cover model and feature shoot; 1 Sudanese model in "New sweaters, New faces." {There are also 2 black "real people" models, one of whom is plus-sized.})
Marie Claire: 1, Puerto Rican model Kat Fonseca.
Vogue: 0. (In the 20 page CFDA designers story, one small backstage snapshot features a black model. In the Index section, Chanel Iman says she likes Tory Burch flats, but we do not consider either of these to be proof of employing black models for a fashion editorial.)

I am surprised and encouraged that the story is still getting coverage long after the last model from NY Fashion Week walked off the runway. I also find it encouraging that more bold faced names are lending their opinions to the controversy. Even Dame Vivienne Westwood, the grande-dame of British fashion spoke out, describing the industry as racists and calling for quotas in fashion magazine editorials to change the culture of racial discrimination against Black and Asian models. She also added that she planned to use Ajuma Nasenyana in an upcoming campaign, not because she's Black, but because she's beautiful.

Now before anyone chimes in with "now that's progressive!" just think about it, why is it progressive to use a model of color in 2007? Shouldn't that be commonplace by now?

I just don't buy the time honored excuse linking low sales to dark faces on magazine covers. It's untrue and has remained unchallenged for years. Besides, it certainly isn't true for men's magazines. Men's Vogue has featured at least four non-white men on it's cover since it debuted in September and the lowest selling issue featured Tony Blair on the cover.

Why then, is it assumed that white women are so inherently racist that they would pass on buying their favorite fashion magazine because a non-white woman is on it? And if that is true, then why is that kind of ignorance treated with kid gloves?


aulelia said...

this was a brilliant post. maybe you should submit to racialicious. excellent writing.

i agree with all of what you have written.

what i find interesting is US magazines seem to ebb and flow with their intake of ethnic models whereas UK fashion magazines go to extremes and show LOADS at one time then show none for ages. it is sickening.

chances said...

I love this post! The last part is poignant If indeed if white women are assumed to be inherently racist one would think enforcing and embracing change would be they way to go instead of continuingly brushing it under the rug.