Friday, January 2, 2009

Hey Look! A Black Woman in an Ad! - Ariel Meredith/D&G S/S 09

Her name is Ariel Meredith. The lovely Shreveport, Louisiana native has been working the catwalk for years but is finally starting a little more recognition, proving that Black American girls are just as modelesque as their "more exotic by industry standards" peers. She was featured in TRACE magazine's most recent "Black Girls Rule" issue and walked for Nicole Miller, Baby Phat, Elie Saab, Vera Wang, Milly and several other designers last September.

Discovered at a modeling expo when she was still in high school, she quickly booked a lot of work including appearances in Lucky and Cosmo but found that her slim size 5 figure was considered "too fat" by the grotesque industry. She said in a Times-Picayune interview, "You know, Louisiana girls are curvy. I had a chest. I didn't care that I had some meat on my bones." She disregarded the pressure from her agency to slim down and get a breast reduction but soon found herself out of work.

Disgruntled, she took a year off to work on her body. "I basically did portion control and exercise. I like to eat. I'm not going to starve myself to walk down someone's runway... "And I'm not going in for a nip and tuck either. That's not me. I'm going to work with what God gave me." Once she hit a size 2, the bookings piled up quickly. Meredith has since appeared in ads for GAP Body, Target and Sephora.

In her Q&A with TRACE , one of the questions was "why do you rule?" and her answer was this:

I rule because I am me -- FUN! Fierce and independent (laid back at times.) Strong black woman...Stays positive....sStays grounded...Good attitude...THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!

Here's to hoping that we see a lot more of Ariel in the coming year :)

Source: Nola, The Fashion Spot, ONTD Fashinfags


Ogegevivkie said...

As much as I love to see black women succeed in the fashion industry, I have to be honest and unbiased. There's really nothing special about her.
* she looks like Noemie Lenoir...minus the "wow" factor
* her look is very commercial and she has a "safe" beauty. Too safe for high fashion
* I've seen so many black models like her before ( the light skin, long weave etc etc, you know, all the white characteristics)
* She's borderline video vixen to me...especially on the 8th picture. I kept waiting for Nelly or 50 cent to pop up and smack that a**

thepegster said...

keep up the good work with the blog; i love to see the african american models, it is such an inspiration!

Brigitte said...

@Ogegevivkie: I disagree about the video vixen comment but she does remind me of several other models, most notably Joan Smalls. In the D&G ad, she looks a bit like Beyonce to me. Still, I like her looks and she seems to have a good outlook.

Chic Noir said...

I'm very happy for her. She kinda looks like Jourdan Dunn. Dunn needs ad work.

Chic Noir said...

@Ogegevivkie-Where do you see light skin? She is medium complected.Black people come in a range of compections. Not all of us are light and not all of us are dark, many of us are medium. High Fashion sometimes likes safe commerical beauties. Note Catherine MacNeil from Australia.

Ogegevivkie said...

@ chic noir

Um, she is light-skinned. I don't know what pictures you are looking at but the pictures I am looking at right now are of a light skinned black woman.
I am not trying to make this about shades of color. I am just saying that there's nothing fresh about her look. Her face looks tired and she resembles so many already existing successful/working black models and actresses.

As for Catherine MacNeil, I think she is a plain jane and completely uninspiring and unattractive. Why she is successful, I don't know. I guess that's just my opinion, kinda like how I think Chanel Iman is a mediocre model fit only for commercial brands like GAP.

Ania said...

@Ogegevivkie: I saw her walking the catwalk in the Spring 09 Fashion Week at Bryant Park. She was definitely my favorite model out of the crowd. Compared to all of the other models I saw, she stood out the most.

Divalocity said...

It's good to see a "home girl" represent!

Looks like the ad was shot in Monaco or in Nice, France.

Anyway diversity is the way to go!

All women of color are beautiful!

st said...

I think she's okay. I think this is the time of being just okay. Her white counterparts in the ad are also just okay even though I'm sure they get more work.