Vogue Italia's editor Franca Sozzani has been known to make raise questions of race in the past, including producing the magazine's first "Black Issue," and has even claimed that "there's no racism in fashion."
While her statements are usually perceived as more forward-thinking, we have to admit, she made an extremely odd remark on her blog the other day.
Yes, that reads, "Why is it still so difficult to have black models on the runway?" when referring to their special issue dedicated to Africa.
Racist? Or just shedding light on a growing problem in the fashion industry?
She then goes on to write:
"At Fashion week in Rio it’s the same old story. White girls, and less than 10% of the models are black. What is the reason for not choosing black girls? They have amazing faces and bodies, and their skin cannot be compared with that of white girls, so even and glowing it is. Why?
This has nothing to do with racism. I am positive about that. I often raise the topic and I am often told that nobody proposes them and that, in any case, there are few good-looking ones. I don’t know what to say. I don’t think there isn’t any scouting going on because I know that competitions are held in Africa to discover new models. Then I also think of all the prejudice that still exists. But not in fashion.
And so? Let’s all make an effort to increase the number of black models on runways and in magazines. I have the feeling I have written so many times on this theme and that I am repeating myself, and begin to sound boring. But how can you stop talking about it, when even in Rio, where Afro-Brazilian girls amount to 50% of the population, white girls are still preferred?
Then you hear someone say that there is no one as beautiful as Naomi. Isn’t she black? Yes, she is, but for the people, and for readers, she is Naomi, period. I can assure you that, although you don’t see thousands of Naomi lookalikes around, there are surely lots of beautiful black girls. Let’s not leave them out of fashion shows, of magazines, of television.
It’s amazing how having a black President and First Lady at the White House is not helping to change people’s mentality. I really don’t mean to oversimplify, but there are truly plenty of black girls around so, as I have said many times, we should give them a chance. This is also a way of "Rebranding Africa".
So, basically, she's told that there are "too few good looking black girls" in the modeling industry.
Hmm? What's that???
You'd think after Vogue Italia's "slave earrings" controversy, she should know better…
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: black models, franca sozzani, runway, vogue, vogue italia