March 27, 2018

Vogue tackles the big issue

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It’s no secret that the fashion industry is lacking in diversity. And while American supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks have paved the way for other sensational black models to shine, there’s still a long way to go.

Finally Vogue Australia has restored our faith in the industry with their April 2018 edition dedicated to and celebrating diversity in fashion, which hits shelves today!

We’ve fallen in love with the Akiima, Kenyan-born, Adelaide-based model and one of the beautiful black faces gracing the cover of Vogue Australia for their “The Faces: Uniting Australian Fashion” editorial.

Editor-in-chief Edwina McCann said the 23-year-old, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, was the catalyst for the April issue.

With a rich mix of Australian beauties – Chinese-Australian Fernanda Ly, indigenous-Australian Charlee Fraser and transgender woman Andreja Pejic, who was born in Bosnia – we can’t help but feel this could be a game changer in the Australian fashion scene.

As Edwina McCann puts it, “Never before have we seen so many homegrown models at the top of their game from such diverse backgrounds. It felt timely to celebrate that fact, because it truly reflects who we are. Despite being a multicultural country, we have long subscribed to a homogenous standard of beauty.”

And we couldn’t agree more.

Akiima also spoke out about the importance of diverse representation in Australian fashion.

“Unfortunately we don’t get to see the diversity of Australian beauty. We have come a long way, but we still need to discuss diversity in the modelling industry … because we don’t want to keep asking for a spotlight,” Akiima says in the article.

Chinese-Australian Fernanda Ly also opened up about her experiences growing up as an Asian girl in Australia.

“Australia should not be so lacking in female Asian role models. The fact that this is still the circumstance is a little heartbreaking. There were only a handful, if any, female Asians to look up to that I know of, none of whom were Australian, back when I was a younger girl.

“…We are finally accepting of who it is that makes up our very multicultural nation. In strength of numbers, there exists the possibility of change. As it is, such diversity in history is what enriches our multicultural country. Yet racial dysphoria is a concept I am constantly struggling with. The who, what, when, where and why seem to somewhat always question my existence. No matter the place or time, I am challenged by who exactly I am. It is an endless struggle of discovery, questioning and acceptance.”

While there’s still a long way to go, we’re excited to see what’s next for the publication and if the industry as a whole will follow suit.

See the beautiful images from the editorial below.

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