Disturbia: French Vogue turning white models black for editorials

December 30, 2009

Carine Roitfeld thought it would be “groundbreaking” to use a white model painted in dark make-up for the October French Vogue editorial. I guess Liya Kebede, Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, Naomi Campbell, Arlenis Sossa and the slew of other black models were all booked for the shoot.

Is covering a white model, Lara Stone, in black makeup to pass her off as African American for a shoot groundbreaking? No. For all the strides magazines and the fashion industry took this year to include people of color in their issues, this editorial piece set them back considerably. It’s a big slap in the face for all the models of color out there. Lara Stone is a talented model and has been used countless times in French Vogue this year. She’s used this month as well dressed as a nun. I commend Italian Vogue for their all black issue and other magazines for including the heavy use of models of color. French Vogue and Carine Roitfeld, however, get two thumbs way down.

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