The September Issue
Who would have thought the Harper’s Bazaar Arabia September Issue would champion the fashion dialogue of Black Girl Magic and the discussion of diversity. I have an attachment to models more so than to fashion sometimes. I like going to shows to see who the casting agent has chosen and always on the look out for a new face.
“IF WE ARE GOING TO PUSH THE CONVERSATION FORWARD THEN WE HAVE TO LOOK BEYOND SIMPLY TALKING ABOUT MODELS ON THE RUNWAY, AND FOCUS INSTEAD ON INDIVIDUALITY AND FACES THAT SHOW HUMANITY”
Alessandro Michele, creative director, Gucci
As well as how many women of color walk a show. I know and follow the major girls and the up and comers on Instagram. That is where I saw the mind-blowing Harper’s Bazaar September Issue. My mouth dropped open. Women of color on a September issue.
Harper’s Bazaar Arabia
What was Katie Trotter Fashion director at Harper’s Bazaar thinking when she put Models: Grace Mahary, Jourdana Phillips, AJAK DENG, Lameka Fox, and Nykhor-Nyakueinyang Paul on the cover all rocking Gucci. The diversity of Black Girl Magic and Brown Girl Magic is what. I actually know all the girls on the cover and they are really nice down to earth women. Whom all have ambitions beyond the modeling game.
If you work in fashion and know anything about how big the September issue is for any magazine, you will understand my joy. A September issue with women of color only! This is a milestone with positive images of what it means to be ‘ Young Gifted and Black.’ They are influencers in their own right.
For a woman of color who is also a Muslim, this was a reason to rejoice. Even with Muslim bloggers you only really see the affluent middle eastern girls promoted by brands and on social media. Harper’s Bazaar get’s it in my book.
They are promoting the richness of diversity and what it has to offer to fashion. One of the reasons I also stay in the game, so that young women and men can see themselves represented in fashion and the arts. This issue says it all Black is Beautiful and natural hair is a fashion statement.
The issue is dedicated to uncovering the love affair of Gucci and diversity. As you know many black journalists have accused the house and Alessandro Michele of copying Dapper Dan, the Harlem based designer who worked with many hip hop and black American stars. Although I have to agree to some point, but also admire the house for going black and diverse.
The advertising campaigns speak new Black Rennaissance to me. A more diverse Renaissance, the issue uncovers all the sides like the earth who love a little Gucci in their lives. These editors dare to push the envelope and we are waiting for more, Latina and Middle eastern blood to appear on its pages.
IS GUCCI fashion’s new RULE- BREAKER?
Bazaar discovers the Florentine house’s recent metamorphosis owes much to the Middle East and the industry’s ongoing conversation surrounding diversity and inclusion Words by ALEX AUBRY
What you will Find in the Issue
We have to look beyond simply talking about models on the runway, and focus instead on individuality and faces that show humanity,” says Gucci’s designer, who also cast 79-year-old acting legend Vanessa Redgrave as the face of the brand’s cruise 2017 campaign. By doing so, the designer makes the point that to have a substantive conversation about diversity and inclusion in the industry, inevitably means unpacking long-simmering issues related to racism, ageism and body image… Alessandro Michele
It is a reminder that the fashion industry can play a vital role in fostering a sense of self-esteem and self-worth in girls and women of diverse backgrounds. To see oneself reected within the pages of fashion publications and on the catwalk may convey a powerful message, yet how does that conversation translate to a Middle Eastern audience?
“I have this conversation with my friends, and we’ve observed that the debate surrounding diversity in fashion is all too often broken down into black and white terms, leaving out Middle Eastern, Latin, Asian and even multi-racial perspectives. I don’t think style and beauty can be conned to one ethnicity, age, body shape, geography or culture, but are shared experiences that cross borders,” says Rihab, who hopes to see a more nuanced and inclusive approach to casting shows and fashion shoots in the future; one which moves beyond mere tokenism… Rihab
I wonder if this cover will change what we see on the runway this coming fashion week season. I guess we will have to wait and see. But you beat I will be watching the racial divide as it is parade down the catwalks from New York to Paris. Which ones will be the most diverse?
Makeup: Toni Malt
Photos Courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia in the September Issue