British Vogue’s May Cover Is Tackling Diversity in the Fashion Industry

Diversity has been a hot topic in the fashion industry for a while, mostly because there has been a serious lack of it. There have been many instances of culture appropriation such as Gucci’s Spring Collection during Milan Fashion Week where models donned Sikh turbans, hijabs and other garments synonymous with Asian culture and religions.

Just recently, Vogue India featured Kim Kardashian on the cover of their March issue wearing a traditional lehenga and sari.

 

A major reason for backlash is that publications and designers don’t find models who are a part of the culture they choose to exhibit in their work. While they might be trying to show appreciation for a certain culture, it is executed poorly and comes off as misappropriation. There is not a lot of representation of other cultures in the industry when it comes to models. For many years, we’ve seen predominantly Caucasian models with a thin body type.

British Vogue took the issue head on with their cover this month by featuring nine models they’ve deemed as “trailblazers”. Editor-In-Chief Edward Enninful, who is the first ever African-American male to hold the position, collaborated with photographer Craig Dean to bring his vision of the life.

 

“When I say diversity, I want to be clear that it is never just about black and white for me. It’s about diversity across the board – whether that’s race, size, socio-economic background, religion, sexuality. That’s what I want to celebrate with this cover,” said Enninful.

Halima Aden, is the first Hijab model to grace the cover of British Vogue, which is a significant step in the right direction. Enninful also chose to feature British-Ghanaian model, Adwoa Aboah, who was name British GQ’s Women of the Year in 2017, on his first cover as Editor-in-Chief.

 

If this is any indication of how diversity will showcased in British Vogue in the future, I’m sure the girls who never felt represented when they picked up a fashion magazine are rejoicing, as they should be.

 

Samanta is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in fashion studies. Hitting Fashion Week around the world would be a dream come true for her. In her free time, she loves hitting hot new restaurants in Minneapolis to indulge her inner foodie. To keep sane during hectic school and work weeks, she's a part of DOOM Dance Crew at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. It's a great way to relieve stress and the adrenaline rush of performing keeps things exciting.

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