Does Color Supersede Talent?

Courtesy of Fashion Bomb

With the emergence of Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn and many others is it possible that the fashion industry is still racist? Ethnic models especially black models have come a long way since Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, and of course there is still room for more. Skin color seems to be like a nail color it all depends on the season.  One minute ethnic models are in the next there out; one minute we want Asians next we want Hispanics.  However, when designers like Galliano make racist slurs are the advancements of the industry in a slow regression? Liz Jones of Mail Online feels that British Vogue is too selective and the industry is filled with racism.

First, Jones points out the lightening of Beyonce in campaigns for L’Oreal and Thandie in campaigns for Olay.  Even Queen Latifah appears lighter in ads for her Queen collection for Covergirl.  The lightening of these celebs are blamed on lighting and not Photoshop touch-ups. However, Jones chat with Carole White, who founded Premier Model Management in 1981 reveals that lighting isn’t the problem.

There, they absolutely don’t want black girls. A black model has to be a real star before you can take her there. They only take a black girl when the biz is buzzing about her.

Carole represented Naomi Campbell for most of her career:

Carole:Clients never wanted to pay Naomi as much as the white girls. It was always a battle.’

Jones:Why? ‘She was just as famous as the other supers, so who knows why.’

Shulman told the Daily Mail‘s Liz Jones, “There have always been black players on the scene — at the moment, look at the stylist Edward Enninful, make-up artist Pat McGrath and [models] Jourdan Dunn, Liya Kebede and Joan Smalls, who are at the top of the tree … In a society where the mass of the consumers are white and where, on the whole, mainstream ideas sell, it’s unlikely there will be a huge rise in the number of leading black models. [Daily Mail UK]

Despite Shulman’s claims, demand for Vogue rocketed by 654 percent when its ‘black issue’ hit in 2008.Everything always seems to come back to race which impedes progress. Talent is talent no matter the color. Everyone deserves to be fairly represented. Doesn’t beauty transcend color? Shulman says she does have plans to put a black model on the cover of British Vogue in the future.

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