If you are a black model of any nationality, you’re not going to be
sitting on a big pile of money in the near future. The shocking
disparity between how often we see white models and models of colour on
catwalks, editorial pages and in advertising campaigns has finally
begun to get some attention within the fashion industry
internationally. And not before time.
However the big fashion hoo-ha of
the moment is about an African American man who isn’t even a model.
LeBron James is a basketball player who appears alongside supermodel
Giselle Bundchen on the cover of the world’s most influential fashion
magazine, US Vogue. Some claim it’s editor Anna Wintour’s way of
indirectly endorsing democratic presidential candidate Barrack Obama.
But others are outraged at the apparent similarity of the cover image to an iconic image of King Kong clutching a damsel in distress.
The editor of US Men’s Fitness magazine has been one of many to criticise the cover, shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz, saying ““It’s a reminder that as African-Americans, we have come very far to have an African-American male featured on the cover of Vogue, but we have very far to go to continue to educate people within our industry regarding the power of images and the potential impact they can have on their readers.”
Vogue claims the pair “look amazing” on the cover and Wintour and Leibovitz have refused to comment personally. James says he’s fine with the photos. No word as to what Obama thinks.