I was in London once doing a course and after being divided into groups we had to come up with a strong, resonant title for the Vogue September Issue.
Being a former student of Race Critical Theories, I thought it appealing to dedicate the publishing to Blackness, using a title like “Black is bold”… My idea was instinctively approved by all members of the group, but, apparently, our mentors didn’t approve, because “readers were mainly White and would’t have approved”… That was a moment of total disappointment: I would have never expected such an answer, that it wasn’t the trend, that people wouldn’t have been ready for it.
What came after disappointment was the idea that a magazine, and in this case an authority in fashion, could however help educate people or at least start breaking the walls of silence in relation to this topic.
What about the groundbreaking issue of former Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani when she published an issue focusing on being Black that aimed to celebrate this skin color by showing the most relevant Black people in the fashion industry? Did it have any effect at all? Yes, without any doubt. The number had oversold: why this? It was the first time that an influential magazine with an Eurocentric and White target spoke to a wider audience, which was not just White women.
I think we should start thinking about how we treat and consider the other, and really start embracing diversity.
For this article I’ve chosen a picture I really liked that I saw during the Fuorisalone in Milan in 2019 where Bulgari showed its jewels worn by stunning Black models. Is it an open door to diversity?