The reality of the fashion world is that it’s a majority Caucasian industry. No secret there. But every so often someone makes an attempt to show diversity in an artful way. This time it was Harper’s Bazaar UK, who tapped Global Fashion Director, Carine Roitfeld for a special Karl Lagerfeld-shot spread in their September issue.
Entitled, “Singular Beauties” the spread captures Liya Kebede, Angel Haze, Zoe Kravitz and more ladies of stylish demeanor. Initially we were thrown off by the teaser for the piece that referenced three white women– Scarlett Johansson, Lily Collins and Dakota Fanning– and not anyone else of actual color. But flipping through the dark lite slideshow tells another story. The women are all dressed to-the-tee in luxurious designer pieces.
Our only qualm…. sigh.. is Gabourey Sidibe who clearly had the wrong stylist again for this shoot. She’s wearing what looks like a raincoat, sari scarf, black t-shirt, leggings (as pants!) and indiscriminate pumps. It’s like she was playing dress up after cleaning the house in sweats. Now here’s the irony: As much as women of all colors and sizes are being shown in the spread, fashion still has no idea how to properly dress a plus size black woman. It honestly looks like they didn’t know what to do with her.
The attempt is appreciated but it’s unclear why the actress wasn’t dressed in more fashionable garments for her photo– like the other two dozen ladies featured. The disconnect is obvious and bothersome. Why are we being so frank? If we’re not, how else will change occur.
See the full spread here and let us know what you think!