December 18th, 2008
Best of 2008, Bethann Hardison, Blacks in Fashion, Diversity, Ethnic Models, Magazine Review
Best of 2008: Magazine Diversity
By Claire

No end of the year round up would be complete without mentioning the huge increase in Magazine Diversity in 2008.
The year saw traditional glossies questioning their industry (gently prodded by Bethann Hardison), and turning inward to ask, “Where’s the color?” Perhaps in the Obama era, magazines are seeing that it’s time to get real and reflect the demographics of their country.
After a controversial Lebron James cover caused a critical wildfire in cyberspace, Fashion Bible Vogue took their July issue to ask if Fashion was Racist:

voguescan2

After fashionistas answered, “Yes!” Vogue decided to walk the walk with several spreads, even including Arlenis Pena, Oluchi Orlandi and Lakshmi Menon in a story on the industry’s rising stars:

Harper’s Bazaar also jumped on the multicultural bandwagon, with Tyra Banks gracing their September cover and posing as Michelle Obama in a fun multi pager:

And with the Williams sisters rocking couture on the court for Bazaar’s November issue:

American mags did their part, but no one showed more love than the Italians, who plucked style aficionado Diddy as their cover boy for the October Issue of L’Uomo Vogue:
…and who knocked everyone out the park with Vogue Italia’s All Black July Issue, featuring Naomi Campbell, Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn, Liya Kebede, Tyra Banks, Toccara Jones and more:

The issue launched Facebook Groups, started discussions, and caused fashionistas worldwide to scramble for collector’s copies. A Time article by Jeff Israely said, “After the original run of the July issue sold out in the U.S. and U.K. in 72 hours, Vogue Italia has just rushed to reprint 30,000 extra copies for American newsstands, another 10,000 for Britain and 20,000 more in Italy.” Cha Ching!
2008 was THE YEAR for magazine diversity, and we can only hope the Fashion Powers are finally understanding that multiculturalism is not only beautiful, powerful, and profitable, but it’s also the future. As ad pages dwindle, it’s best to be as inclusive as possible-we notice!
Didn’t you?
Bisous!
*Shout to Jezebel for Italian Vogue scans.
*If you’re a mag hag, I highly recommend reading the blog Make Fetch Happen. Brigitte sifts through your favorite glossies with a fine toothed comb, and offers well informed, witty opinions.

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7 Responses to “Best of 2008: Magazine Diversity”

  1. LaTanya says:

    Great post! I’m really proud of us this year, the initiative we’ve taken and the changes we’ve made….it’s incredible!

  2. Harlem Loves... says:

    Fantastic summary and great photo selection too

  3. sexilexi says:

    This was a great post and I too am glad at the added color to fashion! Fantastic Pics too!!

    Also, while, i liked the “Black Vogue” I was thoroughly disappointed when I opened up the mag and the 1st face I saw was a white one in an ad. And this continued on to the rest of the magazine. I was glad to see the shoots of Black models, but disappointed MOST of the ads were only WHITE women. No color. And everyone knows Vogue is 85% ads. :-( Good move for Italia Vogue Tho.

  4. Trendy Gourmandise says:

    OHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes ! in FRANCE we cant see black in fashion magazine !!! to see black in fashion we need to buy a black fashion magazine and its not fair !

  5. Kelly says:

    Great post and it really is nice to see all the diversity and stunning looks in these photos. I especially loved Tyra Bank’s Michelle Obama photo spread because I think Michelle is the next Jackie O with her great style.

    I would also wear either of the gorgeous dress Venus and Serena are wearing and top off the sporty fashion look with my gorgeous diamond earrings I bought from http://www.idonowidont.com I just wish I was a good tennis pro like them!

  6. [...] always hope that a large outcry, an all black issue, and numerous blog and newspaper articles will effect a true change. But after all the hubbub of [...]

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