June 30th, 2013
Ethnic Models, Fashion News, Naomi Campbell
Prada Casts Black Model in Ad Campaign for the First Time in Almost Two Decades
By Claire

For the first time in 19 years, Prada has cast a black model in an advertising campaign.
Prada Casts Black Model in Ad Campaign for the First Time in Almost Two Decades Maiaika Firth
The brand’s Fall 2013 advertisements feature Christy Turlington, Freja Beha Erichsen, Catherine McNeil, Fei Fei Sun, Amanda Murphy, Caroline de Maigret, and Malaika Firth, a bi-racial 19-year-old, who, according to Jezebel, was born in Kenya and raised in the UK. Jezebel editor Jenna Sauers writes, “Firth was a newborn in diapers the last time a black woman was a face of Prada.” The last black model to star in a Prada ad campaign was Naomi Campbell back in 1994.
prada fall 1994 naomi campbell by steven meisel
prada fall 1994 naomi campbell by steven meisel
prada fall 1994 steven meisel naomi campbell

Prada definitely has a diversity issue. Between 1993, when Naomi Campbell worked their runway, and 2009, when Jourdan Dunn graced the catwalk, the house cast exactly zero black models. Though they’ve gotten better since, their shows are typically 95% white, 5% women of color.
Models display creations of Prada Spring
The fashion industry is about as racist as Pre-Civil Rights America, so I guess it’s newsworthy when a typically white washed brand decides to reflect the true diversity of the style loving public.
388094-prada-fashion-show-in-beijing
But does this information make you more or less inclined to spend your hard earned dollars on their wares? Or are you past the point of caring?

Read more at Jezebel.com

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39 Responses to “Prada Casts Black Model in Ad Campaign for the First Time in Almost Two Decades”

  1. Gail says:

    Not a great picture for the campaign at that.
    BTW, Naomi Campbell looks stunning.

  2. Ashley says:

    To be honest idc I’m over this racist fashion industry

  3. Danielle says:

    ugh.. it irks me when news like this makes headlines as if congratulations are in order.

    prada can kick rocks to zimbabwe (no shoes). their clothes are hideous anyway.

  4. Tam says:

    She is not Black. She is biracial. These terms are no long interchangeable terms.
    #kill one drop rule

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the information Claire, I had no idea Prada was a racist brand. I will no longer be buying that Prada bag I intended to buy.

    @ Tam – agreed.

  6. itsjustme says:

    not surprising to me one bit. representative of how i was treated as a black woman in barcelona just 2 weeks ago. i could not bring myself to purchase that prada bag i wanted for my 30th birthday. so, no, they will not get any of my money.

  7. Dana says:

    Thank you, Tam. I saw this shoot a few days ago and the model didn’t look black to me then and she sure doesn’t look black to me now. It appears any woman can be called a black woman today while actual black looking women are urged to stay well out of site. #darkgirls

  8. kayla says:

    Thank you Tam and Dana. If biracial women continue to be considered black they will take jobs from black women with two black parents.(sorry to get off topic)But I also don’t understand why full blood black women stay claiming biracial women but get upset if a black man dates biracial women. The man will say she is black and the full black women cant say a thing. Its like comparing a basketball players skills to a baseball players. You cant because they sports are completely different and require different strengths.

  9. lola says:

    @ tam

    You better preach it now. The picture is a mess and QUEEN NAOMI SLAYED THAT CAMPAIGN FOR THE GODS. There is really no one like Naomi, honestly.

  10. Empress says:

    Once you’re mixed with “black”, you’re Black, if that makes any sense. That’s how it’s viewed by other races.

    Naomi looked beautiful.

  11. lola says:

    @kayla

    When a Halle Berry or a Mariah Carey step out of their houses, the world chooses to label them “black.” They don’t make that choice. This issue is caused by the racist structure of our society that still adheres to the one drop rule. Blaming biracial women for taking jobs from black women is exactly what the white man wants you to do; he wants to pit you against each other so that you tear yourselves apart while racism continues to thrive. Don’t be ignorant, wake up.

  12. Bena says:

    It is not “the white man’s fault” that biracial and black has become interchangeable. Also, this model probably would not even like to be referred to as “black.”

  13. lola says:

    @Bena
    Who’s fault is it? Who invented the one drop rule? Educate yourself girl. You only feed into the racist structure when you continue to blame each other instead of looking at the source of the problem.

  14. Becca says:

    A woman born in Kenya won’t consider herself black? If she calls herself black, should we now reject her? Until she says she’s not black, you can’t knock her. I anything she’ll probable say she’s Kenyan.

    But poop to Prada.

  15. Tina says:

    How can you say she is not black? You shouldn’t diminish someone’s lineage when, unless you’ve traced your blood line, you’re not all black.

  16. liz says:

    Prada is racist and disgusting. Nobody should buy their ugly crap! Gross!

  17. Solange says:

    @lola I kno we had our disagreements in the past but…..I have to agree with what you’ve stated.

  18. Anonymous says:

    if all this is true… then Pres O is not black??????????????????

  19. Tam says:

    @Tina
    What do you mean how can I say she isn’t Black? Because she’s not. So in your mind white women can have Black children? How am I diminishing someone’s lineage by stating BOTH? Wouldn’t it be you who is doing that? Sorry, I don’t ascribe to the one drop rule that treats Black lineage like a contaminate. As fro me. My mother is Black and my father is Black there for I am Black.

  20. Podat Prada No1currrrr you are no longer in demand..get behind the likes of coach FLOP! says:

    Prada WILL never receive my hard earned dollars! Besides their shoes and clothes are an atrocity, I haven’t seen a product of theirs worth me purchasing anty-ways. *Flips Peruvian body wave*

  21. ReciRich says:

    The one drop rule is forever true… We don’t say Obama is the first biracial president… Many black people including Naomi are mixed with other races… The fashion industry has a long way to go…

  22. S says:

    Honestly, the whole biracial/multiracial thing……I’m over it. Bottom line……there is no “pure” ethnicity walking this earth. Trace your own blood line back far enough, you might be shocked to see who’s staring back at you “Caucasian” folks included. As far Prada goes, are we really surprised. That’s how it’s always been in the fashion industry. These companies know about racial sensitivities…..they CHOOSE to ignore them and proceed to do whatever the heck they want and always will. When the “bottom line” becomes affected, THEN companies might be inclined to change.

  23. S says:

    I’m not surprised regarding the ad campaign. Only when the “bottom line” becomes affected will these fashion houses think about change. Right not, they do as they please. They have no incentive to do otherwise.

  24. S says:

    *now*……………………

  25. Anonymous says:

    In 2013 people should be called what they are and this young woman is biracial. She should be Prada’s first Biracial model or whatever. Same way Obama should be the first Biracial President. But Heaven only knows if some says “I’m not black, i’m biracial” All hell will break loose.

  26. Mel says:

    …But the model is not even really Black tho…..smh

  27. Tiffany says:

    I’m a biracial women (my mother is black father is white) and I consider myself black. I’ve actually never used the term biracial or mixed to describe myself. It doesn’t even bother my father that I don’t. Lol.

  28. Michelle says:

    LET THEM LABEL THAT WOMEN WITH HOW SHE IDENTIFIES HERSELF! I cant believe people are having this conversation…you can say what you want…If Halle Berry and Mariah were saying “I am white” and claiming nothing “black” not only would whites have a fit…blacks would have a fit as well….yes they walk out of their houses and identify themselves as black because thats what they are…a little bit, part, half, all….IT IS THE SAME THING! it upsets me to my core that we as HUMANs who have fought for equality and recognition for so long have the nerve to sit on a BLOG and talk about what “counts” and “doesnt count” this woman is BLACK….just like Naomi Campbell is BLACK…she’s biracial? So since all of her isnt “black” none of her is “black”? The term “black” was defined as a term to identify African Americans…Naomi is British and of African decent…so shes not AFRICAN AMERICAN…to TECHNICALLY, does that mean she isnt really black either? Either way…it doesnt matter…women of color (regardless of what color) are under-represented in the fashion community…lets praise this woman of color, for her beauty…and for MAKING THE CUT. the end.

  29. tt says:

    this topic of conversation is stupid. if a biracial person claims black why should that bother me, especially when the great majority of biracial people look black? y’all kill me saying someone who may identify as black isn’t black. gtfohwtbs! you’re right, it’s 2013 & people can label themselves as they wish.

  30. Bukstar says:

    Ditto Tam #killonedroprule.

    Def not buying anything prada or miumiu

  31. Jade says:

    Shut up S. I hate when people say we are all mixed with something all the way down the line. Have you traced everyone’s family history? And so basically your saying there is no 100% black people ?and we are talking about a woman having an obvious White parent and a Black parent and still being called Black when she is not. She is Biracial.

  32. Jade says:

    And for Michelle Jamican is a nationality just like American so they are still black or from “from the African Descent.”

  33. Ashley says:

    Jamaican*

  34. Monica says:

    She looks extremely similar to a model who’s all over ASOS. Anyone know if its the same girl?

    BTW, I agree with Lola’s first post on this issue. My boyfriend is biracial (white mother/black father) and he identifies as such, but out in the world he is always labeled as black. And most black folks will always call him “light-skinned” instead of biracial, so pretty much all folks label him solely as black.

  35. Anonymous says:

    That Prada looks like a Celine bag… Or nah?

  36. Ms. Vee says:

    Who cares?

    1) Prada is a white owned company that markets to the white demographic.

    2) Biracial is NOT black. Therefore this entire topic, involving Malaika Firth as a black model is null and void. Whether prada chooses to use a token black model or not, in the future, is quite frankly irrelevant.

  37. jillibooboo says:

    That’s not even black.

  38. spotteur says:

    So, this young woman has a black mother and a white father, why would it necessarily black? why is it not considered white?
    A vast majority of actresses, singers, models who have sucess are biracial anyone can see, there are only blacks that refuse to accept this reality, prefer to take refuge in the “one drop rule”. Lol

  39. J310 says:

    Prada supports racism. Despite the marketing attempting to show ethnic diversity the core of the company is still behind the times employing racist store managers. Adrianna C. Myers the racist Miu Miu store manager at the Beverly Hills store that regularly drops the unsavory “N” bomb publicly within an ear shot of customers that are appalled by racism.

    Please Prada clean out you closet and ditch these out of fashion racist employees.

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