July 9th, 2013
Fashion, Fashion News, Job Opportunities
The Fashion Bomb News Breakdown: Malaika Firth Talks Race and Prada Campaign, A Sneak Peek at H&M x Isabel Marant, and Tracy Reese is Looking for Fall/Winter 2013 Design Interns
By The Fashion Bomb Staff


Prada Casts Black Model in Ad Campaign for the First Time in Almost Two Decades Maiaika Firth

• WWD caught up with Malaika Firth, who recently catapulted into the limelight as the first black model cast in a Prada campaign since 1994, when Naomi Campbell posed for the label. While Malaika sees it as a triumph to have a person of color representing a major fashion house, she (like many of you) doesn’t consider herself to be ‘black’ per se. She explained: “I’m proud that I’m the second black model, but also, I’m mixed. I’m biracial. I find it really good that I’m not white and I’m not black. It’s amazing. Naomi Campbell is so big, so for me to be compared with her is wow.” Can’t say she doesn’t have a point! What do you think, Bombers and Bombshells? (WWD)

hm-isabel-marant• H&M treated over 2 million of their Twitter followers to a sneak peak at their upcoming collaboration with Isabel Marant. The retailer posted a snap of Marant herself trying on a piece from the range. What do you think?  (H&M Twitter)


• Gucci‘s tapped James Franco to front their fall eyewear campaign. Lensed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, the ads picture the actor looking mighty fine in a pair of the brand’s Black Bamboo sunnies, due in stores this October. I wonder if Gucci would throw in a free James Franco if I buy a pair? (WWD)


• Kanye West has released the music video for ‘Black Skinhead,’ and it’s interesting. A shirtless computer-simulated ‘Ye rants and raves while spitting lyrics to the tune’s ominous drumbeats. Check it out. (Global Grind)


'Ballo in Maschera' to Celebrate Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda

• Anna Dello Russo wore a giant boat atop her head for Dolce & Gabbana‘s annual masquerade ball this year. Behold her awesomeness. (Grazia)

Tracy Reese is looking for a few great candidates for her Fall/Winter 2013 design internship. To qualify, you must be a college student, studying fashion design or textile design, have basic knowledge of sewing, print, and textile, and familiar with Adobe Photoshop and C.A.D. If you get the internship, expect to be assisting the design team, sourcing fabric and trim, correcting samples, organizing mood boards, and creating spec sheets. This internship is unpaid or for college credit. If you fit the bill, send you resume and cover letter to lffolkes@tracyreese.com.


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35 Responses to “The Fashion Bomb News Breakdown: Malaika Firth Talks Race and Prada Campaign, A Sneak Peek at H&M x Isabel Marant, and Tracy Reese is Looking for Fall/Winter 2013 Design Interns”

  1. PEACE says:

    H&M + Isabel Marant collaboration? Low end mass made meets high end (let’s hope the quality is up to par) ?? Yes I approve can’t wait for the collection to hit the stores!! I hate h&m but will be purchasing some items!

  2. PEACE says:

    Screw PRADA!! I almost bought these lovely Prada shoes on clearance at saks fifth this past weekend and then I remembered…. This prestigious name brand doesn’t even market towards my demographic and that they are racist azzzzholes!!

  3. Sandra says:

    Yes To Isabel Marant for H&M.

  4. jrdesignerlover says:

    As for Prada, of course they are going to go with a biracial model, anything close to white is right for them. This way they can say or but she’s black and at the same time she’s not “too black”. It is a shame, and I will no longer support this brand.

    Can H&M please step into the 2013 and introduce online shopping.

  5. Mimi says:

    Malaika Firth …sorry to burst your bubble sweetie… I’m sure that the casting director at Prada didn’t look at you and think “she’s white”. YOU ARE A WOMAN OF COLOUR. You may be a mixed woman of colour but you are a woman of colour nonetheless. I think it is completely degrading to be able to pick your race card when it’s beneficial to you.

  6. stella says:

    She doesn’t consider herself to be black ???? Wow the self hatred . The truth of the matter is that by virtue of the horrific rapes that black female slaves regularly endured at the hands of slave masters,you would be hard pressed to find a African American that has a bloodline 100 African . We have to love ourselves and I’m greatly saddened by this statement. I respect this blog n hope that Claire n co will take this as an opp to inform and encourage self love among blacks

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m not black, I’m not white.. Im biracial… lmaoooo So what two races are you sweetie.. Because biracial is not a race..

  8. Ashley says:

    @stella How is this self hatred? We are talking about a girl with one white parent and one black parent, we’re not talking what’s down her family tree. And FYI Biracial IS a race. It means more than one race hince the bi it means two. And she doesn’t want to X out her other race and she shouldn’t have to she has every right in the world to want to be identified as a biracial woman. DEAL WITH IT.

  9. lmao says:

    I love how people interpret ‘I’m not black’ as ‘I’m white.’ lol never did she say she wasn’t a POC. Being biracial counts as POC!!!!!! Also she said: ‘I’m not white.’

    The reading comprehension with some a y’all is low– no surprise that the ignorance is so high.

  10. kendra says:

    Sorry but as an African. This girl is not black. If she was living in Nigeria she won’t be treated as a black woman. She will be treated as a white woman. Doors will be opened to her and people will basically lick her feet. I can’t see dis as any form of breakthrough. She is white to me. Call me when you see black skin in one of their campaigns.

  11. Anonymous says:

    When did bi-racial become a race?.

  12. Est87 says:

    Lmao I saw this coming. Some people really believe she’s displaying self hatred by simply stating what she is? This woman is mixed race – fact! We know the white world just sees black, but we know damn well she is both! I see nothing wrong with her showing pride for being BOTH. It’d be different if she actually WAS black & said she wasn’t or if she showed a negative attitude to her black side, but she hasn’t.

  13. dreka says:

    I don’t know this particular girl or her ideologies but for me the larger point is that everybody is running away from blackness.everybody wants to be other than. Doing everything possible to get away from that thing that has so thoroughly been branded as ugly ,ignorant, animalistic, primitive:BLACK.If that’s not self hatred Idk what is.The current psychological state of our people is scary. All I’m saying is we gotta change our thinking about ourselves.

  14. Est87 says:

    OMG people mixed race (or biracial) IS a race. What’s wrong with people?

  15. Enigma says:

    I don’t see the self-hatred people are talking about. She is mixed with white and black likes to identify as someone who is mixed. I wish some times that Americans would realize that just because some white folks came up with the idea that one drop of black blood makes you black isn’t an idealogy accepted internationally and that just maybe this “rule” came about so slave owners could absolve themselves from the raping of the black women.

  16. SAW says:

    Biracial is NOT a race its a TERM/WORD. The same way Race is a Term/Word. Some you people fail to think critically. . And there’s nothing wrong with her accepting both races.

  17. Tee Tee says:

    Why is it any of our buisness what she wants to consider HERSELF.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Biracial is a word not a race.. and there’s nothing wrong with her acknowledging both races

  19. Georgia says:

    I agree with dreka. Of course there are multiracial people in the world and have been for centuries, no one rational would deny that, but this discussion only ever comes up when one of the categories is black. No one ever talks about Keanu Reeves, for example, as biracial. Each of us can call ourselves anything we want, but the fact is people only define it as a way of distancing from “pure black.”

  20. Poetry says:

    I’m all for black pride but this woman claiming she is just black is like denying one of her parents. She is white and black. And while yes white racist will view her as black I will simply view her as a mixed race woman.

    Ask yourself would you deny your mothers culture (for those of us who are foreign black) just because people felt your fathers culture was more dominant than hers?

  21. Georgia says:

    Oh, and Isabel Marant? Stop ripping off native cultures–Native Americans last year, Africans this year (http://www.matchesfashion.com/product/139276). And then she has the nerve to call people who copy her allegedly original designs as vulgar. Vulgar is cultural piracy.

  22. bea says:

    I knew from the jump the girl did not consider herself black. They never do, so her grabbing the Prada campaign is big for biracial models.

  23. keys says:

    Georgia just dropped some real knowledge!!

  24. koko says:

    she never said she was only white, she said she was both. yikes.

    @kendra, being african myself, your comment comes off a little hateful to me (i mean no disrespect). i would posit that the problem should not be that she does not “look black”, the problem should be the people who are willing to “lick her feet,” as you put it, for NOT being black. that strikes me as the bigger issue.

    @georgia, i agree with you somewhat, but i would also put forth that it is born from American history. race will always be a tenuous situation here. specifically black and white race relations.

  25. Tam says:

    I was the first to say she was NOT black in the previous on this topic and people got angry. Well I guess she told ya’ll. The one drop rule is dying and I am glad! Black women do not need to hitch out accomplishments to others.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Y’all can debate this woman’s race till the cows come home…..SAY IT OUT LOUD…..I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD!!!!!!

  27. Nakia P says:

    Thanks for this information I admit I was ignorant of this fact about prada.. I have a few Miu Miu pumps but will pass on anything additional and the baroque sunglasses I was about to order, if they don’t want my money they certainly won’t get it.

  28. Ms. Dreadhead says:

    God there are some ignorant morons here. The girl is NOT black. For her to state this fact does not make her self hating but a rational person who is not going to deny 50% of her lineage from her father. Let it go people. Black mother + Black father = black person. End of. She is mixed race (mulatto) and should embrace it. Common sense has escaped so many.

  29. afrodiva says:

    Iam a beautiful black African woman currently living in America and iam totally appalled at how every issue ends up being about race.everything is viewed with race tinted lens. Americans are generally hung up on race. And its seems worse with African American. I understand that there is a history of very contentious race relationships between blacks and whites. But both victim and perpetrators need to heal. There are definitely bonafide race issues which need to be dealt with but every stray mice on the street is not a racial issue. I do not need any white person to validate me. I don’t need to see a black model on a magazine cover or being a major brand representative to tell me I’m beautiful. Of course having lots of successful black models will enrich black people socioeconomically which I applaud. We need to also understand that whites have the buying power and the target market is white. I will not use mostly white models to advertise my traditional African clothes,food,Jewellery etc,because whites are not my target market. The rest of the world acknowledges people of mixed race and biracial folks.you don’t have to be either black or white. Describing oneself as biracial is not distancing yourself from “black”.it is acknowledging who you are. Its quite simple and does not need to be distorted by unnecessary, annoying and frankly silly arguments by both sides of the divide. The one drop rule was instituted in America to discriminate against children of white slave masters with black mothers. It is a political fraud designed to propagate the selfish and insecure interests of white women and their offsprings who did not want to battle over inheritance and compete with “the other woman’s children.” It is not a law of nature but totally man contrived. Every human being has a right to define themselves and not be labeled by other people. Traditionally in Africa we have various names for the white race but don’t have a name for ourselves. We only identify ourselves by different ethnic groups igbo, Yoruba, Fulani,Hausa,Xhosa,Swahili etc. Even the term black is the white man’s contraption, because we know Africans and people of African descent come in a wide spectrum of skin colors. African Americans learn to love yourselves and stop playing victims to other peoples label. I celebrate malaika she’s both African and European simple. Just like people have dual citizenship.to all my beautiful models of African descent or a mixed heritage you all rock. Peace.

  30. NYC chick says:

    Nothing at all wrong with this woman or any other identifying as biracial. She is factually correct. Why is it so offensive to some of y’all? For those saying biracial is not a race, neither is Hispanic or african American for that matter. Race is a socially contrived category system.

    Let the girl identify how she wants!

  31. Sara says:

    @ Afrodiva

    I take exception to some of your remarks pertaining to African Americans. It is common knowledge that most Africans, in particular the females, worship the very whites who plundered their countries for its natural resources, ruthlessly murdered their ancestors, oppressed and sold them into slavery. Yet still it is your burning desires to marry whites because it is in essence a measure of superiority for you.

  32. Reicie says:

    Not everyone considers themselves African-Americans, because it is true not many have direct ties or or knowledge of what part of or tribe their ancestry is derived from. Black itself is multiracial so it doesn’t go over well when one considers themselves bi (two) racial (ethnicity). No matter how many commercials and advertisements are created to perceive “people/person of color” as racial ambiguity, the masses seem to relate to only one school of thought… black or white.

  33. JLove says:

    Malaika Firth has the right to define herself as she so wishes. To expect this Kenya-born woman, who clearly doesn’t even look like she is full Kenyan. (http://www.maasai-association.org/assets/girls1.jpg)

    To expect Malaika to deny the input of her white parent is ridiculous – especially when one considers that many people with TWO black parents are quick to claim supposed native American or European ancestry from centuries ago.

    Get a grip, black people.

  34. spotteur says:

    I think it is the manufacture of products for Burberry, Prada sets the tone just as a strong entry into the more she is biracial born to an English father.
    Two years ago back in the new Naomie Were Nyasha Matonhodze, but she had no English blood and despite her success she does not have Were cast for Burberry ad campaign because not enough clear skin.
    you notice that the same goes for the black girls prada cast highlighted by prada in parades are never black are always biracial

  35. spotteur says:

    If it was not Biracial, she would never have had the Prada campaign, just watch the parades prada to see that the only models that Muccia says black support in its cast are biracial “Aka black women”

    2 if she was having was not biracial she would never had the support of Vogue Uk

    3 Prada campaign is simply for support to make its debut at Burberry’s image agree well said their “black woman but not really”

    4 a year ago in the back Were Nyasha Matonhodze who had gone to be the new naomie but if if does not work with Burberry campaign as all British models. do not believe that it is cartion for something?

    5 beyond the fashion world mocks black women openly

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