Earlier this year, photographer and makeup artist Mario Epanya imagined several covers for what would be a future African edition of Vogue. Though there’s a Vogue Nippon, Vogue India, and even a Vogue Australia, there isn’t a Vogue Africa–and Mario was dedicated to changing that.
The last we talked to him, he was pursuing ways to purchase the license to Vogue Africa from Conde Nast International.
Imagine our disappointment when Mario posted the following message on Vogue Africa’s facebook page this past Friday: “DEAR ALL, this is the last cover of Vogue Africa, Condé Nast said no for (a) license. Thank you for all your support. It’s a beginning of something.”
I had to call Mario up to clarify.
“…About a month ago I sent the director of Conde Nast France a message, via my friend, asking how I would go about getting a license for Vogue Africa. He replied that no, it would not be possible to do the project.”
He continued, “It’s ok. Now I feel more free to work on my own projects and concentrate on good, original ideas.”
It was my understanding that Conde Nast France is itself a license of Conde Nast International, the originator and creator of the Vogue brand. Does Conde Nast France have the authority to reject Vogue Africa? And shouldn’t Vogue Africa have been discussed in a proper business meeting instead of via e-mails shuttled between friends?
It sounds to me like the idea hasn’t been given the push it deserves in front of the right people. But maybe people really don’t want a Vogue Africa.
Or do they?