Tuesday, April 14, 2009
*Just when you thought the dowager Wintour had all but ignored Franca Sozzani's clarion call in the form of last July's "all black" Italian Vogue, we have a stunning triptych of consecutive US Vogue covers. Our first lady is joined by other fashion worthy black women at the top of their game in this historical gesture. The cover stars include powerhouse performer Beyonce Knowles, Estee Lauder face Liya Kebede and new kid on the block Jourdan Dunn.
The movement spearheaded by Bethann Hardison gained a lot of momentum before last Fall/Winter 2009 runway season but the editorial market has been slow to follow. Even better than a greater presence within the pages of major fashion magazines is immediate visibility. It's fair to say this would not have been such a no-brainer if Mrs. Obama wasn't attractive and chic but I certainly didn't expect a hat trick.
Obviously, we still have more strides to make. But in marketing, the tool of repetition usually garners enough attention by playing off the susceptibility of the human psyche to herd mentality. For better or worse, Anna Wintour's Vogue is the leader in US circulation. So with the continued bombardment of images showcasing successful, chic, black women, we may see a significant shift in the paradigm of beauty as we know it.