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My Own Issue With Vogue Italia's Black Issue

In a recent interview with Reuters, Franca Sozzani shares more of her reasons for coming out with the "Black Issue" of Vogue Italia, and this is how I feel about what she has to say: sometimes it's best to just leave well enough alone and STFU.  The more this woman talks, the more she sounds like a fake and a phony.

In my own opinion, Sozzani is just happy that the issue sold out and more copies had to be printed up to meet the demands of ready buyers.  Let me just remind you that the issue wasn't even expected to sell well at all because according to executives, "black models don't inspire women to spend money".

When photos first started to surface from this issue, I was a little disappointed to only see those that exposed bare chests as a distraction.  Where's the fashion?  Well, I've actually gotten over that and moved on realizing that even though bare chested women definitely was not what I wanted to see, it's not exactly what bothers me the most.

Here's really my thing, Sozzani has been with Vogue Italia for 20 years, and now all of a sudden she's overly excited about introducing more black models?  Why now?  Why not 20 years ago?  It took Barack Obama to make her realize that black people can be just as successful as others and make a company money IF given the opportunity?

Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani says the spur for July's first-ever "Black Issue" of the fashion magazine came in part from Barack Obama's progress en route to becoming Democratic presidential candidate.

In my own words, Sozanni took advantage of an opportunity to capitalize on a "black experience" now that the time is right.  PERIOD.

I really find it funny that Sozanni says, "I wasn't impressed with the current crop of look alike models with no personality".

LOL... well, FINALLY. Then she goes on to say, "America ... is ready for a black president, so why are we not ready for a black model?"


Don't get me wrong, I love the tribute.  It's a blessing that the doors opened up, and if it took Barack Obama to make it happen, then I would just consider him a "God Send".  I just want to know why it took so long?  Why did it take so long for Sozanni to open up her eyes and accept black beauty and fight to include more African American models in the magazine if this is how she really feels?

All in all, I'm just not ready to give the "sold out" issue more credit than it really deserves.

Again, Sozzani has been at Vogue Italia for 20 years, and from her own words, she's now all of a sudden "attracted by the strong personalities of the black models". That just seems strange to me.

The July issue features a profile of Michelle Obama, wife of the presidential candidate Barack Obama, and interviews with director Spike Lee and Edmonde Charles-Roux, who quit as editor of Vogue Paris over a decision not to use a cover of black model Donyale Luna in June 1966.

Sozzani said she had a different experience for her issue over 40 years later and found no resistance.

"No, no (resistance) at all, not from the clients, not from the people, my chairman was enthusiastic from the beginning," she said.

Sozzani plans to use more black models in the future, but adds "I don't want to say every issue, not every story should be with black girls, but we should have more."

The fashion business still uses few black models for advertising and even in the Black Issue's with nearly 350 pages they appear in less than a handful of publicity shots.

Sozzani says she used her influence with some advertisers to persuade them to use black models.

"I know that they're already asking for more .. for shooting and I know that already some are thinking to use more even for the shows," she said, adding "but you never know what is in the minds of the designers."

ANYWAY, thanks Sozzani for your continued efforts.  I guess.  Because I too am not impressed with the current crop of look alike models with no personality.  Next maybe we can consider a little extra weight to keep the Department of Health out of the issue and possibly even the suicide attempt rate down.


Is This A Gimmick? Yes!

But the fact remains that flipping through the issue and seeing page after page of gorgeous black women can act as a reminder to editors, stylists, modeling agencies and consumers — that beauty comes in many forms. It can be edgy, irreverent, weird, pretty, strong and avant-garde — while being black. While perhaps some may be upset that it took a "stunt" like this to throw a spotlight on the issue of the lack of diversity in magazines and runways, it's actually a beautiful souvenir, a keepsake to remember these troubled times. A protest song in photograph form. Never has the racism issue looked quite so stunning.

Interested in checking out scanned photos of the issue visit: (partial issue) or (complete issue) warning: slow loading page

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