by- Zaina Adamu
From bold prints to neutral palettes, the past few seasons have shown fashion designers opting for a “new look.” While peering through the current offering of sleek and sophisticated styles reminiscent of the late 90’s -I could not deny if I tried- I noticed something deeper than the clothing… in the collections, the models who strutted down the runways were predominately White, with an exotic, Black model gracing the stage every so often to add diversity to the mix. It struck my attention not because I am a Black woman, but it seemed to highlight certain collections by seeing the clothing differently- something kind of new, as some would say.
It is a triumph to see the inclusion of more Black models in designer shows, and to think it was only a couple of decades ago when the late fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent was one of the first major fashion designers to use Black models in his shows. Fast forward to the new millennium, and now more Black models grace the covers of major magazines such as Vogue and Bazaar, as well as the catwalks of fashion giants such as Prada, Oscar de la Renta and Gucci.
(Jourdan Dunn in Prada, Fall 2008)
Overall, just like the pages in a magazine, fashion catwalks may have blank, white backgrounds, but it is the black font that translates the creative work… helping to illustrate the ideas of the fashion designers into the minds of the public.