Vanity Fair Italy debuts its newest issue which features an incredible cover and editorial of Andrew Howe, the ridiculously talented and obscenely gorgeous biracial Italian Olympic track star. The Vanity Fair Italy cover is lensed by well-known fashion photographer Richard Phibbs, who captured the Barack Obama-inspired fashion editorial for Paper and the muscular and bulging model Kwame.
Howe is 23 years old, born in Los Angeles and moved to Italy when he was five. His mother, who is black, was an American Olympic hurdler. Howe is favored to win a medal at the Beijing Olympics in the long jump, after setting the Italian national record at 8.47m and taking the gold at the 2006 European Championships.& ;
Make sure you run and don't walk to the bookstore for the special June/July double issue of Out. The magazine's annual "Hot List" features "Sex and the City" creator Michael Patrick King and actress Sarah Jessica Parker, iconic designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, and, black lesbian hip-hop duo KIN.
That is only the appetizer. The main course is heavy on the beefcake and is found on the cover and in the 12-page editorial by noted fashion photographer Richard Phibbs. This is the same photographer who lensed those delicious images of Nigerian model Kwame, and, in the new Out, Phibbs creates a vintage sports gear-themed fantasy. The editorial includes the top male models from six of the world's leading agencies, including cover boys Oraine Barrett, who is a native of Jamaica, and Kerry Degman.
There are also some online goodies. Out.com's Popnography has some background and outtakes with new model Terrence with Ford, and, Out.com offers a a gallery slideshow, which includes fashion from Prada, and Diesel, and, Polaroids and Q&A with some of themodels. What better way to start off the spring than obsessing over fashion and a new model crush?
Yesterday, we mentioned the fact that several magazines are featuring all-black male fashion editorials in their current issues. One of those magazines is Paper, the New York City-based fashion-forward lifestyle bible. Barack Obama fans will be particularly thrilled because the editorial is entitled "Mr. President" and is dedicated to the fashion aesthetic of the Democratic presidential front runner.
Well-known fashion photographer Richard Phibbs lensed the project. Phibbs, of course, was responsible for those sculpted and muscled images of Nigerian model Kwame. Speaking of African models, the lead model in this editorial is Red NYC's Salieu Jalloh, seen above, who is from Sierra Leone and was last seen ripping the runway for Sean John in its all-black male fashion show. Below is Ibrahim Baaith, also with Red NYC.
The Obama fashion aesthetic—previously discussed on these pages and at The Huffington Post—certainly works to the candidate's advantage. The greys and muted colors convey a Kennedyesque earnestness, the open shirts are casual show confidence, at least in our opinion. The designers represented here are John Varvatos, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Michael Bastian. The models below, left to right, are Robert Joseph (Fusion), Sandy Oumar (Wilhelmina) and Ibrahim Baaith.
Cynics will probably dismiss the "Mr. President" fashion editorial as a gimmick, which would be typical, but that also demonstrates a failure to grasp at least some of the "meta" rationale for Obama's candidacy and/or presidency. If our country is going to have a black presidential nominee, or president, it opens a larger conversation on race. (The meta-conversation on Hillary Clinton's campaign and sexism, sadly, has yet to arrive.) Just like many boardrooms and executive offices, the fashion pages and runways are notoriously monochromatic. In the months to come, it's likely many companies will reevaluate their complexion of their executive offices, and more magazines and designers will hire more black models.
Here, we see Kwame before, sans suit. Hit the link and see the after, and, get a full-size scan of the above pic. We tend to think that the man makes the suit, but, in Kwame's case ... It. Doesn't. Matter.