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11 February 2008

Comments

Ryan

my original post didnt load up because my browser crashed.

but, basically i wanted to add some more to this post:

Yes, it is a catch-22 for black designers. I think if they do showcase black models in their lines, then the buyers (whoa re most certainly white) for the Macy's, Bloomingdales, etc. wont take them because of that very weird and longstanding belief that black models can't sell, etc.


on the other hand, if they do use black models, then they seen as "urban" or not mainstream. and, if you are a black designer who is showing a high couture line and you want to be picked up by a Macy's or even one of the many buyers from high end boutiques and stores overseas, those buyers wont take you seriously...I don't know. this is all my speculation since I'm not in fashion...

as for black models, they have to go overseas to build up their books so that they can, in theory, come back to NYC and GET the big name bookings and campaigns (which black models dont get enough of). Tyra had to go to Paris in her early career; Naomi Campbell was a fierce runway and campaign darling in London, Paris, and Milan and literally became an overnight sensation in New York with ALL designers and campaigns wanting to work with her..I think Naomi has appeared in Vogue more than most black models to date I think...Phina Oruche--british born and raised. was turned down by EVERY british modeling agency in london. then finally signed with one. She launched her career in London and Paris and then came to New York City and spent five years working exclusively as a model for The Gap (phinaoruche.com) She's an actress, writer and director and has her own production company...

The men are pretty much the same way...im sure many black male models (I believe Will LeMay started in Toronto, came to NYC, and really got his career started when john bartlett used him for his runway show..then of course, came that infamous betsey johnson show where he only wore a SEVERELY tight ass pair of draws {and tot his day, EVERY gay man of color is THANKFUL for betsey being inspired like that! :)}..his career went into overdrive. specifically, he landed a Versace campaign and was one of donatella's many muses...Gap, Sean John, and various other work came for him. and he had to head overseas to get work also.

It's pretty much the name of the game for black models..if they want to get the big time campaigns or steady work in general, they have to go overseas to and build their books/portfolios..many will spend a period of time there. London and Paris are the MOST welcoming to Black models...milan not as much--if you are a black male model. black women tend to be celebrated more in europe than they are here in america...


it's an interesting paradox...one that should be examined and addressed. Legendary model/agency owner/booker Bethann Hardison (who was/still is tyson beckford's manager?), Iman, and other famous and aspiring black models have been having some town hall type meetings which have addressed this issue and how to change it.

Having Diane von Furstenburg, the head of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) be supportive of diversity and demand that designers be more inclusive is a big start...and puffy doing his show is also a start in the right direction.

But, we live in Amerikkka, home of the Aryan standard. We all know that anyone who doesn't fit that problematic and divisive standard of beauty has an extremely difficult time of "making it" in fashion....

Ryan

my original post didnt load up for some reason...but basically, i wanted to add something else to this.

The reality of all is this is that we live in a nation that, for the most part, is still subtly dictated by eurocentric standards of beauty..white is right, blonde eyes and blue hair is "perfect", etc.

anyone that doesnt fit that standard, isnt considered beautiful.

remember, advertising companies that put out the various fashion ad campaigns--even the designers themselves--are dictated by "WHO" sells the product best--if you look at any current fashion mag for a Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, etc. who will you see?

just my two cents....

interesting topic that should be examined more often in print...

Ben

A few comments:

1. I'm a white gay guy who loves reading Rod 2.0 because he covers a wide array of topics - LGBT news of all stripes, fashion, politics, activism, etc - with far more intelligence and panache than most blogs.

2. I learn things here. Towleroad is nice, but lacks the depth you often find here.

3. The term 'boys' used in the context of the modeling/fashion industry is demeaning. Not for the potential racial or sexual aspects as touched on in previous comments, but for reason of industry hierarchy and economic class. The industry and the designers see the 'boys' and 'girls' as mere cattle for their use. Tools to promote their goods and make their fortunes. The end of the supermodel era was very calculated as a way to avoid having to spend money on models. Why else put all those celebrities on the covers of the magazines...(beyond tying further into Hollywood for cross promotion etc.)

4. I would question Sean Combs motivations for hiring all black models. But then there's a lot to question about that character.

5. For those of you suggesting Rod is the only significant gay black voice on the web of this type these days, post-Keith Boykin's web transformation, you really need to look around. Folks like Kenyon Farrow, Pam Spaulding and Republic of T are all doing interesting writing, analysis and blogging. The web is awesome. My bloglines feeds are dizzying some days. I get up in the morning and have 400+ new posts to read from everyone from Rod 2.0 to the aforementioned Towleroad to Think Progress to Queerty to AmericaBlog to Andrew Sullivan and AfterElton and even some really crazy right wingers, because you have to know how the other half thinks!

sundaydinner

What's triumphant about having an all black show by a black designer same as Calvin Klein with all white models. Diddy missed it he should have continued to have a diverse catwalk which represents more inclusion rather than this centuries old black and white race exclusionary club.

Luther

Good for him, we all know that in the "real" world, black still isn't considered beautiful, and, the fashion industry along with Hollywood is by far the most racist in that thought, can't risk the ire of the European and Asian consumers.

Sparkle

I can see why white modeling agencies don't want to hire black males. They don't want to see the white boys get shown up. Brothas be doin it on the runway and if they put all dem beautiful brothas on that runway nobody would pay attention to them scrawny no-behind white models.

White folks ain't no fool. They know our beautiful black azzes rock!!!!!

pierre destin

because we are black , they know they are white like black ink on a paper thier beauty is painted on us. thanks big bro diddy your star shines on us,-------------pierre destin , a jobless model

pierre destin

because we are black , they know they are white like black ink on a paper thier beauty is painted on us. thanks big bro diddy your star shines on us,-------------pierre destin , a jobless model

Alexis

kudos those men look great diddy.. know tell me how do i apply to become one your models.???

Aaisha

Thank God for Life. It is beautiful to see Black beauty grace the Runway.
Many people have written negative comments about the fashion show above.
Just appreciate the change.
I do not see any of you making any changes apart from putting down a black brother tryng to make a change to an industry which consistantly excludes black people.

If Diddy hired black men and not boys so what?

He is setting a trend. Black People always set the trend to trade.
There is know need to copy a trend that excludes black people. Black skin stay's younger and stronger than all other races.
We can afford to grace the Catwalks older than the average.

All the black male models are beautiful.
Stop putting down your own race, and start making a positive change. We need to start loving our own....

Star Davis

I was wondering how do i go about becomming a sean john model

robert jackson

help me guild my 13 year old son.he is fresh,young,raw,natural,talented,hansom,urban,respectful,and a wonderful personality!

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