Fashion bible Harpers Bazaar magazine is a place that women go to for style advice and to see what the latest trends are. Traditionally, high fashion publications like these aren’t known for their advocacy of ethnic diversity, but with so many trends hacking the usual fashion mold, perhaps we soon will turn to fashion mags to truly see a color array of models.
Carine Roitfeld, who is the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, and now the Global Fashion Director of all Harpers Bazaar magazines just released images of a shoot in this month’s US version, called ‘Beauty and the Best of the Pre-Fall Collections Go West’.
The models featured were of varying ethnicities and body shapes. Yes, this double-whammy actually happened! Plus size American model Ashley Graham was involved, as well as Japanese model Chiharu Okunugi, African-American model Riley Montana, and fashion legend Carolyn Murphy.
To see a high fashion spread encompassing so many different facets of the human race is encouraging, bold, and very relieving. Does this mean the fashion world is finally starting to see the diversity that actually exists in the real world? Why has it taken so long?
Actress and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o spoke about the importance of accurate representations in the media for young women, at a luncheon before this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.
She explained the importance of seeing black models like Alek Wek, and powerful black women like Oprah Winfrey in media, which helped her feel ok in her own skin. She’s not alone, we all feel that way and we look to certain things in pop culture and media, arguably our biggest influencers in the western world, to show us validation for what we look like.
This beauty editorial was Carine’s first for Harpers, and the best thing about it is that there was no specific mention of race, body shape, or even that it was a very diverse shoot. It just…was. If this is a new direction from the mag, we’re excited to see how it will influence not only readers, but the rest of the fashion publication industry as to how they choose to portray women in their pages.
Anna Wintour and Co., take note!