Deddeh Howard is all of us right now.
Just like you’ve searched the pages of mainstream magazines for years trying to find girls that look like you — you know, more than one in each issue — the West African native (now living in L.A.) has always noticed the lack of #BlackGirlMagic in fashion. “When growing up as a girl, I always wondered why the big brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Guess, and many others rarely seemed to use a Black model,” she wrote in a recent post on her website. After becoming a model herself, she quickly learned that it wasn’t because there weren’t enough Black models slaying the game.
Go’n ahead and take a moment to give all the side-eyes.
Clearly, brands couldn’t (and many still can’t) be bothered to recognize and appreciate the myriad of gorge skin tones, hair textures, and overall levels of fleekiness that Black girls bring. They apparently do believe, though, that keeping a whole host of white girls on deck is the move. “It seemed as if one or two black models on the roster are enough to represent us all. When you are told that, trust me, it feels bizarre,” Deddeh writes. “[At many famous fashion events] Black girls are almost invisible. There is the odd one here and there, but it always feels like an afterthought.”
To speak out on the diversity issue — as so many others have done before her — Deddeh launched the Black Mirror project to recreate famous fashion campaigns originally shot with white models. Peep a few of the new takes below:
“I hope to show the world that it is time for all of us being seen,” she writes. “Let’s give the next generations something to believe in.”
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