This activist recreated iconic advertisements to show how diversity is sorely needed in the fashion industry.
The United States of America suffers from a huge inclusion crisis. From John Wayne portraying Ghengis Khan in “The Conquerer” (1956) to Jake Gyllenhaal depicting an individual of Persian descent in “The Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time” (2010), more often than not, Caucasian individuals are hired over those who might better fit the role. This ‘whitewashing’ epidemic is prevalent in the modeling industry, as well.
According to Liberian-born model Deddeh Howard who now lives in the Los Angeles, some modeling agencies promote diversity but only reserve one or two spots for darker skinned models. She wrote on her website:
“I would walk into various fashion model agencies and I would immediately be compared to that one or two black model that they had on the roster. Even though I was told by those agencies that I have an amazing look and wish they could represent me, they already have a black model. Besides having an abundance of white models. It seemed as if one or two black models on the roster are enough to represent us all.”
To raise awareness about this reality, Howard created and starred in a photo-project called Black Mirror. In it, she recreates some of the most iconic advertisements which featured the likes of Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Kate Moss, and Gisele Bundchen. The activist hopes to show inclusiveness in the fashion industry is not only rarely witnessed, but desperately needed.
“For this project I decided to re-shoot several of the inspiring and famous campaigns out there and try to show what they could look like with a black model,” Howard wrote. “Why can’t the big brands not embrace our diversity more and give all of us visibility? With this Black Mirror project I hope to show the world that it is time for all of us being seen.”
#2 Victoria’s Secret
#4 David Yurman
#7 Calvin Klein
#8 Dolce & Gabbana
#9 Louis Vuitton
via Daily Mail
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