Young African Magazine
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The State of Black Models in Mainstream Fashion

Three women of color have appeared on the cover of a Vogue Magazine in three consecutive months—Michelle Obama appeared on the March issue of Vogue, Beyonce appeared on the April issue of Vouge, and now Liya Kebede appears on the May cover of the magazine alongside other top models. Liya credits the Obamas for having an influence on diversity in the fashion industry. As she told NY Magazine, “I think it’s wonderful to have a beautiful, elegant man and woman in the White House,” said Kebede. “I think it changes the way we look at things. Already they’re attracting so much attention. I think fashion is following, and I’m really glad that fashion is following what they’re doing and [that] it’s really helping diversity.” Kebede added, “I think there’s a lot more black models working and I think that’s because of having Michelle and Barack out there. I mean there’s been this issue, raised last year—how there wasn’t enough black models on the runways—but I think Barack and Michelle have really helped us, hopefully forever, to get over this hurdle for black models.”


Earlier this month, supermodel Naomi Campbell told the German Glamour magazine that although politically times have changed and a black president is now in power in the United States, the modelling industry is behind the times and black women have to work harder in order to get equal treatment.
What do you think, are black models “over” the hurdle or do they still have a ways to go to get equal treatment? Share your comments below.
(Photo Credits: Iconogenic, © iStockphoto) (Model Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)
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