Anti-tokenism message shared by the latest cover of British Vogue

Bol News  |  Jan 18, 2022

Anti-tokenism message shared by the latest cover of British Vogue

The cover of the latest issue of British Vogue issued an anti-tokenism message. They did this by including nine dark-skinned African-American models, including model Adut Akech. Editor-in-chief Edward Enninful described the cover as an attempt to “redefine what it means to be a fashion model.”

The cover appears to be based on a similar cover by photographer Peter Lindhberg from 1990. Which introduced the world to the concept of the supermodel and featured solely white ladies. “I saw all these great models from throughout Africa who were just so vibrant and brilliant,” Enninful said of the cover’s inspiration.

Read more: Malala Yousafzai & Apple CEO Tim Cook features on British Vogue 2021

“You know, fashion tends to follow waves,” he continued. The Brazilian wave has passed us by. There was also a Dutch wave, a Russian wave, an Eastern European wave… I love that we are finally providing more space to African beauty. Even though the Black model has gained importance in the last decade.”

“When I first started modeling internationally, I would literally be the only Black, dark-skinned girl in the show,” Akech explained in the Vogue feature. There were no models from Sudan or Africa. Whereas, now I go to a show and see girls from my country, African girls that look like me. Yes, there has been a significant shift.”

Read more: Billie Eilish makes history as her Vogue photo reaches milestone in six minutes

Models Nyagua Ruea, Majesty Amare, Amar Akway, Janet Jumbo, Maty Fall, Abény Nhial, and Akon Changkou also appear on the cover.

This is due to the lack of middlemen in the world of social media, according to a contributing casting director for Vogue. Which has helped a lot of African models’ breakthroughs.

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