The fashion industry continues to evolve with Black representation, and British Vogue has transitioned into a new era involving African fashion. For the first time, nine dark-skinned African models are featured on the cover of February’s issue.
Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief and European editorial director, became the first man and the first Black person in 2017 to gain full creativity of Britain’s most well-known fashion publication. For decades, the magazine has faced criticism for its lack of diversity and inclusion with its cover photos and content. However, Enninful produced the concept for next month’s issue by selecting women that are “redefining what it is to be a fashion model,” Vogue reported.
The publication’s fashion issue displayed models Adut Akech, Anok Yai, Majesty Amare, Amar Akway, Janet Jumbo, Maty Fall, Nyagua Ruea, Abény Nhial, and Akon Changkou as they posed in a series of photos, highlighting their rich, melanated skin tones while donning ’60s inspired hairstyles. They were photographed by Rafael Pavarotti and styled by Enninful, with hair by V Pinto Moreira, make-up by Ammy Drammeh, nails by Pebbles Nails, and set design by Ibby Njoya, and production by Holmes Production.
On Jan. 12, British Vogue took to Instagram and announced the cover. “With a new generation of models in the spotlight, fashion is at last embracing what it is to be truly global. The nine models gracing the cover are representative of an ongoing seismic shift that became more pronounced on the SS22 runways; awash with dark-skinned models whose African heritage stretched from Senegal to Rwanda to South Sudan to Nigeria to Ethiopia. For an industry long criticised for its lack of diversity, as well as for perpetuating beauty standards seen through a Eurocentric lens, this change is momentous. @FunmiFetto talks to some of those redrawing the map in the February issue of #BritishVogue. See the full story in the new issue on newsstands Tuesday, Jan. 18, and click the link in bio to read in full,” they wrote in the caption.
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This cover celebrates Black women who, for years, felt invisible while navigating through the fashion industry. Yai opened up about her experiences during the early days of her modeling career.
“In the beginning, I felt really isolated,” she told British Vogue. “But now my tribe is backstage. I can speak my own language to my friends.”
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After the photo’s from the cover shoot went viral, Twitter users shared their thoughts on the nine Black models who graced the publication’s cover.
British Vogue is Blackity Black. 🖤
— 🇯🇲Jessica Noah Morgan™🇯🇲 מלכּה (@jnoahmorgan) January 14, 2022
As a Black woman who is darker, I am thrilled to see these models on the cover of @BritishVogue, getting the representation they deserve
However, I am disappointed that many of their skin tones are portrayed in an inaccurate and over-dramatized fashion (1/6) https://t.co/rSsmHWgZvM
— Ade Osinubi (@Ade_Osinubi) January 14, 2022
You can’t deny the beauty that’s black! Ever!
New British Vogue cover. pic.twitter.com/Q9xw3u7SZT
— FelaFront 🦅 (@daeveess) January 13, 2022
British Vogue February spread is literally iconic those girls are seriously glowing 😩😍😍😍 Black women deserve of every last drop of luxury the world has to offer
— Paige (@impaigelizabeth) January 14, 2022
We look forward to seeing Enningful’s creativity involving Black women soon!