At the DVF Fall 2012 show, Franca Sozzani – editor of Vogue Italia – revealed that an upcoming issue of L’Uomo Vogue (Italian Men’s Vogue) will be completely “about people who are from Africa, in a positive way.” This issue, to be released sometime in early summer (likely May or June) will be the magazine’s second time highlighting African fashion, and culture. The first took place back in November of 2008, shortly following the massive success (and controversy, of course) of Vogue Italia’s Black Beauty issue that same July.
This time, the issue will focus less on the clothing and models, and more so on the richness of culture and progressive talent that is found throughout Africa. “It will be about the presidents, it will be about the people,” Sozzani told to online magazine Styleite. “I don’t want to say in a glamourous way, but I wanted to show the best side, but only the good side. There are a lot of talents, a lot of talented people in art, in music, in cinema and everywhere. So I really wanted to push that side.”
But, despite recognition from Sozzani and team of African influence in fashion and culture, a full publication has yet to be seen. And we highly doubt we’ll be able to count on it anytime soon. After the 2008 issue, France-based Cameroonian creative director and photographer Mario Epanya launched a Facebook group called “Vogue Africa,” campaigning for a full-on book. Every issue. All the time. He posted gorgeous mock-up covers that rivaled ones on the newsstand even today, and presented with them a plethora of ideas for features and spreads. But publishing company Condé Nast shut him down, down, down (*Drake voice*), and flat-out denied licensing for the proposed African Vogue.
Epanya has since moved on to leave his own mark as founder and editor of Winkler magazine, but it still leads us to wonder: Why are countries like Japan, Mexico, and even Australia entitled to their own versions of Vogue, but an entire continent so diversely rich in culture and history continues to be slighted? Do these all-black issues serve as any consolation to that fact that we may never have our own, or does it even matter? Many would argue (perhaps, out of hurt and disappointment) that we as a people don’t need validation from a publication from Vogue. But even still, there’s no denying the power and influence that the brand has, and how many talented people’s careers have fully blossomed and taken flight from mere mention by the magazine.
What are your thoughts?