MalaikaFirth_Prada

The fashion world’s lack of diversity is well known. Despite history-makers like Iman, Beverly Johnson, Naomi Sims, Peggy Dillard-Toone, and others paving the way in the ‘70s and ‘80s, since the seeming black model boom in the 1990s (Naomi, Tyra, Roshumba, Verionica Webb, Beverly Peeele, et. al), the industry hasn’t been too kind to sistas.

Of the four major fashion weeks earlier this season—New York, London, Paris, and Milan—nearly 90% of all models walking the runway were white.

The breakdown: 848 White models, 63 Black models, 59 Asian models, 20 Hispanic models, and 3 from the Middle East.

Which brings us to the latest, “Look! A black girl!” fashion news circling the web.

After 19-years of keeping their ad campaigns all-white (with an Asian woman sprinkled in for flavor), Prada finally cast a black (biracial) woman in one of its ads.

Yay?

Kenyan-born, British-raised Malaika Firth is the first sista to snag a Prada ad since Naomi Campbell in 1994.

NINETEEN NINETY-FOUR.

Let that sink in.

Though some are giving the Italian house props and wondering if this will signal a new, more inclusive era for Prada, I won’t hold my breath.

The fashion industry is one of contradictions. While it pats itself on the back for “all black editorials” and including black models in a show (After a brand has been publicly shamed, no less. Hello, Dior), it continues to literally prefer white skin while craving everyone’s dollars.

And while I’m happy for Firth–because, let’s face it, this could make her career–Prada should not and will not get any kudos from me for failing to recognize the beauty of black women (or all women for that matter) for nearly TWO DECADES.

33 Comments

  1. J310

    Prada please clean out your closet and get rid of racism. That closet cleaning includes racist store managers like the Miu Miu Beverly Hills store manager that drops the N Bomb. Please Please Please get with the times. Fashion is about moving forward not dragging out the worst things from the past. The model choice shows ethnic diversity but it still evident that the company is still in the past with its ideals.

  2. GeorgeLanceRockwell

    It hurts but it’s true: nobody caters to Black people because nobody likes us, we have little monetary value, and we’ll spend money on them anyway. Black people shouldn’t support these businesses and should instead strive to make our own. Black people need to stop going where we are not wanted and stop trying to associate with other races that hate us and all want us dead. Fact is, they’ve succeeded and Black people will be extinct by 2016.

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