Last month, we featured Oroma Elewa in our Closet Crush feature. Oroma is the founder and director of Pop’ Africana, a high-fashion magazine looking to enlighten the world on the beauty of African culture and style. We have also frequently featured Vogue Italia’s all-black spreads, which are working to promote diversity in the fashion world. Diversity of models perhaps almost exclusively because when it came time to give credit to a black publication for photos used in a feature, Vogue Italia did not hold up its end of the bargain.
The striking image shown above is one from Pop’ Africana’s first issue, featuring new sensation Ataui Deng. Last week, Ataui was profiled on Vogue Italia’s Black page as a New Face, interviewed by fashion legend Bethann Hardison. In the piece, images from Ataui’s various fashion spreads were shown from Bergdorf Goodman, i-D, Elle Italia and more. All are credited, but when it came to Pop’ Africana’s image, it is merely credited as “French”. The same goes for a few images from French Revue de Mode, though the photographer for the shoot, Julia Noni is credited earlier in the piece.
Is this just a mistake or something intentional? Oroma herself as well as Dominick Rolle, a Pop’ Africana supporter seem to agree with the latter.
“The racial undertones of a continual failure by European fashion magazines to credit the amazing work presented in Pop’ Africana to the African writers, editors and photographers that create most of it has inspired a new direction for my new blog…Do we dare be so creative and well put together that it competes directly with or can stand boldly next to the tanks, dazed and confused, vogue italias’ and purples of this world? While this new direction in tone and delivery for my blog will make me very unpopular, many editors and bloggers have forgotten the importance and the responsibility they hold as writers.” – Dominick Rolle & Oroma Elewa
Visit www.popafricana.com for more information.
What do you think of Vogue Italia’s mistake? Is it just an oversight or is the website which is working so hard to promote diversity actually trying to steal the spotlight from African writers, photographers and editors?