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February 10, 2011  | by: Sydney Scott

Italian Vogue's photo showcasing of the industry's African-American models

Italian Vogue is at it again! Three years after it’s iconic “Black Issue” the magazine has released “The Black Allure”, an amazing editorial featuring the world’s top African American  models. Shot by Emma Summerton and styled by Edward Enninful the spread features Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, and Sessilee Lopez just to name a few.

Still, with American Vogue hinting at an all Asian issue, it’s hard to tell whether spreads like these are gimmicks or a step toward progress in the fashion world. For so long the industry has been stuck on a certain look and type of girl, so it’s hard to believe that they are now beginning to see that beauty doesn’t have a race or certain skin tone.

Franca Sozzani, Italian Vogue‘s editor-in-chief, addressed the issue of diversity in the fashion industry on her blog by stating, “We continue to give it more space in the magazine and website. The truth is that real beauty doesn’t care for skin color or nationality.” And while she advocates diversity in the industry she still seems a little blind toward the fact that there aren’t many African American or minority faces in the industry, “There isn’t a problem and it’s not a problem in fashion either. There is no discrimination.” She cites the Washington Post‘s articles about Vogue and Italian Vogue’s minority friendly pages, but is that enough to justify her statement?

It’s hard to decide whether or not the industry is changing when it created these issues to begin with. Is this a step towards progress and understanding that every race is beautiful or is this just another trend, in one moment and out the next?

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