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Vogue Italy’s ‘Vogue Black’ Section and More Proof of Fashion’s Race Problem

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Image: Vogue Italy

It's almost impossible to believe that people at Vogue Italy actually thought creating a "Vogue Black" section was a good idea. That is just the case, however, as highlighted in an op-ed by Jason Campbell for Business of Fashion. Campbell points out that the section has been around since 2010 and is dedicated solely to covering people of color. "What recently attracted my attention was its coverage from Pitti Uomo in Florence for which the site’s editors thought it appropriate to segregate black street style images in a section of the site’s 'Black Blog' called 'Vogueista Black,'" writes Campbell. Separation doesn't always have to be bad; for example, women of color have different hair and beauty needs and addressing those is a positive thing. Unfortunately, segregation for the sake of segregation doesn't do anything but further the divide. Vogue Italy was also the one who, in 2008, published an “all black” issue. It was widely hailed as a triumph, but isn't that, too, just segregation for the sake of segregation (and PR buzz)? If a publication really cares about diversity, it should make a point to integrate models of color seamlessly and in proportion to other ethnicities in its everyday coverage.

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The disturbing issues of race don't end there. Miroslava Duma published an image on her website of Garage magazine’s editor in chief Dasha Zhukova sitting on a chair/woman in bondage wear — again, hard to believe that someone thought this was acceptable. She has since issued an apology and has cropped the image so that you can only see the black woman's boots. Also on deck when it comes to apologies? Madonna, who has apologized after much criticism for her use of the N word. Let's hope Martin Luther King, Jr. isn't turning in his grave.

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