Fashion can be boundary-pushing, gender-bending, and anti-establishment, but one thing it continues to not be is inclusive — and one iconic supermodel is sick of it.
On Tuesday, Naomi Campbell took to her Instagram page to call out the lack of diversity in U.K. Vogue's masthead.
Sharing a photo of the magazine's all-white staff, which was published in a recent issue, Campbell captioned the pic, "This is the staff photo of @britishvogue under the previous editor #AlexandraSchulman. Looking forward to an inclusive and diverse staff now that @edward_enninful is the editor 🌍🇬🇧👩🏼👱♀️👩🏽👩🏾👵🏿let's hear your thoughts ?"
Campbell was referring to former editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman, who recently stepped down from her post, making way for Edward Enninful, the magazine's first black editor-in-chief.
Enninful, who previously worked at W and American Vogue, has announced he will bring in more diverse contributors, including Campbell herself, and acclaimed film director Steve McQueen.
GREAT BRITAIN !!! Meet four new Contributing Editors for @britishvogue, the iconic Creative Director @therealgracecoddington, Supermodel/Actress/Activist @iamnaomicampbell, Style Icon @katemossagency and Oscar winning Filmmaker/Artist #SteveMcqueen. Four of the most inspiring people I know. I look forward to the magic they will bring to the pages of #Vogue and online xoxo
The fall-out from Shulman's departure and Enninful's appointment was swift, with several longtime staff members leaving the 101-year-old glossy. One staff member, former Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers, broke the fashion internet when she revealed that she was unceremoniously given the boot by Enninful.
The staff departures, however, will make room for more diverse editors and contributors, and it seems like Campbell has plenty of support for her sentiment, including fellow supermodel Linda Evengelista, who commented on the Instagram post with a simple, "WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!"
Greta Constantine designer Kirk Pickersgill also displayed his disgust with the lack of diversity among the Vogue staff, commenting, "Wow! Is that for real? And has the nerve to put 2017!!! SHAME SHAME SHAME!!"
Broadcaster Edward Adoo told the BBC that the Vogue photo looked like a snapshot of "very old school Britain."
"It seemed there was no room for anyone else. It seemed like the Sloanies' club. In the whole fashion industry, the mainstream element feels very middle class, very white, very controlled, and there needs to be some kind of breakthrough.
In the whole fashion industry, the mainstream element feels very middle class, very white, very controlled, and there needs to be some kind of breakthrough.
"I think Edward Enninful is a step in the right direction. He's black, he's gay and he reaches out to different people, and I think that's what's needed," he said.
Enninful has been calling for more diversity in the fashion world for years, and makes it his mission to work with as wide a variety of contributors and models as possible.
This year, he used an all-black cast for the 2018 Pirelli calendar, which included actress Lupita Nyong'o, RuPaul, P. Diddy, Whoopi Goldberg, and Campbell.
Last year he spoke to Time about how there needs to be widespread change in the fashion industry to make it more inclusive.
"If you put one model in a show or in an ad campaign, that doesn't solve the problem," he said.
"We need teachers in universities, we need internships, we need people of different ethnic backgrounds in all parts of the industry. That really is the solution; you have to change it from the inside."
If you put one model in a show or in an ad campaign, that doesn't solve the problem.
In the same interview, Campbell said: "For me, it never stops. It's not a fight, it's a conversation — constantly reminding people that diversity is beautiful and that there should be diversity and equal opportunity."
Perhaps it's not surprising that Shulman's Vogue lacked ethnic diversity. After all, in 2012 she tried to avoid responsibility for it in her magazine, writing, "In a society where the mass of the consumers are white and where, on the whole, mainstream ideas sell, it's unlikely there will be a huge rise in the number of leading black models."
Thankfully, Edward thinks differently.
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