Diet Prada has called out ELLE Germany for a deeply fucked fashion feature that ran in the magazine’s November 2019 issue.
Said article features six models of colour under the title “Black is back”, as if being black is a trend that goes in and out of fashion. Yikes, yikes, yikes.
Unfortunately, it just gets worse from here.
As Diet Prada pointed out, ELLE Germany also misidentified model Naomi Chin Wing as Janaye Furman. And on the magazine’s actual cover? A white woman dressed in black, and the words “Back to Black”.
Diet Prada, who has committed itself to holding huge labels and brands accountable for its actions, put it simply.
“Not a good look, @ellegermany.”
“The presumably white-led publication declares that ‘black is back’. Ironic when they, along with much of the fashion industry, have been complicit in denying visibility to black models until relatively recently.”
Diet Prada also highlighted how one of the models featured, Joan Smalls, is a goddamn industry veteran who certainly hasn’t gone anywhere over the past handful of years. Smalls has consistently appeared on Forbes’ highest-paid models of the year lists. In 2018, she ranked in eighth place – tied with Bella Hadid – on $8.5 million.
“You can’t make this stuff up!” DP said.
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Not a good look, @ellegermany . For their November 2019 issue, the presumably white-led publication declares that “black is back”. Ironic when they, along with much of the fashion industry, have been complicit in denying visibility to black models until relatively recently. Oh, and apparently they can’t actually tell models apart. In the bottom middle, a picture of @naomichinwing is used in place of @iam_janaye . And @joansmalls has been around for a minute/hasn’t gone anywhere lmao. The issue, titled “Back to Black”, also features a white model on the cover. You can’t make this stuff up! • #elle #ellemagazine #ellegermany #naomichinwing #janayefurman #models #blackmodels #modelsofcolor #runway #fashionweek #fashionmonth #pfw #nyfw #mfw #lfw #paris #london #milan #nyc #wtf #fail #magazine #print #editorial #editor #editorinchief #media #sabinenedelchev #dietprada
The English translation of the blurb, though – who the fuck approved that?
Adut Akech, who also appears in the feature, called it “SO SICKENING” in a comment on the post.
“I’m over it, honestly,” she added.
Earlier this year, Akech torched Who Magazine after they printed the wrong model – also a woman of colour – under her name.
As you can imagine, ELLE Germany’s IG page has been flooded with furious comments.
Naomi Campbell, the one and only, wrote an open letter to ELLE Germany’s editor-in-chief Sabine Nedelchev, expressing she felt “so sad to see” the issue.
“I’ve said countless of times that we are not a TREND. We are here to STAY. It’s ok to celebrate models of colour but please do it in an ELEGANT and RESPECTFUL way.
Campbell shared that she had also experienced misidentification throughout her career because of the colour of her skin.
“Very disappointing to say the least. If you would like a conversation to know how to have a diverse mind we are here to sit and accomodate. It’s very important for a publication to be culturally sensitive and give credit where it’s due.”
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Dear sabine nedelchev @ellegermany This makes me so sad to see this, @bethannhardison @the_real_iman and I are here if you are not clear on the guide lines of diversity.. your mistake it is highly insulting in every way, .. you go further to say that BACK TO BLACK, even if you ment the fashion it’s is misleading on your headline and Type !! ! I’ve said countless of times we are not a TREND. We are here to STAY. It’s ok to celebrate models of color but please do it in an ELEGANT and RESPECTFUL way . I too in my career have seen pictures of others models called me just because of the color of our Skin, and recently seen many pictures of models of color being called being @adutakech .. do you know what it feels like to do the job ( @naomichinwing ) and not even be given the right name credit ? . Very disappointing to say the least . If you would like a conversation to know how to have A diverse mind we are here to sit and accommodate . It’s very important for a publication to be culturally sensitive and give credit where it’s due . We all need to unite on this matter NAOMI THANK YOU @diet_prada . #defendingmybabies ♥️
At the time of writing, ELLE Germany has yet to comment on the feature / entire issue.