On Monday night, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show might have seemed more diverse than usual, with models like Jourdana Phillips and Maria Borges rocking natural hair, along with a record number of Asian models walking in the show.
However, it’s not enough for just one fashion brand to slowly start diversifying its modeling pool. High-fashion has a history of minimal racial diversity that has only begun to be amended recently. In a world that is increasingly more progressive, there should be no excuse for the fashion world to take so long to catch up.
Just look at Liberian-born model Deddeh Howard’s Black Mirror project, which perfectly highlights the lack of diversity in the fashion industry. “Seeing Jasmine Tookes wearing the most expensive bra at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was so inspiring, we need more of those moments,” Howard posted on her blog. (Tookes was only the third woman of color in the show’s history to wear the bra.)
In the Black Mirror project, Howard recreated high-end fashion advertisements that feature white women— Gigi Hadid, Linda Evangelista and Gisele Bündchen — but with herself instead. Howard stated in her blog that she wants the project to be a positive message about her race.
“In a time where black people too often are in the media for being underrepresented at important events such as the Oscars or make headlines for being targeted by the police,” she said, “I felt it was time to do something positive and inspiring about my race. For too long the negativity seemed to take over in the public eye.”
Photographed by her partner, Raffael Dickreuter, Howard’s incredible images are almost perfectly identical to the original — and even more stunning.
What do you think of Deddeh Howard’s Black Mirror project? Let us know in the comments.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.