The groundbreaking, all-black issue of Italian Vogue (Tyra's in it!) is almost here

Photo: Steven Meisel for Italian VoguePhoto: Steven Meisel for Italian VogueThere's a story in The New York Times today about the much anticipated all-black issue of July's Italian Vogue. The newspaper interviewed both editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani and photographer Steven Meisel about their awesome, monumental project-in which Meisel shot a full 100 pages.
Among my favorite bits:

  • "Racial prejudice in the fashion industry has long persisted because of tokenism and lookism. 'We already have our black girl,' says a designer to a fashion-show casting agent, declining to see others. Or: 'She doesn't have the right look.' Laziness, paranoia and pedantry may also have something to do with the failure to hire black models for shows and magazine features in any meaningful number."
  • Sozzani says she was inspired by Barack Obama's campaign and the lack of diversity on the runways.
  • Meisel says: "I thought, it's ridiculous, this discrimination. It's so crazy to live in such a narrow, narrow place. Age, weight, sexuality, race - every kind of prejudice."
  • And: "I have asked my advertising clients so many times, 'Can we use a black girl?' They say no." The concern is that consumers will resist the product, he said. "It all comes down to money."
The Times also got a sneak preview of the issue-which features models like Veronica Webb, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks. The Italian Vogue magazine comes out in Europe next week, and will be available in the US shortly thereafter. You can see a slide show of the really beautiful photos here.

Italian Vogue devotes July issue exclusively to black models
Tyra-Banks is over Top Model, gearing up to be next Oprah