MISS WINTOUR, YOU BETTER LISTEN UP, THE BLACK CREATIVES ARE MAKING A POWERFUL MESSAGE WITH THE #VOGUECHALLENGE
JUNE 25TH 2020
Since lockdown began, social media has been in use more than ever with new trends cropping up every other day – in June of this month, black creatives decided to take control and create the ‘#VogueChallenge’ where black photographers, models and graphic designers got together to create their own Vogue covers to send a powerful message to Anna Wintour who only until very recently, never worked with black photographers.
The challenge was a much-needed call for diversity not only within Vogue, but within the industry as a whole. The challenge highlighted how brands, fashion houses and publications have little to no black representation within their work force or teams, and that, NEEDS to change.
In response to the widespread support of Black Lives Matter from the fashion world, the challenge was intended to confront and challenge publications like Vogue, and bolster support for under-represented demographics on their covers. Though plenty of magazines have posted black squares and statements promising to ‘do better’ when it comes to representation and inclusion, the reality is, in its 127 year-long history, US Vogue has only featured 21 solo Black models on its cover, and it took until 2018 for a Black photographer, Tyler Mitchell, to lens one.
Originally kicked off by Norway-based student Salma Noor in early June, the first post was captioned ‘Being Black is Not a Crime’. The creator explains: “Being a young Black Muslim woman, I don’t see anyone like me in those magazines. I wanted to create a talking point around the lack of representation while speaking on social injustice.” In the weeks since, the challenge has expanded far beyond just Vogue, with people putting their own spin on everything from 032c and Harper’s Bazaar, to African-American magazines such as Jet and Essence.
If this challenge has highlighted anything, other than the obvious need for creative representation, it has shown the creativity and driving force behind the Gen Z creatives. As Rihanna once said, ‘we are the most creative generation yet’ and tbh, DID SHE LIE?