Uni |Model Casting

After last week’s lecture debate on the model castings of Victoria Secret and their latest statement of not wanting to use plus-size or transgender models, I decided to do a blog post on a brand that I believe promotes and celebrates diversity incredibly. This week’s post is on the model castings of Rihanna’s cosmetic brand and lingerie brand, Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty and how they have successfully created a diverse and body positive line up. 

Rihanna released the first Fenty beauty advert on the 1st September last year which showcased the most diverse models in terms of race and ethnicity. She was praised for taking the concept of diversity and actually producing an outcome that defined the word, and for me personally I was so happy and excited to see so many models of different shades in a beauty campaign, where you predominantly see white models used. And as a mixed race female, this was such a big moment within the beauty industry for me. So many brands take the word diversity to create a positive brand image that isn’t actually there, and I think this was the first time I actually saw the word used appropriately. 

1ad25ea2-2b17-428e-97df-fb4ccaafb39e-screen-shot-2018-09-14-at-110746-am.png

And the celebration of women in all shapes and sizes, races and ethnicities, religions and cultural backgrounds continued in her Savage X Fenty A/W New York Fashion Week show this year. The casting of models included sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid alongside Duckie Thot and Leomie Anderson as well as two pregnant models, one being Slick Woods. Each model looked beautiful, confident and sexy in their own right as everyone woman should feel. I absolutely loved the Garden of Eden setting, I felt like it really brought to life that concept of a natural woman and each woman being different. As well as ideas of a wise woman that is both wild and free. 

At the moment Fenty beauty is one of my favourite beauty brands out there. Not only are the products incredible and of amazing quality, but the brand image I support and the messages put out by the brand are ones I agree with.

Love always

AHVB X

Uni |Cultural Appropriation Or Cultural Appreciation

First it was Gucci at the beginning of the year when they were criticised for sending white models down the runway with turbans, then Chanel was accused of humiliating the indigenous Australian Culture, and then it was Vogue who had to apologise for offending people  with the photographs of Kendall Jenner with an afro. But most recently  Dolce and Gabbana are facing backlash after their ‘racist’ advert, which features a Chinese woman struggling to eat spaghetti and pizza with a pair of chopstick, and have been forced to cancel their fashion show in Shanghai. What is happening within these big brands for this type of cultural appropriation to keep reoccurring? What conversations are being had?

At the minute within my fashion communication and promotion course we are working our way through the creative process and the four key stages. There is a lot that happens before you can even get to an outcome, from research, investigation and experimentation to planning, analysis and development. From working through this process myself in the last few months, I struggle to understand how no one within the team of Gucci or Dolce and Gabbana decided to challenge the idea or question it.

Personally I feel that the main issue, especially in terms of what Gucci and Vogue did, is that they have chosen to use a white models and have placed features, practices and products of non-white cultures onto them instead of just using models from that particular culture, and that is the problem. When I initially saw the Vogue photo I was more offended that Vogue considered that to be an afro more than anything, and I did understand why people found the whole concept offensive. I also felt that a lot of people were more upset and angry because the model was Kendall Jenner and once again it was another member of the Kardashian’s being associated with cultural appropriation. I just feel that if you are going to use diversity then do it properly and really embrace it, and then it will be appreciated and celebrated, but for now this isn’t cutting it and something needs to change.

It will be very interesting to see how Dolce and Gabbana bounce back from this backlash and how they go about changing things moving forward. After a circulation of Stefano’s racist comments online, will getting rid of him make things any better? Let’s wait and see…