Vogue Italia Launches Vogue Black and Vogue Curvy
Source: Vogue Italia via Jezebel
Disclaimer: Today is the day I unearth all my 3/4 finished posts and finally publish them. This post, for example, was written on March 2nd. It comes to you: now.
Vogue Italia has just launched two new websites (for consumption, publicity, shock-value, whatever). Welcome: Vogue Black and Vogue Curvy. The separate websites extend the Vogue brand to the black and curvy demographics while offering more recognition to black and plus-sized models. Over the weekend I took it upon myself to read a number of articles (and comments) as I determined what this meant for me, black and curvy women, and the future of fashion. My conclusion….I kind of like the idea of a Vogue Black site.
I read a lot of criticism surrounding the initial launches of these sites, and for the most part I see what the concerns are. For one, launching separate websites reinforces the already glaring divide between the “normal” standard of beauty and “other” standards of beauty. Second, it’s sort of like Vogue is finally giving its seal of approval to black and curvy women; by launching these sites, Vogue is declaring the “other” category as attractive and worthy of mainstream recognition.
However, as frustrating as these concepts might be, I think these sites are a step in the right direction. By recognizing curvy women and black women as important consumers in fashion, the mainstream industry will have no choice but to recognize different make-up palettes, different wardrobes suggestions, etc. It’s refreshing to finally see another standard of beauty placed at the forefront of mainstream fashion- particularly for young, fashionable, impressionable teenage girls who are surrounded by long flowing blonde locks and a constant stream of advice on how to texturize flat hair.
In the end, I think it’s unfair to blame the magazine when Vogue is simply acknowledging that this image of fashion they have worked so hard to create and project doesn’t include everyone. The women at NYMag, who argue:
“We were reasonably amused perusing Italian Vogue‘s new Internet collective, but why must curvy women, women of color, and burgeoning design talent be viewed in separate channels? Is it not possible to have a fashion magazine that embraces women of all sizes and colors who wear young and established labels? Italian Vogue seems to think not”
are mistaken. I think sites like this, although they force us to look elsewhere for black and curvy fashion, are at least taking the other into consideration. Finally!