Recently, if you have been surfing through your social media apps, you might have noticed the flooding images posted by people known to you under the hash tag VogueChallenge.
People, on their own personal level started up this challenge by creating faux covers of the American monthly fashion and lifestyle magazine-Vogue. The makers of these DIY front page covers of the glossy re-imagine what the present-day cover pages could look like.
This challenge has brought together several like-minded artists under a common umbrella who look forward in promoting their work and diversity in the fashion industry. The challenge encourages rising photographers and aspiring models to team up and show their version of the cover page. The hash tag was looked upon as an opportunity.
Salma Noor, an Oslo-based student was the first one to post a black and white photograph of herself shot by photographer, Angelique Culvin, with the Vogue logo and a headline saying, “being Black is not a crime” as a kind of protest. “I am a Black, young Muslim woman who wanted to create something new while speaking on something that is very important,” stated Noor. Little did she know that her idea would gain enough popularity making it a worldwide trending subject.
This was a consequence of the death of George Floyd, a form of protest, a display depicting a need for change in the industry and a need to give opportunity to models of different ethnicities and skin colors.
Vogue themselves posted an article stating that “It’s no secret that the photographers behind the majority of magazine covers are white and male.” They further mentioned not only that very few women, people of color, have ever gotten the opportunities in the industry but also the fact it was only some 2 years ago that Tyler Mitchell became the first African-American photographer to shoot a cover story for Vogue with the September 2018 issue starring Beyonce.
Vogue talks about a Kenyan-born creator, Cedric Nzaka, who has worked with companies such as Adidas, Netflix, and Fiat. Nzaka spoke on the struggle the black photographers face and threw light upon matters such as not having the privilege to have a mentor or a guide in the industry that can support and suggest you in boardrooms. He mentioned how as Black photographer being 50 times better is so necessary to even get noticed in the first place. However, the feeling of alienation doesn’t end here. Even when you, as a photographer of colour make it to those boardroom meetings, you can often find yourself as the only Black voice in the room, which can make it difficult to be heard and understood.
For in-numerous such reasons it is important to normalize diversity on the cover page and beyond, in the industry. It is essential to recognise and give opportunities to new faces, uprising models and photographers and talented artists so that at the end of the day no person, no community is left feeling alienated.
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