We strongly believe the British fashion industry is practicing “industry apartheid”.
The campaign, launched by Mahogany Models Management (MMM) in July 2008, has been created to question the industry on the lack of black models used in mainstream fashion and therefore evoke a change.
The excuse that “Black does not sell” imposes the idea that fashionista’s are less likely buy products if modelled by black models. But, in a modern multicultural British society can this excuse still be viable?
The lack of models of colour within fashion campaigns has been recognised worldwide; however the UK fashion industry continues to turn a blind eye to the problem and has made very little effort to address the issue.
Chief Executive of MMM, Sola Oyebade said, “We feel now is the time to say ‘Black is back’ and the fashion industry must start using more models of colour within mainstream fashions shows and advertising campaigns.
“As a modelling agency that represents models of colour, we have to sweat blood to ensure our models are booked.
“The UK fashion industry is still living in prehistoric times and lacking behind the rest of the world. It’s fair to say that the UK fashion industry is institutionally racist.”
July’s issue of Italian Vogue is the first to solely use black models to highlight the overt discrimination in the fashion world.
According to The Independent UK, Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani said, "There are so many beautiful black women not being used."
MMM have shown their support to Italian Vogue and their fight to tackle racism, by setting up an ‘Italian Vogue All Black Issue’ appeal on Facebook. The appeal urges it’s supporters of over 12,038 people to purchase the magazine when released in the UK.
“Black BUT Invisible campaign is the beginning of our fight and we aim to use this campaign as the catalyst to force the industry as a whole to change its perception that black does not sell”.
Mahogany Model Management