Considering that Africa is a huge continent it’s quite surprising that there is no Vogue dedicated to the mainly black socialite/fashionista culture.
Mario Epanya is a 35 year old Cameroonian and has worked in hair and make-up before becoming a photographer of high fashion. He shot several covers for the blueprint magazine; but sadly the “Fashion Bible” to all fashionistas was rejected by Conde Nast (a worldwide publishing company) in mid July 2010.
Black culture has set the trends for many mainstream fashions and influences both here in the Western World and in the ever growing socialite culture of Africa and South Africa. African style and fashions is different to the UK’s, I would like to be educated about their culture/ fashion via a Vogue Africa.
The population of Afro Caribbean and Africans that live outside the country like; in Italy, Spain, England, France, Germany and America will actually support and encourage a new way forward for this prestigious fashion magazine.
It would be nice for once to see Africa and African culture in a more positive light instead of being highlighted in world news with famine pictures and pleas for aids for the poor stricken regions, gang violence, rape and poverty. But some of these issues exist in many western countries; we have political and current affairs issues to deal with right here in the UK and we also have wealth and prosperity just like Africa does.
I wonder if Conde Nast feel that there are not enough mainstream black people in high profile careers that warrant a Vogue Africa to be launched. When Italian Vogue took the plunge in 2008, to launch a Vogue Black it flew of the shelves in the UK alone. So isn’t that proof alone that all high fashion models of colour sell magazines! Or is it that was just not commercial enough because of our skin colour to be awarded a Vogue Africa.
African people need and should have good role models to look up to and they should be displayed in such magazines as Vogue Africa, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t sell as currently the sales for international Vogue globally is at the 1 billion mark.
So What Exactly Is The Problem?
There’s not enough of us that are educated to degree and beyond standard, that aspire to have a successful life and that live in affluent areas of a country, city or town. That we want to see diversity across the sections and get rid of the last taboo that black is not beautiful. And if they want to get rid of this stereo typical attitude then why have they created publications via the Vogue Italian website for Vogue Black and Vogue Curvy where you have the lovely Beth Ditto in this online publication, but not issued any print version for the mainstream public to buy.
Is it because the size zero mainly European, largely white models is still the thing that sells magazines in affluent societies. And why hide the diversity of our society, culture in an online magazine? We all come in different shapes, sizes and colour we want escapsim as well.
Black People have an array of skin colouring, hair styles, music taste and fashions that as and will continue to influence many cultures and countries. The continent is full of interesting writers, princesses and princes, people from the world of sports, a diversity of designers and a whole lot more.
Black hair is extremely versatile with styles such as; braiding to weaves, afros, dreadlocks to the new Rihanna edgy punk look, curly hair to going natural the 21st century way. Our skin needs bolder make-up and we want to have a Vogue that not only represents the wonderful country of Africa but informs us of the overseas sisters and brothers; Fashion Trends, Celebrity News, Beauty Products, Couture Fashion, Avant Garde Designer Collections, African Cuisines, Creative Directors, Fashion Editors, Feature Writers, Film-Makers that show and explore the diaspora of the continent, need I go on!
There is a market for this Vogue but Conde Nast have yet to state why it was turned down.
Draw your own conclusions.