Last year Italian Vogue produced an “all black” issue featuring primarily models with African heritage. It was one of those love it/hate it things where I loved seeing so many of my favorite models highlighted so beautifully, but hated that there needed to be a “black issue” in the first place when nearly all of these models could easily be put in regular rotation in any fashion magazine, rendering their appearance less novel and simply another aspect of beauty within the fashion industry.
In this latest report by CNN, what some of us have already suspected seems to be true: Obama-look-a-likes are in demand by Madison Avenue.
We’ve already seen replications of the Obamas in adverts from Tropicana orange juice, the pages of Harper’s Bazaar (in Tyra Banks’ bizarre Michelle O. fantasy spread) and on the runway.
Most recently in a Dutch fashion show and Barack-a-like took front and center on the catwalk.
On one hand, this is a good thing. The long complaint of black models and actors has been those lengthy stretches of unemployment when they are suddenly out of vogue for little to no reason at all. Just last season the look on the catwalk was white and whiter-than-white with designers often giving BS excuses like “black models take too much attention away from the clothes.”
But on the negative side, it would be bad if this is merely another passing phase of when black models and actors will be “hot” for a few minutes, only to be tossed aside, yet again, for their paler competition.
Maybe Madison Avenue is learning that black and brown people have money to spend too. Or maybe this is just the latest trend in Obama-based hustlenomics where hiring a little girl who can vaguely pass for Malia to star in pilot of the latest Disney tween franchise is just another step is staving off the recession blues.