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Friday
Jan302009

Hustlenomics: Will Obamas Be Boon For Black Models?

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.

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Reader Comments (6)

Obama is hot right now so black is in , but it will soon wear off and black will be out again. White people will always have a problem with acknowledging black beauty. I was watching one of those entertainment shows and Brad Pitt and Angelina were at an airport with all of their kids. The host of the show has positive things to say about all the other kids and she just passed over Zahara and Zahara is such a pretty little girl.

January 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

it all depends on how it plays out. the real goal is not the models but the industry. Can you establish talent besides on the catwalk, photographers, makeup artists, hair, plastic surgeons. If you can it will make a differencejust like it does in rock and roll. The hot producers are AA and have been for awhile.

January 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobert M

Well, well, well. It looks like Madison Ave has "rediscovered" that black is beautiful. Give me a damn break.

@ JJ

Come on girl. You know nobody cares about the adopted kids. They are props for the Brangelina PR game. "Look at us, we have a rainbow tribe we are so cool and liberal". Jolie hasn't even bothered to learn how to come Zahara's hair, that's how much she cares. No way will they ever be valued as much as the blonde, blue eyed white bio kids. Not by the media and probably not by Brad. How much you want to bet he hasn't even really adopted them? How much you want to bet he wouldn't have suck arounf if he couldn't get his own bio children? Life will suck for the adopted kids, especially Z under the shadow of the white bios.She will always be passed over, no way around that.

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteremma

So why are black models in, but not black designers?
why should obama be a BOON for black models and not black designers?
where is the uproar on this site for these comments, as they were for ms. Eele?

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWALLA WALLA

I guess Black is the new "Black" until we become out of fashion again. lol

February 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSDG

"BS excuses like 'Black models take too much attention away from the clothes"?

If the models are better looking than the fashion they're wearing, maybe the problem is with the designer of the clothing line and not the models..

February 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike Wilde
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