The Force

Naomi Campbell graces the cover of Vogue Japan in a stunning shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Wearing the oh so popular Gucci S/S dress and an intense look, Ms. Campbell looks as powerful as ever. Did you know that Naomi is one of only two black models to ever grace the cover of Vogue Japan? Naomi has two covers (June 2011 and November 1999) while Liya Kebede was on the cover of the January 2004 issue.

  1. Lovely, even as she approaches 41!! I have seen that Gucci dress like 100 times already. (Memorable garments are good.)

  2. Beautiful though it would be nice if the world was more open to different beauties I’m sure Vogue Japan is covered with Caucasians and japan is not their native land I wish the world didn’t make “black”a bad thing. 🙁

  3. I’m sure the number of Japanese models featured on the cover of Vogue Japan are ironically low, too.

  4. @Pastelle, I completely share your sorrow. Vogue Japan is a highly Eurocentric publication, and frankly I’m not excited to see Naomi – a model of stardom – on the cover. Her status as a supermodel allows her to act beyond her race (so sad). I would be shocked however, to see Joan or Jourdan or Ajak, or any other black model just for the sake of it, on the cover.

  5. Omg I got chills, people just don’t know, the massive impact naomi made, and they take her for granted, people should be in their knees, when they talk to her.

  6. I am 100% a naomi fanmy intentions are not to discredit naomi by far,I love her believe me. My point is that aside from naomi is that a lot of publications don’t exploit beauty of all kinds as much as the caucasion and that is not just limited to african american girls , african girls, “Black girls”,It should definately be open to everybody that can fit the clothes being that beauty is not limited to just one race and their reasoning for not using other ethnicities is ignorant.

  7. Let’s celebrate Naomi because she’s a true survivor of the ugly world of Fashion! And she rulezzzz on Top!

    Please let’s not turn this into a “Race discussion”again.


  8. AHHHH love my one named icons. Naomi,Kate,Gisele,Christy,Linda,Cindy,Stephanie,Helena…they truly make anything and everything look good and powerful.

  9. @PeterModelObsessed I don’t understand why you kindly asked to not turn this into a ‘Race discussion again’ whereas Janelle’s post was intended to make us contemplate on the issue directly (black models on the cover). Sure its all fierce and fabulous to enjoy the undeniable presence of Naomi but when these tokenistic accomplishments are symptomatic to certain hegemonic mindsets– you just can’t say she looks great in a dress and leave it at that.

  10. Pastelle you are right about caucasian models not being native to Asia but being used extensively on Asian publication.
    Naomi is more of a star (celebrity) so to me she does not count in the use of Dark models.
    But you have to understand that Asians have an obsession with fair skins (it is cultural, historical,societal and started way long before European colonialism) Even in India, the dark skin models are discriminated against fair skin one, in Singapoor,Malaysia,Thailand I constantly hear abotu Firang and so on. The amount of cosmetic products to make your skin lighter is astounding here in SOuth Eat Asia. It is just a fact.
    The only time I saw black(Dark) models on the cover was Vogue Korea with Chanel Iman and she is part Korean and the other was Elle Singapoor with Antoinette Ataro.

    However there is one issue that blacks complain a lot about and do not seem to get is pure economic. The poorest nations are African or Haiti, even when they emigrate like in the U.K or Europe they are still a minority or in the low econmic starta of the nation so if you combine those 2, why should European or even Asian magazines have black models on cover since they can not afford those products, we are simlynot their target markets. The higher end of the luxury spectrum the product is the less it makes sense to use a black model.
    Even if U.S.A has 15% African American population and represent the wealthiest black comunity, they are still according to your economic census the poorest in the U.S.A themselves , so it wouldnot make sense to use a blackmodel because what matters is the 85% which have the money. And these are whites, if you add the European contingent and Australia then you get thenumber speak for themselves.

    In this environment, the black models that are used then have to be relevant to the white majority buyers. That is why the use of black models with refined features like the Emanuela,Liya,Noemie,joan,Chanel are sucessfull. Not just because they are black (they are actually mostly biracial or Ethiopian are a mixed race origin check Bible) but because the Whites like them too and can identify with them.

    Ha if Only Africa was rich and developed, the it would have been different but you cannot expect a balck model to leave Africa becuase the market for fashion is practically nonexistent (except SOuth Africa) and go to Europe and complain they are racist, they are discriminating against me when you the blackmodel are not the norm on that land.

    Example that prooves it is that Ethiopian model who won Germany Next Top Model. Germany(I am using the example of a European country because Germany being the richest therefore bigger market for fashion and cosmetics) with 92% population German whites.The reaction to her winning was positive in the population,they found her beautiful but the majority women said they would problems withehr being the face of cosmetics because they wouldnot be able to compare themselves to her. Even clothing some said her skin tone would make some colour clothes more beuatiful but would not work on their pale skin (whites). Until now that girl career has not taken off yet, only in low priced labels is she used where lots of immigrants buy their clothes like C&A.

    It is just the truth, simple math not racism, ha if only Africa were rich…..

  11. You make a lot of valid points Fred, that can be endlessly debated, but the systematic racism in fashion is very real. Excusing it all as simply economic is dangerous, disingenuous, and naive.

  12. That is why I love Vogue Italia and Vogue US; they are the only vogues black models regularly come up in. The only time I can recall seeing a black model in any of vogue japan or china’s publication is back in 2004 when sessilee lopez appeared in 2 photos… and i do agree with some comments here because although naomi is black, she is a supermodel, so she doesnt really…empahisize the power of using a black model?

  13. @Fred: Economics by US census mean nothing; for example Black women are the number 1 consumers of Hair Products, an over 2 billion dollar industry from black targeted hair products alone yet are one of the poorest ethnic groups(Native Americans are the poor racial group in the country).

    If you can get women interested, they will buy; even if its beyond there means.

    There is no excuse for eurocentric standards in atleast US fashion.


  15. All hail the QUEEN!

    As my darling Peter reminds – Naomi, of all models past of present, has had a career assembled on the hardest granite. she is entering her 26th year of supermodeldom and happens to be producing some of her strongest work.

    She is beyond stellar, sorry if you don’t like. As I previously stated: this ship is unsinkable.

    The true Queen of models reigns supreme. Naomi forever.

  16. @Lev

    True there should not be eurocentric standards in US or Brazil but by the same thinking there should definitely be eurocentric standard in Europe then or Australia where I live right now. Also as I pointed Asians,Middle east, are not interested at all in dark skin so it makes sense that they use what they like to see.

    Also what I meant is that African Americans may be an important consumer group but when it is a brand with global aspiration then that group(blacks) get diluted in the other majority group.
    That 15% becomes even less when added to Europe and Asia which are the real big consumers of fashion labels. In times of economic crisis it is not strategically wise to address minority group when all you want is for the majority to still try to buy, there is no urgency in catering to niche but rather just survive with your current consumer base is a trick in itself. .

  17. I think its very unfortunate that people can’t see the beauty in other races, being black, asian and even indian. I may be wrong, but there’s only one known indian model, beautiful young lady, amazing bone structure that actually made it to mainstream and be featured in a major magazine.

    All throughout history, racial minorities have been looked down upon, it goes without say, but I think that it’s quite unfortunate that it happens and even more so when we bring it up every chance we get.

    I myself am black, but i dont like to be reminded every single day that i’m hated because of my skin color. ‘so, though i agree with pastelle 10000000000000000000000000000% petermodelobsessed has a point. Pointing fingers won’t solve any problems, its like poking a healing wound. Keep poking and it will never heal.

    … why cant we all just get along in agreeing that naomi is amazing and that we’re proud that she was featured in ‘Voguejapan’

    and yes I agree that Ricardo is “SUPER LAME” IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY. He strikes me as a racist, because the only reason why you could every try to discredit Naomi is if you hate the fact that she’s black.

  18. Aside from the Naomi’s personality and politics of using black models, I thinks it’s an awesome cover. Her presence is felt and captivates the viewer.

  19. I completely disagree on many accords to many of the comments. Just take a look at Essence Magazine which continues to have over a million plus in circulation. The magazine caters to middle and upper income African American women. The magazine’s success is because it has always appealed to diverse black beauty even women of size.

    In the US successful African Americans are at about between 52-55% of the entire Black U.S. population. The rest range between working class and poor.

    There are large populations of successful Africans in rising nations like Kenya, Nigeria, and the ever turning South Africa. I know there are several mainstream magazine’s with South African editions as well. A good start though would be a Vogue Africa to cover the entire continent and other magazines could get in on the business as well. Yet that would mean true diversity. You’re not going to have all or mostly white models covering a magazine in a continent where whites are a distinct minority.

    Let me add something else into fray. African Americans and in this case women specifically spend more money on beauty, haircare products, etc then any other race in the U.S. That buying power alone should be enough to get more advertisers from the highest and lowest rungs to diversify their advertisements more.

    Statistics from the Magazine Publisher’s of America show that while mainstream magazine’s are on the decline, ethnic magazine’s have been the fastest growing sector in the publishing industry.

    It use to be just Ebony, Jet, Essence, and Black Enterprise in the game. Now we have Uptown, Arise, Upscale, Vibe (back to every 2 months), and Trace. These are just to name a few of the magazines on the market. So there is a market out there and magazines can continue to increase their sales stateside, in Caribbean, Africa, and even in Europe if they keep in mind these things.

Related Posts: