What once felt like a laborious practice for those in power, seems an innate tactic now and the fortress of Milanese fashion empires was not exempt from the critique of minimal diversity. When it comes to casting Prada has certainly, come a long way. This show season, a season that implied a reduced pool of models meant castings need to make a big impact, a milestone went under the radar – Prada had two black models open and close a show, a feat unaccomplished for 32 years since Prada womenswear first showed in March 1988.
The show that launched a thousand careers of model icons and a considerable amount of our rankings board meant that last week Tina Diedhiou and Fatou Samb joined the lucky few of new faces that could secure the brand as a client. So, who are they? Both from Senegal, Diedhiou moved to Barcelona after working in Dakar and shopped around for the perfect agency fit, before signing with Fifth Models (Barcelona). The polyglot speaks 8 languages which were helpful when making an impact for an Ashley Brokaw led casting team that’s seen it all. “I feel so lucky and thankful that I was able to work with such an amazing team of people at Prada, and on top of that to open the show was incredible! It was a huge surprise.”
Senegalese closer Fatou Samb has thankfully already had some experience working with the brand. Exclusively debuting in Raf and Miuccia’s first runway foray together back in September, Samb was discovered by Identity on the streets of Paris before she lucratively went on to land the new Spring 2021 campaign, going from minimal experience to hundreds of cameras on set. “I was very stressed,” Samb recalls the surreal experience. “One thing I learned, which is funny because I had this idea of designers being “gods”, but I will never forget how Raf Simons laughed with me. He even offered me chocolates!” After two career-defining moments in a brand’s new-era, it makes sense that the playful new face was called back to land a covetable last slot this season.