Elle Germany has come under fire for its November 2019 issue thanks to a feature on “models of colour” with the headline “Black is back”.
On Tuesday, Instagram profile Diet Prada posted a page from the November issue of Elle Germany that featured the tone-deaf article, alongside an image of an incorrectly identified model.
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Not a good look, @ellegermany . For their November 2019 issue, the presumably white-led publication declares that “black is back”. Ironic when they, along with much of the fashion industry, have been complicit in denying visibility to black models until relatively recently. Oh, and apparently they can’t actually tell models apart. In the bottom middle, a picture of @naomichinwing is used in place of @iam_janaye . And @joansmalls has been around for a minute/hasn’t gone anywhere lmao. The issue, titled “Back to Black”, also features a white model on the cover. You can’t make this stuff up! • #elle #ellemagazine #ellegermany #naomichinwing #janayefurman #models #blackmodels #modelsofcolor #runway #fashionweek #fashionmonth #pfw #nyfw #mfw #lfw #paris #london #milan #nyc #wtf #fail #magazine #print #editorial #editor #editorinchief #media #sabinenedelchev #dietprada
Elle misidentified model Naomi Chin Wing as Janaye Furman, while also highlighting Joan Smalls alongside a group of relative newcomers, despite the fact she is a modeling veteran.
Furthermore, the cover page of the November issue featured the words “Back to black”.
While the sentiment itself has been criticised for being tone-deaf in today’s milieu, the magazine’s faux pas goes one step further by featuring a white model on its front cover of an issue that is supposed to be about people of colour.
Social media users took to Instagram to air their thoughts on the issue, with many suggesting the blunder is “disturbing”, “sickening”, “horrible” and “insensitive”.
Model Naomi Cambell responded to Diet Prada’s post on her personal Instagram page, calling out Elle Germany for likening models of colour to being a trend.
She wrote: “I’ve said countless of times we are not a trend. We are here to stay. It’s ok to celebrate models of color but please do it in an elegant and respectful way.”
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Dear sabine nedelchev @ellegermany This makes me so sad to see this, @bethannhardison @the_real_iman and I are here if you are not clear on the guide lines of diversity.. your mistake it is highly insulting in every way, .. you go further to say that BACK TO BLACK, even if you ment the fashion it’s is misleading on your headline and Type !! ! I’ve said countless of times we are not a TREND. We are here to STAY. It’s ok to celebrate models of color but please do it in an ELEGANT and RESPECTFUL way . I too in my career have seen pictures of others models called me just because of the color of our Skin, and recently seen many pictures of models of color being called being @adutakech .. do you know what it feels like to do the job ( @naomichinwing ) and not even be given the right name credit ? . Very disappointing to say the least . If you would like a conversation to know how to have A diverse mind we are here to sit and accommodate . It’s very important for a publication to be culturally sensitive and give credit where it’s due . We all need to unite on this matter NAOMI THANK YOU @diet_prada . #defendingmybabies ♥️
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