Fashion and Society, both influence and inspire each other. And in between, it is the media that connects them both. Very recently, model Deddeh Howard took to internet to highlight some classic advertisement campaigns that tells us a lot about the double standards in the fashion industry and how they get seeped into the society. And sometimes this phenomenon is also vice versa.
Through her project, Black Mirror, Deddeh Howard took some classic advertising campaign starring celebs like Gisele Bundchen, Gigi Hadid and Kate Moss and then recreated the same ads with herself as the model.
The project highlights the under representation of blacks in the media and fashion industry. The fact that Jasmine Tookes wore the most expensive bra for Victoria’s secret fashion show is indeed inspiring and according to Howard, fashion industry needs more such moments.
Her own experiences also played an important part for Howard to come up with project Black Mirror. She narrated on her website that various fashion agencies would not consider her because the agency already had one or two black models. It is this attitude that Deddeh Howard had problems with. There could be vast number of white models in the agency and that was okay but when it came to black models two or three were enough for the representation.
Model Deddeh Howard teamed up with photographer Raffael Dickreuter for the project. The idea was to show what these icon campaigns would look like with a black model. According to Deddeh, the reshooting and reverse engineering was challenging but also very important to do. And out of all the photos the most challenging to recreate was the Gigi Hadid Guess campaign that also feature a rare 1939 Indian Chief. Tracking down the motorcycle was not an easy task.
The project is truly an eye opener. Looking at the photos we can see how having a black model does not make much of a difference. The photos look equally glamorous, artistic and alluring as their original counterpart. It shows how important and beautiful is diversity.
Fashion and media industry has yet to go very far when it comes to variety in terms of race representation. It is still rare to see non white models on advertising, on runways and billboards. Howard’s project speak for the representation of all races be it Asians, Latinos and not just Blacks. Howard also wrote , “ I hope this project can help to bring awareness back to the positive side of black people. Unfortunately we are rarely shown in a positive light in the media, but can see countless times when yet another black person gets shot or arrested.” The idea is to look at merite and potential and not the color. Fashion cannot be constrained to just black and white and the Black Mirror photographs stands as an evidence.
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