Tuesday, April 15, 2008

White on black: the racism in women's glossies

The queen of Britain's model agents claims that ethnic cover stars are much scarcer now than they were 25 years ago. Arifa Akbar reports

Way back in 1982, when Carole White co-founded the world- famous Premier Model Management agency with her brother, Owen, black faces were all the rage with fashion editors, with the likes of Iman, Pat Cleveland and the teen sensation Naomi Campbell gracing the covers of magazines.

More than 25 years later and White says the industry's progressive instincts have gone into reverse, as editors have taken a view that only white faces sell at news-stands.

"Whenever I ask the question, it's always about sales and the idea that blue eyes and blonde hair sells. I'm not sure I believe that. If fashion editors were a bit braver and tried out black, Asian and Chinese models, our eyes would be easier on that look.

"They don't give the opportunities to these girls. Given that there are so many variations of skin, particularly in London, it's a backward step being taken if no one is brave enough to give ethnic girls a chance," she says. Read more here!

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