Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cover Shots: Essence Magazine hires new Fashion Director


I try not to delve into race issues, but we must all be honest race issues exist in the world and they also exist in the fashion and beauty industry. For a long time as a black women I’ve had mixed feelings about black women having to segregate themselves with their own Fashion/Beauty magazines because the mainstream ones refuse to incorporate us in a way that is fitting to our buying power. So it’s kind of shocking to the masses that one of the staples in the realm of African American magazines Essence has decided to hire a non-African American Fashion Director. For me personally as I stated on my facebook page it isn't a big deal in theory for me, first because Essence isn't a Fashion Magazine, it’s much more it’s a lifestyle magazine and really on average contains 5-8 pages of fashion per edition. Secondly I think fashion and style are universal and clothes aren’t of any one specific race, but of creativity. What I do think makes this a poor move is strictly financial, by doing this Essence risk alienating their core demographic Black Women. What's a bigger issue than the hiring practices of Essence is that such magazines have to exist for beauty like mine to be seen, and also the lack of black females heading the fashion departments of “mainstream” magazines! I hope this move sparks conversation and not just outrage, and also shows the “mainstream” magazines that it’s okay to hire someone outside of your comfort zone, Harper’s, Marie Claire, Elle, Glamour etc take note.

Note: The new Fashion Director Ellianna Placas, who has worked at O and Us Weekly, which seems to make her more than qualified.
photo cred: Essence

1 comment:

Adelle (the Fashionista Lab) said...

"I hope this move... also shows the “mainstream” magazines that it’s okay to hire someone outside of your comfort zone, Harper’s, Marie Claire, Elle, Glamour etc take note."

Exactly. I think it's a double standard to expect the Essence masthead to be all-black while being upset that other mastheads are all white. Not saying that that's what you're saying, but that's my take on the situation. More diversity everywhere!

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