Italian Vogue‘s “Black Issue” Goes Into Reprints

As 10,000 freshly printed copies of the July edition are shipped to newsstands, Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani talked to Reuters about the magazine’s incredibly successful “Black Issue.” This quote, in particular, struck me:


“America … is ready for a black president, so why are we not ready for a black model?”

Aren’t we ready, though? This issue is the first in Condé Nast’s history to be reprinted to satisfy demand. Ad sales were up 30 percent for this issue, even though many of those same advertisers stuck with white models in their ads. Photographer Steven Meisel, who shot the cover story, says,

“I’ve asked my advertising clients so many times, ‘Can we use a black girl?’ They say no. Advertisers say black models don’t sell.”

Right. They don’t sell advertising, which is why these same advertisers snapped up pages in this edition. They don’t sell consumer goods, and it has nothing to do with the product or the ad concept. They don’t sell at the newsstand, but it was Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of the year’s worst selling issue.

So where does the problem really lie? Looks like America is certainly ready for more diverse models, but are magazines?

Earlier: Is Fashion Racist? Fashion-Industry Mouthpiece Vogue Says No

7 thoughts on “Italian Vogue‘s “Black Issue” Goes Into Reprints

  1. I ordered mine from a newsstand in NY(All Around the World Fashion publications (212)575.8543) on Monday and got it yesterday. I also heard Universal News Cafe had some, as of last week. HTH someone!

  2. Liya Kebede is the best. model. ever. Is anyone prettier than her? Here in Minneapolis, we have a large Somalian and Ethiopian immigrant population, and I’m sometimes a little jealous at how beautiful many of these women are. I’m also a little sad that many of them have to cover their beauty for their oppressive religion and suffer from vitamin D deficiencies.

  3. It’s upsetting that retailers can’t even use black models in a black issue. It’s so frustrating in fashion. However, I am proud to say that although I had to call in a favor to my BFF in Los Angeles, my Italian Vogue is on the way!! Yay!!

  4. If any fashionistas are still trying to get their hands on the Italian Vogue’s “Black Issue” you should check with your local Barnes & Nobles book store. After calling three stores in my city I was able to purchase four copies for the fashionista’s in my life. Also with the success of the Italian Vogue’s “Black Issue” it should service as a lesson to advertisers that our beautiful black models do sell for the record this is the most successful issue in Conde Nast’s history and it’s going into reprinted. I would like to commend Italian Vogue for their overall concept and photographer Steven Meisel for his vision and great representation of all the beautiful black models he used for this special issue.

  5. Divas.

    I live in San Francisco + am just getting around to buying my copy.
    I called Stacey’s Booksellers to find out if they would happen to have any left.
    I was told by the salesperson that “the publisher wants it stay on the shelves until after the election”.

    All I have to say is WOW.

    Stacey’s Booksellers
    581 Market St, SF, CA

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